In 1967, a group called the Tremeleos released a song called “Silence is Golden.” I remember listening to that song. I probably danced to it at a sock hop in my high school in Iowa. If we believe those words, it can be extremely dangerous. Silence can mean we are afraid to speak, it can mean we are conforming to what is being taught.
All throughout the Bible we are told to speak. Our salvation begins with a confession. Romans 10:9 tells us, “that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” A confession is something that we speak. Solomon told us that life and death are in the power of the tongue. Our words are powerful when they are spoken. They can produce life or death. The great Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” I want to give you three areas in which we cannot afford to be silent.
The first is the area of prayer. It is vitally important that we speak out in prayer. Jesus told us to ask and then we will receive. Asking is speaking out our requests to Him. I have heard people say, “If God already knows what I need, why do I need to ask?” The answer is simple. He told us to do it that way. If you want your needs met by God, you have to do it His way. John 16:24 says, “Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be made full.” I personally believe that He wants us to ask because it shows that we trust Him. You would not ask me for a million dollars because you know that I don’t have it yet. When we ask in prayer it shows that we know our source is God and we trust Him to give us whatever we ask. We cannot afford to be silent in our prayers. We need to be in a constant state of prayer. That is what Paul told us to do in 1 Thessalonians 5:17.
The next area that we need to be speaking is in our testimony. Did you know the concept of our testimony goes all the way back to the book of Exodus and the children of Israel? In Exodus 16, the Lord told Moses to take some manna and put it in a jar and that manna would be kept as a testimony for Israel. The rest of the manna spoiled overnight except on Friday night. The Lord considered the manna to be a testimony for generations. The ark was also called the ark of the testimony. In it was the manna, Aaron’s rod which had budded and the stone that contained the Ten Commandments.
There are two reasons that we need to speak our testimony. First, it is to remind us of what the Lord has done. I love to tell stories, especially stories of God’s faithfulness, of His healing power, His provision and of His protection. These testimonies not only strengthen others, but they strengthen me. It is important to our faith to recall and speak of the faithfulness of God. That is a big reason why God had authors of the Bible write things down. Because they did, we continue today, thousands of years later, speaking the stories or the testimonies of the Bible.
Another reason for speaking our testimony is for the unsaved to hear a real-life story from a person they have met and not from a book. When we say to someone this is what God has done for me, it carries a lot of power. They are hearing a living human talking about a real God that changes people, situations and lives. Your testimony is powerful. It is a powerful instrument that God has given you to speak to others. Paul said in 2 Timothy 1:8,” Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord or of me His prisoner but join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God.”
The last thing that I want to talk to you about is teaching. Everyone should be a teacher. I am not talking about an occupation or a calling but a responsibility to those younger than us. In many cultures around the world, they have at their foundation the teaching of the elders or fathers. This has caused their culture to continue on and on over many years.
The same is true of Jewish families that are serious about their faith. It is customary that on Friday evening the father takes his children and teaches them. One of the great travesties of our time is that we have allowed nonbelieving people to be the only voice of instruction in our children’s lives. We need to teach! We need to teach our children. The apostle Paul told Timothy to teach others so that they could teach others. We cannot afford to remain silent when it comes to teaching. We all have someone to teach, disciple and train in the faith.
I pray that this year you will begin to speak, to speak out in prayer, in your testimony and in teaching others.