• Lisa Betz

Intentional Sound


Last week we had a three day conference at our church and there was a lot of fantastic worship time. It was in one of these sessions that I felt the Lord direct me to place my hand on my throat as I sang. I felt my vocal chords moving strongly as I sang and I was reminded that when I was in school our choir teacher had us do the same thing. Later as I asked the Lord why He wanted me to do this I felt like He spoke and said that the vocal chords are a unique part of the body. You see all the other muscles and tissues in our body move and react due to nerve impulses. Think about this, do you have to take your hands and move your legs manually? If you have no physical impairment the answer to this is no. Your brain fires a nerve and communicates through the body to instigate the muscle to move. This all happens essentially without us being very aware of it. Surely we may think about our destination or the reason we want to move but we do not intentionally think through each reaction necessary to make the movement happen.

This is the opposite of when we use our vocal chords. In order to use these we must intend to do so. You don't randomly and suddenly just make sound, you have a thought and then you take a breath and by forcing it through the vocal chords you can make sound. We have to intend to do this. In addition, we must also combine that intention with skilled practice. This is the difference between making noise and making language that has meaning. When I was young we had a couple that were good friends of our family and they were both deaf. Forest, the husband, was born hearing but lost his hearing as a young child. His wife Eloise was born deaf. When we would be spending time with them,even though we knew how to sign, often Forest would also use his voice. He was hard to understand but if you were with him often enough you could make out the basics of words and what he was trying to say. Eloise also would try to use her voice but because she had no understanding of how to modulate her vocal chords her voice came out very shrill and did not resemble language at all. Forest had, as a child, gone through the same learning process we went through when it came to language and that memory of how to intentionally make sound stayed with him his whole life. Eloise did not have that opportunity. As I prayed this week about all these thoughts it occurred to me that this is not too dissimilar from how we must learn to train ourselves in what we say. You see we can choose to make noise/sound or we can intentionally choose to make language. I felt like God was saying that noise/sound is when we don't engage our faith with our words. It comes out, can be heard but doesn't benefit anything, and it doesn't communicate His love to others or His truth over our circumstances. We can choose to make intentional sound where we practice speaking and decreeing combined with our faith and we can impact the world.

When God created the world in Genesis, He did so by speaking things into existence. How powerful is it then to harness the power of speech? Genesis 1:26 says, Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So if we are made in His image should't we interact with the world around us in the same manner He would? Shouldn't we train ourselves to intentionally speak blessing and life into the lives of people who are lost and hurting? Let's be intentional and speak His goodness into the earth.


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