As a military wife, I'm accustomed to life changing all the time. One minute my husband is set to deploy, the next he's staying. One week we're told we're moving to Hawaii, the next they're sending us to North Carolina. One text says he'll be home by six, the next says he won't be home until midnight.
Whenever our life changes, I find myself silenced. We move and my writing stops while I settle us into a new home and community. Or, I have to put all the kids to bed by myself after a day of homeschooling and parenting and the words do not come once the house is quiet. Or, I'm overwhelmed by a trial in my life and I can't find the words to encourage anyone else.
What is it for you? What leaves you silenced, unable to help others, or encourage a friend? What takes the breath out of your lungs and the words out of your mouth. What I'm really asking is this: what keeps you from sharing the Gospel with others?
I don't know the what to this question for you, but I know the who. I know exactly who is trying to keep you from sharing God's love. It's Satan. On one particularly defeated day, I realized Satan was trying to shut me up. It was time to fight back. For me, fighting back looks like writing a post to encourage others in their faith journey. For you, that probably looks like something totally different as we all share the Good News in unique ways.
God doesn't want us to be quiet. He's commanded us to share His love, no matter the season, the amount of sleep, the health issue you're battling, the challenge with your kid, the problem at your job, or the discord in your marriage. However, the enemy's goal is to destroy this plan. He works tirelessly to shut you up with the busyness and trials of your life. Here are five ways to avoid being silenced by Satan:
1. Pray for God to Reveal His Plan for You
"For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do" (Ephesians 2:10).
Ask God for wisdom on how to get your voice back. How does He want to use your voice for His Kingdom purposes during this season? Does He need you to encourage a friend in a time of loss? Does He need you to intentionally disciple your child? Does He need you to invest in your marriage? Or, maybe He needs you to seek Christian counseling before you're ready to speak again.
2. Identify Your Gifts
"We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully" (Romans 12:6-8).
The Lord has given us unique gifts and talents to help spread His message of love and hope. It's not an accident that you love to paint, or teach, or host others in your home, or have a generous heart. If you don't already know your spiritual gifts, ask your loved ones to point out your strengths. Read Discover Your God-Given Gifts for more information on this topic.
3.Obey God's Calling for You
"And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up" (Galatian 6:9).
Once you know your talent, get to it! Sometimes this is a matter of obedience instead of inspiration. I know that God has called me to write, but sometimes I can't seem to fit that into my job as a mom, homeschool teacher, and wife. All my energy is spent taking care of my family but I have to save some for this calling too. Are you willing to obey God's plan for your life even if you don't feel like it?
4. Memorize Scripture to Defeat Satan's Lies
"I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you"
When you realize Satan is trying to shut you up, turn to the Scriptures to fight back. Jesus did exactly that when the enemy tried to tempt him during his 40 days in the desert. We must be equipped with God's Word and ready to recite it when the temptation arises to be silent.
5. Confide in a Loved One and Ask for Prayer
"And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should." (Colossians 4:3-4).
One of my dear friends is also a writer and homeschool mom. We both share another (unmentioned) life situation that leaves us drained of energy and creativity. Thankfully, we can safely confide in one another and express our lack of time or motivation to write. We can empathize with each other, spur one another on, and lift each other up in prayer. Actually, that's why I'm writing this today. She called me recently to encourage me on a writing project and it was just what I needed to start typing again.
What is it that tends to leave you silent? Let's pray together!