Author: Megan R. Barrera
It’ s so easy to stay quiet and hide behind timidity. Speaking up for Jesus means vulnerability and the possibility of rejection. It’s a very real fear and it has caused me to spend a great deal of my life being silent. Only as of recently have I recognized the true value of the voice my heavenly Father has given me. Admittedly, I’m only 21 and continually growing, and each day I spend with Christ comes more revelation. However, I also know there are many out there that undergo that same fear and stress, my hope is that this short blog provides you some encouragement to stand up, speak and let your voice be used for Jesus Christ.
A couple of Sunday's ago, the story of Peter denying Jesus was brought to my attention. Peter emphatically declared his deep love for Jesus and unwillingness to deny him. What a declaration. We can all focus on his denial or we can focus on the fact that Peter followed Jesus to the courtyard and then after his ascension preached without reluctance, the cross., where 3000 people were added to the church. Peter came through on his word. I would love to say that I would have the courage to speak up as Peter did. I can sense and feel the fearlessness in his voice. Could I do the same? At the moment, this thought had occurred, I wasn’t too sure I could. I definitely had to do some soul searching.
I began to ask myself, "am I totally abandoned to the Father, openly and affectionately willing to give my life to serve and speak for him?" Can I say like Peter "Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you (Matthew 26: 35)." It was time for some serious prayer.
I knew that it was time for me to be real with my heavenly Father. I can’t remember if I ever admitted my fear to Him. I’m scared to talk to others about Him. I'm deeply saddened by this thought and so I finally opened up to Him. "Dear God, I feel like my voice is too small, too insignificant, not worthy to use." But how sweet it is, oh Lord, that You have searched me, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down, you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O Lord. (Psalm 137:1-4). I repent of my fear and ask for your Holy Spirt give me the courage to speak and sing your praises. Before a word even touches my tongue, you know it, therefore my words have a powerful meaning.
In my prayer, I can feel the Lord impressing on me, "Are you ready to experience life in the kingdom as my daughter?" Such a powerful question. Was I not already living life fully in his Kingdom? After reading from Romans 8:16, which says, " The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children. Now, if we are children, then we are heirs--- heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory." I saw where God was going with his question. For many years now I have been living with the keys that grant me access to everything in His kingdom, but my personal fear has limited my access to a few areas.
My Father once preached a message, based on a real-life scenario, that stuck with me. He shared about my adopted brother Zena. The moment that my family adopted he was granted free access to food, water, a bed, a room, and everything our family owned. Zena was not a house guest with limited access to our home, but instead a member who was free to experience anything we had. How sweet is that? This message helps me realize that I was living as a house guest for far too long in God’s kingdom. I unknowingly limited my own access and was not walking in my full identity as a daughter of the Kingdom. Next to Romans 8:16 in my bible, I wrote “my identity” as a reminder that I belong to God and free to access what He offers me. Accessing his promises is now up to me.
Yes, it is safer to stay silent because then nobody could critique you, but this is not faith.
I’m still a little fearful, but I have declared that I will be obedient and speak up when the Holy Spirit prompts me. I’ve made a choice to shout his praises from the mountain tops, with the Holy spirit I can do all things, so can you! Can I tell you I’m tired of allowing the enemy to steal my voice? Yes, it is safer to stay silent because then nobody could critique you, but this is not faith. I want to speak up and sing songs and not worry anymore about standing up for the Father. I don’t want to stay silent about how much I love him. I want to jump for joy, I want to shout His praise, I want to be bold like a lioness. For far too long, I have stayed silent, trying to fit in with the crowd, when I am made to stand out. I have worried too much about how I will look, and I am ready to sing boldly and affectionately for my Father. I am ready to be radical for Him. Will it be easy? Probably not, but I am prepared to take one step at a time and use the voice He’s given me to praise His Holy name.
For far too long, I have stayed silent, trying to fit in with the crowd, when I am made to stand out.
I feel compelled to tell those who read this blog; That you don’t have to be gifted to sing a song or speak up for God. What matters is your obedience and your willingness to declare His praises. Will you join me and step out to use our voices for the Father? I am ready to live with full access to His kingdom and live life with people; conversing and loving on those around me.