Unless you've been entirely disconnected from the world, you may have heard of the mute challenge that's sweeping from city to city. But just in case you haven't, allow me to explain.
Throughout Beyoncé's "Renaissance" world tour, fans have taken one line from the song "Energy" to heart. When Beyoncé sings, "Look around, everybody on mute," the crowd actually falls silent (time.com).
My social media timeline has been flooded with numerous posts of people showing their ability to remain silent during the challenge. I even spotted a post from a few irate fans upset with others for not taking the challenge seriously. This challenge continues to ripple across social media, and each time I see one of my friends dressed in metallic clothes, I know their story will soon follow the notorious moment of silence.
Although I haven't attended the concert myself or listened to the song in its entirety, that one line echoes incessantly in my head. That's why, during a conversation with a friend about my doubts and fears, when she suggested that I needed to mute the voices of doubt in my mind, I instantly retorted, "Look around, everybody's on mute." We both erupted in laughter, and the conversation evolved into a profound Bible study moment.
Whatever you hear in your head often echoes from your mouth. And sometimes, you need to sit quietly to fully comprehend what God is doing in your life. Speaking of being on mute, let's discuss someone who might be considered the pioneer of the mute challenge: Zechariah. In the Gospel of Luke (Luke 1:5-25), Zechariah, the husband of Elizabeth and father of John the Baptist, was struck mute by the angel Gabriel after doubting the angel's announcement of John's imminent birth. Zechariah remained silent until John was born and he confirmed the child's name as John. He could only speak when it was time to confirm what God had already told him. Whew!!!
Let's examine Luke 1:18-20:
18 Zechariah asked the angel, "How can I be sure of this? I am an old man, and my wife is well along in years. 19 The angel said to him, "I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and deliver this good news to you. 20 And now, you will be silent and unable to speak until the day this happens because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their appointed time.
Zechariah's words were only a mirror of his negative thought. Even though the promise was destined to be fulfilled regardless of his thoughts or words, I imagine he needed to be silent to prevent altering the experiences of everyone else involved. Much like those defiant fans who scream during the mute challenge, ruining the moment for everyone. Sometimes our negative thoughts can do the same as we navigate our experiences with God. You may not realize it, but the way you speak in challenging moments can reshape the perspective of your children, or anyone in your inner circle. Perhaps they're observing how you respond to the promises in your life, so they can find the courage and confidence to embrace their own.
Let's be clear, I don't wish for any of us to be muted. However, I do believe we could do a better job of affirmatively speaking about who God says we are, rather than listing who we're not. We need to do a better job saying, "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength," instead of accepting this narrative of doubt, questioning, "How can God use me, why me…blah blah blah."
This week, we're preparing for another amazing TEA Party. I believe that God will do something big. Please keep us in your prayers as we mute the voices of doubt and prepare to open our ears to the sound of power. And in the words of Tabitha Brown, "Have a good day, and if you can't, don't you dare go messing up anybody else's."
Go ahead and go on mute until you can align your words with your promise.