Acts 26:2-5, 12-18, 24-26
Javier Chavez, lead pastor
Amistad Cristiana International, Gainesville
There is no doubt that our testimony has a tremendous power before God, the enemy, and the world. Our testimony is in reality our life story and how God’s intervention in our story shaped the course of our lives. In fact, our testimony is so attractive when Christ is part of it, that we cannot stop telling the whole world who we were before and where we are today by God’s grace.
Our testimony presents us before God
In Job 1:8 God Himself testifies before Satan of the kind of life his servant Job had, “Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.” Job’s testimony was in reality his lifestyle – a lifestyle that made God so proud to the point that the Lord of the universe took the time to tell Satan, “that kind of man is my servant”.
We know the rest of the story and how the enemy touched almost every single area of Job’s life, family, and even health. In the middle of Job’s hardest testing, God once again gives testimony of the kind of man Job was: “Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil. And he still maintains his integrity, though you incited me against him to ruin him without any reason.”
A man maintained his integrity in the midst of a life God himself describes as “ruins.” That kind of enduring faith, not perfect but a persevering faith, becomes a powerful testimony that presents us before God.
Our testimony overcomes the enemy
In the middle of John’s revelation of the end times, he hears a loud voice in heaven giving testimony about a group of people who have overcome the evil one. This is what the voice says: “They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death” (Revelation 12:11).
It’s interesting to read that you can overcome the enemy not so much by your faith declarations or your charity actions. You overcome the enemy by the word of your testimony. Your testimony speaks for itself, my friend. It is your letter of presentation and recommendation. It is your best social media profile. If there is something the enemy knows you for, it is when in the middle of your temptations, financial difficulties, family situations, and personal challenges you hold fast to Christ and begin to get a hold of his marvelous and wonderful promises for your life.
I served for thirteen years of my life as a missionary along with my wife and four children. There were moments of extreme trials and tribulations, moments in which it would have been easier to leave all behind and resign the ministry. But the number of people that came to Christ simply by looking at our family’s reaction in moments of crisis gave them the assurance and hope that they also could trust in Christ even when the enemy attacks fiercely.
Our testimony offers proof to the world
Finally, the Apostle Paul, stands before king Agrippa and tells him his life story from the time he was a child until the very moment he was arrested. Legally it is called a legal defense, but for us it is a testimony. It’s the testimony of a man who used to be on the other side of the Gospel until the moment in which he had an encounter with Christ Himself and his life was completely changed forever.
In his defense Paul is honest to say, “But God has helped me to this very day; so, I stand here and testify to small and great alike.” (Acts 26:22). Conclusively, that is what a testimony is all about – to tell anybody (no matter socio-economic standing or racial and cultural differences) that God has helped us until this very day.
When I was growing up in Peru, there used to be testimony services. I still remember as a child growing up in my dad’s church, men and women of very poor conditions who lived in the marginal areas of the city, crying and leaping for joy when testifying how God had responded to their prayers. These people were not afraid of telling anyone that if God did it before, he can do it again. My friends, it’s just a matter of patience, faith, and much prayer.
Let us all begin this 2020 by offering anyone that comes our way our testimonies.
Happy New Year!