Thursday, October 1, 2009

What's your story?

"And they have defeated him by the blood of the Lamb and by their testimony." (Rev. 12:11)
I've been thinking about this verse a lot lately and wondering why on earth the second part of it never made a bigger impression on me before. The "they" in this verse is "our brothers and sisters" and the "him" is "the one who accuses them". Who doesn't want to defeat him?? According to this verse he is defeated by "the blood of the Lamb", that's the sacrifice of Jesus on our behalf, and "by their testimony", that's what we say about Him (Jesus). I checked it out to make sure that "testimony" means what I think it does and it means a testifying, a recounting of what's happened, a witness, what one says before a judge.

So, what's your testimony? What are you saying about the power of God in your life? Are you saying anything? What you
say has the power to defeat the enemy! And I'm finding it to be true! As I'm asking people to tell me their stories of what God has done in their lives and they tell me, I get really excited. My faith gets a boost. I'm encouraged to believe that God can do the same things in my life. I'm inspired to believe for more!! The power of the enemy to discourage me is lessened. It's amazing!

Psalm 78 starts off with instructions to tell our children about the "glorious deeds of the Lord" and they will tell their children so that each generation should "set its hope anew on God, not forgetting his glorious commands" and then they won't be " stubborn, rebellious and unfaithful, refusing to give their hearts to God." That's pretty powerful stuff!! Who doesn't want that for their kids? The Psalm then tells about the warriors of Ephraim:

"...though armed with bows, turned their backs and fled on the day of battle. They didn't keep God's covenant and refused to live by his instructions. They forgot what he had done--the great wonders he had shown them."

The next sixty verses recount a testimony of what God had done up until then--amazing miracles. These guys from Ephraim, these warriors who were fully armed, fled when confronted by the enemy because they forgot what God had done. If they had remembered, they wouldn't have been afraid, and the would have defeated their enemy

A few weeks ago our youth pastor talked about being aware that we are part of
God's Story. Our focus has to be on Him. We need to be aware of Him. He does lots of stuff that goes unnoticed unless you're looking for Him to show up in your situation. The important part of a testimony is in the hearing of what God has done! It's about HIM not us.

Everybody loves hearing stories of conversions and healings--we need to hear of God's great power. But don't think your testimony isn't worth sharing because it's not that dramatic. Were you discouraged, weary, afraid, or lonely and then you received an awareness of God's love and care for you?? That's a story you need to tell! I've heard it said that lots of people believe there is a God, they just don't know if He cares. Your story has the power to encourage others that God is not only powerful, but incredibly intimate.

I'd like to encourage you to be bold and to take the leap to change the conversation from the weather to what God has done. Ask your friends and your family about their awareness of God's presence in their day. Share about your "little moments" around the dinner table when your children can hear. It has the power to overcome and defeat the accuser. Let's do it!

1 comment:

  1. So here's my testimony: You may know I have been having a great conversation with an atheist. We have gone back and forth over some debate style questions he has. Well here is the rest of the beginning of the story. I didn't want to debate him. I felt afraid and timid. I felt tired. I would have rather ignored this atheist's challenge. But, people prayed and God answered. I sat down and felt the Holy Spirit speaking through me. I felt strengthened and renewed. Then I got your email about praying for me, and I knew God was moving. Thanks for your prayer, and praise God that He answered that prayer. The conversation continues...

    Pastor Greg