When you appear in a court of law and speak as a “witness”, you are asked to give your “testimony”. You pledge to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. If your testimony is all about what somebody else told you they saw or heard, then your testimony is rejected as hearsay. When you testify, your testimony only has merit and strength when you have witnessed it with your own eyes or ears.
As Christians, Followers of Jesus, we have seen God do amazing things in our lives. When we tell our stories of what God has done for us, then we are “witnessing” with people. We are “testifying” on behalf of God to them.
In the spirit realm, this is incredibly powerful and impactful. For example, I could try to persuade you with logic, or illustrations, or talk about philosophy, or doctrine, or theology. And after hours of talking at you, you might be further from God than you ever have been. Or you may come at me with all or any of those same things. And I could say, “I don’t know anything about that. But here’s what I do know. I had this need...I cried out to God...and this is what He did for me...”
“A person with experience is never at the mercy of a person with a theory.”- Dexter Yeager. The person you are speaking with cannot tell you that God did not do for you what you just said He did. That testimony just hovers there in the air. The person cannot unhear it and it has the power to challenge the way they think and feel about God.
Revelations 12:11, in talking about Satan, “the accuser of the brethren”, tells us three things that overcome (shut the mouth of) the accuser. These are spoken in one breath and carry equal power in the spirit realm. They are the following but not necessarily in this order: (1) the blood of The Lamb, (2) the willingness to die for your faith, and (3) the word of your testimony.
That’s right, hates it when we testify. A testimony spoken boldly, plainly, and from experience is according to Rev. 12:11 on par with the blood shed by Jesus and the sacrificial martyrdom of the Saints when it comes to overcoming Satan.
In the modern day church, designed to be a quick, pleasing, scheduled “experience” to consumer-minded clientele, there is less and less time or tolerance for testimonies. If they are even allowed, they are rushed, hindered, and only given by a select few.
But not with this church! We greatly value you and your testimony. We invite you to tell us the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Here is your chance to testify!
Coming from a broken family background, I was a lost teenage soul searching for acceptance and importance, love... Lots of temptations and troubles led me to some bad times. Turning to alcohol and the night life, I wasn't on a good path.
Even after I married young and had a child I was lost and couldn't get past the emptiness. A friend sparked up a conversation asking me what my beliefs were. I really didn't know how to answer because I really wasn't sure.
I decided to dig a little deeper to find out answers to questions that I never thought to ask. I worked with a minister at a factory. He was humble and easy to talk to. So one day during work I asked him the question of what it was to be a Christian. He had me make an appointment with him and his wife and I was blown away.
Something drastically changed in me. Things I had been doing looked different and I had an understanding of what I had been missing from my life. I quit my job and started being a more responsible wife and mother. As I dug deeper into Gods word the more my life change for the better. Things started to make sense. It was by no means easy, but the pain from the poor choices I had made started to dull and a better understanding of who I was and wanted to be became clearer.
Now...I'm still a work in progress, but aren't we all? Learning how to forgive past hurts and let go of what I used to be, moving on to new challenges. The Lord never said it would be easy, but He did promise He would never leave us or forsake us.
I am grateful for all the loving people I have in my life to help me in my journey to a better me.
I have found the people I hang with and the books I read have a profound impact on my life. So I must choose wisely.
Growing up through grade school I was always a 'good boy' and everyone's friend. I was hard working and reliable and loved to encourage and give advice. Honestly I am not much different even now. BUT there was a period in my life when all of that was slipping away. I was changing and I didn't know it. During my last two years of high school I suddenly decided that I was tired of being predictable and squeaky clean. So I set about "enjoying life"-so to speak. I started attending drinking parties and blacked out every time I would drink.
I declared that I was an atheist/agnostic. My reasoning was that God doesn't exist! BUT (IF) He did, He would have to prove Himself to me.
I grew more and more selfish, callous and lonely. I attended college in a school over 1500 miles from home in a place where the legal drinking age was 18 and you could move from bar to bar with open drinks. My drinking went from weekends to about every other day to every day. I was attending a Liberal Arts school. I found myself increasingly surrounded by people who proudly displayed lives lacking in morals, common sense, joy or loyalty. It seemed like all my friends were liars and back-stabbers and (let's just say, "loose" sexually). They all seemed opinionated, agitated and anti-anything that the majority was for.
As I looked around at WHO I had surrounded myself with ( my closest of friends), I was literally disgusted. Then one day someone told me a principle that opened my eyes and rocked my world. They said, "If you ever want to know how the rest of the world sees YOU, look at your five closest friends." They went on to say, "They will typically wear the same type of clothes as you- laugh at the same things- share the same opinions and interests. They will typically have about as much money as you and want the same things out of life as you".
When I heard that and RE-assessed my circle of friends, I became even MORE disgusted with who I had let them change ME into. I had become someone that "I" would never want to hang out with. Something had to change...NOW! I set about seeking out new friends who were already the kinds of people that I wanted to someday become. In time I found my way back to myself and, yes, even to the God I had so vehemently rejected.
I hope this encourages someone to evaluate who they are BY evaluating who their closest friends are and to be ready to make a change if they decide that change is necessary.