When I am perturbed, confused, conflicted or frustrated hearing the amazing voice of God through His Word, a friend or especially His still small voice brings clarity, peace and hope.
No matter what my situation, God’s tone of voice is always calming and reassuring. Even when correcting me, He still speaks in a peaceful tone. I have heard Him be quite firm–but there is always hope embedded in it. That is one way I distinguish the difference between my voice and saran’s. We read Romans 8:1 So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. Unfortunately, it took me some time to learn this.
Many years ago we were pastoring in Oregon. A young man got upset with us and proceeded to spew some very hateful things toward us and our church. We tried to reason with him, but eventually Darryl walked out of the room. I, foolishly, stayed in the hope of maintaining the realtionship. I allowed him to continue injuring my soul and my spirit. I now know it was not loving to let him continue (oh the value of hindsight!). Somehow I let those condemning words enter my soul. I literally felt like I had been stabbed in the back and I let his words (which were really satan’s words) separate me from God’s love and acceptance.
For three days I walked around feeling like I was not liked, loved or received by God. It was a horrible experience. I couldn’t even put my feelings into words. Since I was nine years old I had always had Jesus as my friend and confident, but during those three days I felt cut off from my very source of help and hope. I carried my Bible around, but did not even know if the things written in it were still for me or not (the power of Satan”s words). Finally on the third day, the most amazing words entered my heart. Nothing can separate you from me. I started crying and rejoicing as the Lord Himself broke the power of those condemning words. Hope arose and I received the freedom I needed.
During those three days of darkeness, I prayed for forgiveness for the young man, for anything I possibly could have done. As I ponder his accusations, I realize now that there was no sin mentioned that we could admit or apologize to, no breaking of God’s law or heart–it was really just a misunderstanding of the how things were worked out. It should not have escalated to the manner it did, but somehow it did. Wiser, smarter, more experienced now I wouldn’t have let it run the course it did. What a blessing that 30 plus years later I heard from them. God is working in and through their lives still and we have all moved on from that experience so many years ago.
When we allow condemning words roar in our head it messes with our soul in so many negative ways. When I find myself persuaded that maybe I deserve the condemnation and emotional flagellation that comes from letting myself receive that condemnation, it damages not only myself, but others. We end up upsetting others because of the rejection it causes us to feel. Our tone can become rough and harsh.
It is my heart to reflect God’s tone when I speak to others. How He speaks to me. I admit I don’t always make it and my old nature complete with frustration and unfortunately misrepresent Him.
I believe the tone of our voice comes also from the meditations of our heart. (Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks Luke 6:45). As we meditate on Him, His character and His heart of love for us, we will become closer to His tone as well as His words.