Knowing the Voice God Gave You
- Steve McPherson Contributing Writer, Songs4Worship.com
- 2003 24 Jan
Every human being has a unique voice that is specifically and intentionally designed by God. Even my father, who is profoundly deaf and is unable to communicate verbally, has a unique sounding voice. God created everything about us a particular way for a purpose.
The Word, in Psalm 139:14, refers to us as being fearfully and wonderfully made. The human body was not created on a production line, and it is not as beautiful and incredible as it is by chance or mistake. God gave every voice specific style, sound and characteristics, and we are given the ability to build on this amazing gift by stretching the abilities of our voices, but there is a core sound that I believe is strategically placed by God in every man and women.
Knowing what this is, is the key to being the most effective singer you can be. Your confidence is not in the fluctuating seasons of your voice, but in the God-given uniqueness that is within you. It is having a healthy and godly vocal identity based on what God created you to be.
Singers who come to this understanding possess the following characteristics:
- They always sing out of who they are. The most popular performers and communicators are those that the public can relate to. People love realism, and realism is what is needed in the church today. Singers who are simply being themselves when they sing are always received better by an audience or congregation. They may be skilled, but they soak their skills in who they are, in the context of their God-given personality and style. They may sing a song written by another person, but they always add their personal touch.
- They challenge themselves but never compare themselves to others. Comparing yourself to another singer is fruitless. Learning from other singers is very different. There is wisdom in gleaning from others so long as you remain true to who God has called you to be.
- They have healthier voices. Knowing your own voice, both its strengths and weaknesses causes you to know when to push it and when not to, and to be comfortable in that. When you are content with who you are in God, you sing with a free spirit, and there is no doubt in my mind that this affects your physical health.
- Their message is stronger. When you understand the source of your vocal identity, your message is clear. All singers have a message when they sing, whether they realize this or not. It is when we sing from a place of knowing God's voice in us that we allow this message to be free of striving or dishonestly.
- They defeat the power of fear. Nerves are natural, but the fear of not measuring up is a devastating device of the enemy. Full confidence in God will always squash the effects of fear. With this type of confidence, mistakes or bad performances are just lessons to be learnt, not storms that blow us off our God- given destiny.
- They're never manufactured by anything or anyone outside of God's word. Circumstance, fashions and trends should never be allowed to define who you are, nor should we allow people around us to define us. Kingdom singers should always gain their identity and image directly from the Word of God.
- They are the first to admit their weaknesses. A weakness is not a failing; it's an area of our lives that is simply under construction. Living this way requires a person to live beyond these weaknesses and build on God's ideal of who and what we are. For the singer, this means not focusing on what you can't sing or how you wish you sounded, but singing from a place of strength and confidence in the voice given to you, with an openness to build on areas of weakness. Our voices will always be incomplete works.
- They are 'long-haul' players. When you understand and accept God's design and purpose of your voice and your confidence is in the very fact that He gave you the voice you have, and not your outward performance of that gift, you are less prone to throw it in during a low season. I believe there is power in knowing and focusing on the peak level of the voice placed in you. If you know your peak level, then when you're not reaching it, it doesn't dismay you, but cause you to find the resources and means to bring yourself back to that peak level.
I struggled for many years as a singer, trying to be someone I was not created to be. I honestly thought that I needed to be anyone but me in order to be successful. It wasn't until God gave me the revelation, that my voice was specifically created and molded by God for me, that I started to see my vocal potential come to fruition. When I stopped striving to be like others and started the journey of discovering the voice and sound that God gave me, I entered a whole new realm of singing and ministry. The sense of contentment and peace that I discovered changed me forever.
Steve McPherson is a member of the Hillsong Worship Team at Hillsong Church in Sydney Australia and has sung on numerous recordings.