August 2, 2019
There were a couple of situations this week that just grieved my spirit and I could not put my finger on why I felt so disappointed. Women who I know to be Christians were behaving in ways contrary to the women that I know them to be. Then early this morning God spoke “testimony” in my spirit.
If you’ve ever watched any type of crime show, you know the words of the oath that is taken before giving testimony: Do you pledge to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you, God? It made me wonder more about what it is to give a testimony.
When I was young in my faith, I won’t lie, when the leaders would ask if anyone had a testimony to give, I thought it meant that you have just one. Your testimony should be some long story with a climactic ending that should leave the listeners awed. So for many years, I sat silent and patiently waiting for God to give me my dramatic story to share. My salvation story wasn’t anything spectacular. Like a lot of kids, I came to know Jesus through Vacation Bible School and accepted the Lord with a bunch of my cousins one summer. I came to know Christ in a much more mature way after hearing God speak to me to join the faithful at my current church. Again, it was nothing spectacular….just a prompting from God that this was the place to grow.
As I grew, I learned that it’s not just a testimony but testimonies. Your testimonies are your unique experiences of how your relationship with God has changed your life. Revelation 12:11(TLB) says, “They defeated him by the blood of the Lamb and by their testimony; for they did not love their lives but laid them down for him.” Our testimonies are designed to help others come to repentance, be encouraged through adversity, and see hope for a different and better life through Christ.
Our testimonies are priceless. They are gifts from God. The same way we safeguard other valuables, we must safeguard our testimonies. I don’t mean safeguard as in lock them away and be afraid to give them. I mean safeguard in the sense that they must be untarnished…the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Does this mean we have to live perfect lives in order to give a testimony? Absolutely not. How many times have you learned a lesson from a perfect person? I know for me, I learn best from someone who has walked a similar road as I have. Timothy 1:8 (TLB) says, “Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God”. We need to share the whole truth, the good and the bad of it. Like with any good story, the power is always with the lesson at the end. It’s not so much the going through but the coming out.
God gives us these precious stories to share because He knows the impact of our testimony. When we give our testimony, it should be authentic. If our living contradicts the change that we say God had made in our lives, then is it the testimony we want to give? When our testimonies are inauthentic, they don’t have the impact and they lose the ability to help someone else as it was intended to do. So our testimonies must be protected at all costs.
Prayer: God, as you take us through trials and tests to build new testimonies in us, please seal the lesson in us. Embed the lesson so deep in our souls that it changes us from the inside out. Change our talk, change our walk, and change our thoughts. Help our actions to line up with our activities so that you alone get the glory. Let our testimonies be so impactful that those who are lost and hurting will yearn for you and seek you with haste. In Jesus Name. Amen.