Have you ever dreamed of starting a new business, stepping into a leadership role, or speaking in front of an audience, but fear holds you back? Fear has become a live-in bully that intimidates you into stop and be silent. God, however, wants to silence the voice of fear and release your voice of faith.
A Voice Trapped by Fear
For decades, fear paralyzed me from any form of expression—even after I became a Christian. It was a stronghold that plotted against me to keep me silent. I couldn’t share my faith, articulate my views, or lead others confidently.
I had to find my voice. I thought, Lord if you can make Balaam’s donkey talk, surely you can help me speak and share my thoughts and opinions. It was so bad that I couldn’t even return a damaged piece of merchandise because I’d have to have a face-to-face conversation with a salesperson to get my money back. I feared confrontation and rejection.
A Voice Waiting to Speak
My prayers were the beginning of a journey. God wanted to teach me how to use childlike faith to silence the fears that held me back. It was as if God was saying, Marisa, let me help you silence the voice of fear, and release your voice of faith.
Years later, I was one of 30,000 contestants who participated in a global speech competition. I won awards and came away as one of the top hundred speakers in the world. I had learned how to silence the voice of fear.
God transformed my fears into faith. Faith helped me (a stay-at-home mom, without a formal education, and afraid of public speaking) experience God-size living.
The Power of One Voice
Maybe you don’t want to speak to hundreds of people, but you want to share God’s message with those around you. That’s equally important and needed. Jesus spoke to individuals, small groups, and large crowds. His words evoked a response. But what made Jesus an effective communicator? Jesus listened to one voice—His Father’s voice. We need to do the same.
When we listen to one voice, it’s easier to silence the voice of fear. It’s a process of wading through the voices until we reach solid ground. Yes, you hear voices. No, you’re not crazy. They usually come from three different places. There’s an external voice, an internal voice, and God’s voice. Here are the three voices we need to recognize.
1. Recognize the External Voice
The world is full of opinions. Our minds absorb the news, information, attitudes, opinions, criticism, and alike that can influence our thinking. The bombardment is subtle but nevertheless real.
Day after day, we unconscionably accept layers of negative and often unbiblical opinions. The world wants us to conform, but God wants us to transform. It would serve us well to limit, or filter, the external voices. As we process the external voices and seek God’s purpose, we learn to silence the voice of fear.
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2 (NIV)
2. Recognize the Internal Voice
We struggle with the same internal voices that feed insecurity, insignificance, and fear of rejection. Unfortunately, what we think about becomes our master. We need to choose who we will serve.
The Book of Proverbs provides an example of a Godly woman. Truth be told, the woman in the 31st chapter made me feel incompetent. One day, I read it differently. Instead of looking at everything this woman accomplished, I noticed her character. She was trustworthy, wise, productive, nurturing, resourceful, compassionate, confident, secure, and respected. She reflected Jesus.
How do we follow the Proverbs 31 example?
We need to filter out the untruths in our inner voice and the lies that creep into our thoughts. We change what we think about, so Jesus becomes our master.
Instead of insecurity, we find freedom. Instead of insignificance, we find purpose. Instead of rejection, we find love. We learn to silence the voice of fear.
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Phil 4:8 (NIV)
3. Recognize God’s Voice
I am blessed to have both my daughter and granddaughter under our roof. Our little toddler, Audrey, is an independent, strong-willed thrill seeker.
Last winter, Audrey played in her room after her nap. Behind the closed door, we could hear her lively chatter as she played. Suddenly, the tranquility ended, “Mommy, I want out!”
Audrey’s shouts quickly turned into a desperate cry. Audrey had accidentally locked the door from the inside. She couldn’t turn the knob to unlock the door because of the childproof cover. As the situation escalated, my daughter started to get worried, “Mom, she’s locked in, and there’s no way to open the door!”
I used a lock pin made for such situations, but the release mechanism was blocked by the plastic cover. Audrey started to panic.
“Audrey, listen to Nana,” I gently instructed her.
“Nana, out!” Audrey repeated.
“It’s okay; I’m going to open the door.”
With childlike faith, she whimpered, “Okay, Nana.”
I quickly grabbed my toolbox and started dismantling the doorknob until I could reach the mechanism that unlocked the door. Audrey was free and safe in her mother’s arms.
Sometimes, we may feel spiritually trapped behind a locked door. We want out, but we panic. That’s when we need childlike faith to hear God’s voice. He’s standing on the other side of our fears ready to unlock our purpose. In the midst of the tension, He’s asking you an important question.
“…Do you believe that I am able to do this?” Matthew 9:28 (NIV)
When we say, “Yes, I trust you, Lord,” we acknowledge God’s voice on the other side of the door, and with childlike faith we find hope. We learn to silence the voice of fear.
Find Your Voice
God wants us, His beautiful dormant buds, to bloom and flourish. Together our voices can become a fragrant bouquet that fills the air with God’s truth.
It’s time to find your voice. Someone desperately needs to hear your unique message. Start your journey by wading through the voices until you reach solid ground. As you discern between the external voice, the internal voice, and God’s voice, He will help you silence the voice of fear and release your voice of faith.
Release Your Voice of Faith
God wants to encourage our hearts, and He wants us to encourage one another. There are times we need a plan–a practical application of God’s Word during fearful seasons.
In a recent radio interview, I shared concrete examples that may help you find your path to freedom in Jesus Christ. After listening to the radio interview, let me know what steps you plan to take, and how I can pray for you.
As found in Marisa Shadrick’s published article in Christian Women’s Voice