A couple of nights ago, I was on a phone call, conference style, while one person was leading prayer. Before we began, we each placed our phones on mute, so as not to disturb or distract from the person leading prayer. This was especially helpful for me, because whenever I get on the phone, Diamond decides she wants attention. She begins to yelp, moan, and sometimes even bark. So being on mute was ideal, at least for my household. Only moments in, my sister in Christ was praying as though our very lives depended upon it! It was powerful, and on my end, I began to affirm what she was praying and giving God the honor and glory He is due. As my sister in Christ came to a close on her prayer, she said, “Now let’s give God glory! Come off mute and give God glory!” The line rang with worship and praise and adoration to the most High God! We flooded the line for at least another 30 minutes, each of us experiencing both an individual and collective encounter with God. How beautiful the praises, the sounds of Hallelujah, Glory, and Blessed be God over the line. It was difficult for us to hang up, because we all knew that we’d been met at the point of our need.
Psalm 51:15 states, “O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.” Its just that simple. Its nearly the last day of January, the first month in 2017. Perhaps its been exactly as you’d hoped, or it may appear to be limited, or not much change since December. Yet, Psalm 51:15 does not extend a condition! No matter our situation, we must express our praise to our Creator! We must follow the protocol my sister in Christ provided and come off mute! Not only must we come off mute and give God his due, but we must come off mute against injustice, bigotry and hatred, and anything that is contrary to the fruit of the spirit. Galatians 5:22-23 further expresses, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
Yet the “law” and I use that loosely in our country is presenting itself in opposition to the commandment in Galatians 5. Mark 12:31 states, “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.” When we extend the fruit of the Spirit to our neighbors, it doesn’t manifest as confusion. Further, God is not the author of confusion, but of peace (I Corinthians 14:33), and his desire is for us to follow his example. What we are seeing through protest, is the demonstration of people coming off of mute! We cannot hide through fake expressions of theology and justify actions that are not reflective of the teachings of Christ while calling ourselves disciples. Romans 12:9 sums it up like this, “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.” Each of us, in our own little corner of our world have the ability and quite frankly, the responsibility to seek and affirm good. And if we are confused or limited in our thinking and understanding of what is good, we have been granted access to ask God to come off mute as well! Assume the posture that Eli told Samuel (1 Samuel 3:9) and say, “Speak Lord, your servant is listening!” John 16:13 states, “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.” When we seek God, with can expect that he will be found.
So, as we walk out this journey, let us be ever mindful that we are not walking by ourselves. He will never leave us nor forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6). That’s worth coming off mute for! You can’t be for equity while portions of the country are suffering. You can’t be pro life and be against particular individuals not having access to experience life in this country. And while others are learning to use their voice, or for that matter, have their voice taken away, it is up to us who still have the ability to speak, to not keep silent. It is not enough to just only give God glory for what is going well in our lives, but also, seek God for what is going wrong in the life of someone else. That’s how it works. Don’t believe me? As the ancestors would say, “keep on living.” Sooner or later, there will come a time whereby you may find yourself silenced and in need of someone to come off mute for you. So, let us pray, by all means, but also lend our voice, our actions, and our faith in the direction by which its needed. It is after all, our reasonable service.