"You are the ones chosen by God," says 1 Peter 2:9 (MSG), "chosen to be God's instruments and speak out for him."
Reading these words, you may inwardly cry, "I want that! Pick me!" - or you may think you'd rather pass. If you're clamoring for opportunities to speak, you probably have a strong dose of one of the speaking gifts. If the words, "speak out," frighten you or just don't seem to apply to you, your strongest giftings may lie somewhere else. Don't run from Peter's announcement because you assume it's not for you.
Speaking gift or not, you have a voice. Be blessed to use it.
In a symphony, every instrument has a unique voice. The trumpet blasts. The drum beats. The silvery-sounding flute, the raucous saxophone, the mellow strings - all speak in a different way.
Elijah had a prophetic voice. He played trumpet. He played well because he put in the time to learn. He watched the conductor. He followed the score. When the instruments sang in chorus, Elijah blended. When the flutes were up, he waited and watched. When another trumpet had a solo, he didn't try to steal the show. When his turn came, he didn't hold back. With grace and clarity, he sounded each note.
When you joined God's family through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, you joined the symphony. He himself is training us, individually and together, "until we're all moving rhythmically and easily with each other, efficient and graceful in response to God's Son" (Eph. 4:13 MSG).
You have an instrument. You have a voice. Be blessed to stay before God as he teaches you. Be blessed to play your part.
If your voice is prophetic, be blessed with tempering to speak in love.
If you're an exhorter, be blessed with backbone to speak the truth.
If you're a teacher, be blessed not to settle for mechanical excellence but rather to play from your heart.
If your bent is mercy, God designed you for improv. So go ahead and let that sax sing. Play the unwritten notes - but stick to the God-breathed notes that beautifully interweave with all the other sounds.
If you're a leader, remember: God is the conductor. You play percussion. You sound the beat, but always by following the conductor's hands.
Servant, you may not produce a flashy sound, but it's foundational, like the bass. Find your voice.
Giver, ah how well you play the strings - the violin strings, the purse strings. Use your voice, not to manipulate, but to release songs of life.
Tap, tap, tap. The conductor has stepped to the podium. Whatever your gifting, it's time to stop looking around, thinking someone else will speak. Sit straight in your chair. Raise the instrument God has given you - and follow his lead. As one voice in a symphony he is creating, with skill and with gusto, contribute your part.
"But you are the ones chosen by God, chosen for the high calling of priestly work, chosen to be a holy people, God's instruments to do his work and speak out for him, to tell others of the night-and-day difference he made for you" (1 Peter 2:9 MSG).
Be blessed to speak boldly, in your unique voice.
Adapted from "The Elijah Blessing: An Undivided Heart," (c) 2012 Deborah P. Brunt. All rights reserved.