TRIBUTE: A VOICE FOR ALL GENERATIONS… THEN, NOW AND THE FUTURE
On January 15, 1929, a baby boy was born to Reverend Martin Luther King, Sr. and Alberta Williams King and given the name, Martin Luther King, Jr.
The timeliness of his arrival was in proportion with his mission and purpose predestined by God before the foundation of the world. Therefore, his growth and development into manhood and his advanced matriculation in education were necessary to meet the urgency of mankind’s need to hear what God had to say and wanted to do for generations to come.
To the unenlightened Dr. King was just an intelligent man with great oratorical skills who just wanted a public platform. Many honor him only for his fight against segregation and inequity in the Deep South. For many, observance of the holiday simply means recognizing a great civil rights leader. Yet, for some, he was a voice that condemned the ugliness of racism smeared in the faces of coloreds and Jews. To others, he was the voice of greatness— an icon to the rise of “black power.” To the degenerates who thrived on hatred and segregation, he was a dangerous threat to the kingdom of darkness that must be annihilated.
However, I know for me; he was ‘the voice of the Lord’ back then, now, and in the future! He was the voice of the Lord back then because segregation and injustice were worn like badges of honor, and celebrated with pride. Although public segregation is no longer, Dr. King’s message is the voice of the Lord now because the seeds of segregation are still being harvested in soils of ignorance, and injustice is a mockery. We see it acted out in the judicial system like the characters of Broadway productions. We see crimes of injustice committed by law enforcement agents, who are the very ones sworn to uphold the law and protect the citizens.
I was only sixteen years old when the news of his brutal assassination was announced at the small segregated school I attended in Louisiana. To this day, I recall the emotional upheaval this news brought throughout the school as well our small community of labeled underprivileged “coloreds.” In particular, I remember my own emotional outbursts. It was a ‘gut-wrenching’ queasiness I’d never felt before.
I believe the prophetic within me (not yet recognized or released) grieved for a truly prophetic voice silenced by a nation rebelling against God’s will for humanity; addicted to hatred and committing heinous acts of violence against its fellowmen. I didn’t know then, but I know now that the spirit of heaviness overshadowed me because the resounding effects of an audible voice inspired by the Holy Spirit would be silenced forever. This man was the voice of the Lord for all times!
I’ve read the history of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. several times. But each year, it becomes clearer that this man was born for such a time, even as this. His voice still echoes throughout the portals of time, and reminds us of the need for change—change that results in spiritually transformed hearts and minds—changed lives that conform to the standards of GOD ALMIGHTY, and attitudes that align with biblical principles and Christ’s command to love one another.
His messages, his courage, and boldness to speak out against the ills of society were in alignment with righteousness. However, his voice is being drowned out by the shouts of commercialization. And unless we continue on the path of righteousness, his message will be diluted with watered down religious rhetoric, and no power to bring about change.
Dr. King’s messages were focused on man’s greatest needs; and 50+ years later, the needs are still great— justice, peace, and equality. God created all men equal, in His image and His likeness. Yes, we’ve come a long way. The election of the first African-American man as president of the United States was a giant step on the path to progress, but we still have a long way to go until we all come into the knowledge of God’s will concerning justice and equality for all men. Since the election of Barack Obama, there has been no shortage of racial slurs, subliminal messages, innuendos, jokes, jesters, and outright disdain expressed regarding his leadership. These expressions of disdainful criticism reveal the secrets of a heart out of sync with the heart of God—discontented and disconnected. Therefore, in order to meet man’s greater needs for justice, peace and equality are to have a new heart experience with the God of love, peace, and righteousness.
Dr. King preached peace and nonviolence. This message is relevant today because man still longs for true love and spiritual peace. When the threat of war, violence and hatred dominate a society, peace and love become bywords, and God’s commands become grievous! God is love! Therefore, just as the need was great years ago when Dr. King began fighting the good fight of faith, it is even greater today. He preached peace because Christ paid the ultimate price for our peace—peace with God through faith in His Son Jesus Christ. When men are not at peace with God, there can be no peace with his fellow man. Consequently, wars, crimes, and violence are inevitable in a depraved society. But, there is hope because with God all things are possible.
In a message on Peace, in 1964, Dr. King said, “Sooner or later all the people of the world will have to discover a way to live together in peace and thereby transform this pending cosmic elegy into a creative psalm of brotherhood. I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality. This is why right temporarily defeated is stronger than evil triumphant.”1
Dr. King understood that Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth and the Life. Because Christ is our hope, he declared boldly and with tenacity, “Let freedom ring.” He understood that freedom is the reward of knowing Truth. Dr. King knew that when America embraces the Truth, we would be free at last.
He was confident in his mission and sincere in his message. He was not intimidated by men to conform to their systems of injustice, ungodly beliefs, and immoral values. He stood courageously in the face of opposition to deflect the darts of unrighteousness that penetrated the concrete walls of pride, hatred, and selfishness.
On nonconformity, in 1963, he said, “This hour in history needs a dedicated circle of transformed nonconformists. Dangerous passions of pride, hatred and selfishness are enthroned in our lives; truth lies prostrate on the rugged hills of nameless Calvaries. The saving of our world from pending doom will come, not through the complacent adjustment of the conforming majority, but through the creative maladjustment of a nonconforming minority.”2
Ultimately, Dr. King’s mountaintop experience afforded him a privilege few will have in their lifetime—to see the Promised Land. I believe seeing the Promised Land gave him the assurance, confidence, and hope that we all must live by daily—that God’s kingdom will come, and His will shall be done on Earth as it is in Heaven, although he wouldn’t live long enough to see it come to pass.
On April 3, 1968, Dr. King said, “Well, I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn’t matter with me now because I’ve been to the mountaintop. And I don’t mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people will get to the Promised Land. And I’m happy, tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.”3
I believe this spiritual encounter enabled Dr. King to release everything and everyone into the Master’s hand—his life, his family, his work, his country, and this world. He had answered the call of God on his life. He had done the will of God. He had lifted up his voice like a trumpet in Zion and sacrificed all for the Master. He had fought a good fight and finished his course.
He had presented his body as a living sacrifice. He was pressed on every side, and oftentimes felt forsaken; yet, he didn’t conform to this world. Instead, he was transformed by the renewing of his mind. He understood the good and acceptable and perfect will of God for his life; therefore, he proclaimed it to the world without compromise.
Today, the greatest honor we can bestow upon this man of God would be to surrender our lives to the will of God as he did without fear of man who can kill the body, but rather fearing Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell (Matt. 10:28). Today, the greatest honor we can bestow upon Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is to yield our members as instruments of righteousness for the Master’s use as he did—not as perfect beings, yet denying all for the Kingdom with the understanding that we are the righteousness of God in Christ.
I ask the question, often, “Lord, will there be another voice that will take up the cause of Your Kingdom without expectation of human rewards, accolades, and notoriety?
Who will be the voice of the Lord? Let it not be the voice of one man alone, but many that will be heard as one voice.
I pray, Let the Church (the Body of Christ) be the voice of the Lord. Though we are many members, let us declare in unison as one Body, “I am the voice of the Lord.”
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