Anne Herridge

Sharing God's heart through poetry, prose and prayer

The Voice of the Lord

Image credit Tatjana Posavec from Pixabay

It only takes one voice, at the right pitch, to start an avalanche ~ Dianna Hardy

“Give ear and hear my voice, listen and hear my words.” (Isaiah 28:23)

Life is full of voices.  There are those that speak words of life over us and those that speak words of discouragement. We have our own inner voice, and we are significantly influenced by the voices and words of others. These may be the voices of those who raised and taught us, or the voices of those who have criticized and upset us.  We are also surrounded by the voices of the media, all of which compete to be heard, and some of which penetrate deeply into our soul. Some voices soothe and reassure, others threaten and disturb us.

Many people struggle in life because of words spoken over them during their formative years. Words of negativity seem to speak louder than words of affirmation and peace. In fact, the Bible says that “The tongue has the power of life and death…” (Proverbs 18:21), and that “Gentle words cause life and health” (Proverbs 15:4)

Our words and the voices we listen to wield tremendous power over us. Author Dianna Hardy once wrote that “it only takes one voice, at the right pitch, to start an avalanche.”

What are some of the words that have been spoken over you that have contributed to life and health? What are some of the words that have caused fear and anxiety? Satan has many voices and will use whomever or whatever he chooses to speak words of negativity and despair to us if given the chance.

Liz grew up in a home where her father spoke words of fear and anxiety over her as a result of his own apprehension about life, inadvertently giving her the message that life is dangerous and to be feared. Liz never felt truly safe deep down in her soul, because her father often presented the worse case scenario in any given situations, from camping to food safety, from driving to health, from flying to swimming, constantly reinforcing the message that life is not safe. She was afraid to take risks and embrace life for fear of the “what ifs” and what might go wrong.  She tried to trust God and claim his promises of peace, but faced a daily battle between the inner voice of her earthly father and the voice of her heavenly father.

She was all too aware of the avalanche-strength force that came from negative and threatening words spoken over her or to her, when one day the negativity brought her to her knees in despair. Whilst pondering a health issue, the threatening voice that had shaped her since childhood offered one “what if” that went too far. Satan used the opportunity to flood Liz with fear which almost unravelled her to the core. The threat wasn’t loud but subtle and duplicitous, containing half truths disguised as fact. The voice lingered in her mind, tormenting her thoughts and emotions.

But almost immediately she heard another Voice, firm and authoritative, speaking a verse from Psalm 23 that she had been looking at in her Bible study,

“But goodness and mercy follow you all the days of your life…” (Psalm 23:6)

Goodness and mercy. Not fear and despair. For all the days of life. She let that truth sink in and felt the voice that had spoken over her for decades suddenly silenced. She knew in the core of her being that God had spoken directly to her in a very real way. In that powerful moment, God’s truth had set her free. The words of truth repeated over and over in her mind like a growing tidal wave of freedom as she gave ear to God’s Voice and listened to His words instead of those of the enemy. She felt a supernatural peace descend upon her heart and envelop her worry-weary spirit. Like a lamb hearing the Voice of the Shepherd, she found peace and safety (John 10:27).

The world and the enemy have much to say, but it is the Voice of the Shepherd to whom we must listen.

Whose voice did you grow up with? Whose voice do you listen to now? Which words have been spoken over you throughout the decades? Words of peace or words of fear? The Voice of the Lord speaks words of life and health, peace and freedom, hope and purpose, whereas the voice of the enemy speaks words of fear and hopelessness, death and despair.  As the Lord said through the prophet Isaiah, give ear to his voice, listen and hear his words (Isaiah 28:23)

These are some of his words, spoken for you centuries before your birth, and later written for you so that you can live the abundant life that God designed for you.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” ( John 14: 27)

Ponder these words and allow them to sink into your soul when fear approaches.  Listen for his Voice when the voices of the world, the enemy or the media cause discouragement and despair, for he has promised that every word that comes from him will accomplish the purpose for which it was sent. (Isaiah 55:11)

Let’s use the following hymn by G. Currie Martin as a prayer:

Lord,

Your words to me are life and health;
pour strength into my soul; enable, guide, and teach my heart
to reach its perfect goal!

Your words to me are light and truth;
from day to day they show
their wisdom, passing earthly lore,
as in their truth I grow.

Your words to me are full of joy,
of beauty, peace, and grace;
from them I learn your blessed will,
through them I see your face.

Your words you have fulfilled on earth,
yourself, the living Word;
within my heart your image print
in clearest lines, O Lord.

Amen

(Source: Chalice Hymnal #324)

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