Be a Voice for God

Featuring Paul Baloche Posted on February 1, 2010

Any of our voices is important only as it says what God is saying. “If any one speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God.” (1 Peter 4:11 NIV). Jesus said that He spoke to the world those things that He heard from the Father, and He did only those things that He saw the Father doing. Not seeing and hearing as well as Jesus did, we still, no doubt, say a lot of things on our own. But when we’re listening and watching very attentively, when we really do sense, see and hear something the Spirit is saying and then repeat it by means of our craft, we may find an astonishing difference in the way our work is received and used.

God didn’t stop speaking to men after the canon of Scripture was complete. While we certainly don’t equate the continuing “word of the Spirit” with the inspiration of the Scriptures, we do believe He speaks today by His Spirit through the Scriptures. None of these things we hear the Spirit saying to the church are new truths; they’ve been there in His Word all the time. It’s just that He’s currently drawing the church’s attention to them. He lays fresh emphasis on certain portions of His Word in different stages of the lives of individuals, congregations and the church at large. He tells His listening intercessors what to pray for. He gives visionaries new paradigms of ministry. He shows His pastors which pastures to lead His people into next.

Most of what we hear God saying comes through other voices: a concensus of what responsible Christian leaders at large are saying they are hearing from Him. Then, as we pray, we may hear God saying in our own spirits, maybe not in words but in certainties, “This is what I want you to say; study it and write it for the church to share through your music.”That’s when songwriting becomes prophetic.

You don’t have to have a special word from the Lord to write evangelistic or worship songs. But we do advise you to be alert for those special times when God lets you know He has something specific for you to say—now . . . on this subject . . . in this song or musical. It may come as you read His word or pray or meditate, or as you take your part in the life of the congregation. He isn’t speaking to you alone about things no one else is hearing. It’s precisely because others are listening too that they can say, “Why, that’s exactly what the Spirit of God has been saying to me. I’ve been looking for songs that express that message. Thank God you wrote that!”

On the other hand, it’s possible that God may sometimes lead you to write something few want to hear. A song calling for personal sacrifice may not be a runaway success in the marketplace. It’s been said that the great majority of Christian books sold have to do with personal happiness: how I can be successful and blessed—spiritually, financially and emotionally. (We’re not suggesting this is wrong—the great hero of faith George Mueller once said his first task each day was to get his soul happy, implying that only then could he be up to the tasks the Lord had for him.) And how many “hit” Christian songs do you know that call people to give, or to leave it all behind and go where God calls? Not all biblical prophets were received gladly by everyone either. Some were persecuted, but they delivered the word God gave them.  If you’re sure the Lord is leading you to write such a message, be obedient. God doesn’t hold us responsible for success, but for faithfulness.

This, then is the greatest secret we have to leave with you, whether you’re a preacher, a teacher, a songwriter or whatever God has called you to do:

Hear what the Holy Spirit is saying and let Him say it through you.


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