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Finding Your Voice (Devotion)

Finding Your Voice (Devotion)

By Joe Cameneti, Jr. on December 17, 2012

Every week, for several months now, millions and millions of Americans tune in to NBC for a talent show in search of “The Voice.” With shows like American Idol dominating the prime-time line up for over a decade now, you’d think we’d have grown tired of the concept. But just the opposite is true. We can’t seem to get enough!

Why is that? Why were 12.28 million viewers waiting with baited breath this September as we launched into a search for yet another voice in the already crowded landscape of pop culture?

I have a few guesses. Maybe it’s the allure of the bright lights, record labels and the likes of Cee Lo Green, Christina Aguilera and the rest of the star-studded judging panel. Maybe we’re just suckers for watching every day people like us rise from complete obscurity into the national eye. But maybe, just maybe it’s even more basic than that. Maybe we are drawn to The Voice because voices are created for that exact purpose – to draw us in.

Think about it. There are few things that stick with you longer than a voice. You could go months without hearing from one of your closest friends or family members and instantly identify them over the phone by a simple “Hello.”

You can hear the unique vocal signature in a scream, a whisper, a cough or hiccup. Voices are memorable. Moving. Custom built and creatively constructed. Although some are similar (typically family members), no two voices are the same. The shape of your skull and pallet combined with your vocal folds, all merge in a glorious symphony that is… you.

The sad part… In a world where we are so consumed with finding the next “voice,” many of us have failed to find our own. I thought I’d take a few moments and draw some spiritual comparisons out of this picture.

Growing Into Your Voice – I’ll never forget the horrible moments over the phone as a pre-pubescent boy. I’d answer our landline (remember those?), and one of my mom’s friends would say, “Hey Gina!” A somewhat awkward sequence would usually follow. “Oh, yeah… this is Joe.” To which they would reply, “Oh sweetie, I’m so sorry. It must be the connection.” Yeah right! I just hadn’t grown into my voice yet.

I dreamed of the day that I could hold the attention of the room with a deep, bravado voice like my dad’s. But, man was it awkward and frustrating in the meantime!

I think that’s a picture of what many of us go through in our pursuit of God’s calling. We want to step out into what God has for us, being a voice in our generation. But, for some of us, it’s just not time yet. We may even have something to say, but no one is ready to listen to us yet. Maturity hasn’t been reached, and our maturity is the motivating factor in people having an ear for what we have to say.

So, how do we reach maturity? How do we find our voice? I think the best way to find our voice is to find our Father’s.

Jesus’ statement in John 10:27 seems to point us in that direction, “My sheep listen to my voice. I know them and they follow me.” In other words, “Find your Father, find your voice!”

Losing Your Voice – Ever been in a conversation in a loud room and strained your voice in the process? Doesn't matter how meaningful, truthful or helpful your words were in those moments, if you stay in that atmosphere long enough, your voice will slowly diminish.

How many of us wonder why we’re losing our voice, and consequently, our influence, but refuse to remove ourselves from the noise and the chaos of the world around us? I know I’m guilty!

If we want our voices to truly resonate, environment is key.  

Be a Voice… not an Echo – A few years ago, our student pastor did a message series called “Voices and Echoes.” It always stuck with me. Which one are you?

Typically, the very first contestants to be booted on “The Voice” are the ones who sound like someone else. People are looking for originality. They don’t need you to echo what others have already said, cluttering the airspace of their heart. They need you to be you!

This is one of the most challenging balance acts in the body of Christ. On one hand, we want to be intentional about learning from those we respect. But we should never become so determined to sound like someone else, that we are reduced to merely an echo. In familiar terms, let’s not be David in Saul’s armor. Let’s take down the giants standing in front of us with the voice that God has given us.

So what voice has God given you? How can you use it and leverage it for His glory? I believe the enemy would love nothing more than to steal the voice God has given you. What are you going to do about it?

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