TESTIFY! CAN I GET A WITNESS?
Revelation 12:11 [NIV] They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony…
I don’t think any of us would question that we triumph by the blood of the Lamb. Without that cleansing blood, we know we would fail – remaining in our sins and estranged from the Father without hope of changing that. We triumph daily by that blood. Can I get an “amen?”
However, when a recent devotional I read* put the emphasis on “by the word of their testimony” I began to wonder about the idea that our own testimony has any part in triumphing over Satan.
To be sure, our personal triumph is linked to the blood of the Lamb. Perhaps, though, the triumph of the Body of Christ as a whole and as individual believers is also dependent upon the word of our testimony.
Let’s back up and look at verses 10 and 11 together to get a broader picture:
Revelation 12:10-11 [NIV] 10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: "Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Messiah. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. 11 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.”
To my thinking, both individual success and community success are lauded in these verses. We see both the triumph of the individual and the triumph of the all our brethren who’ve ever lived against our accuser. Again, the triumph of both the individual and the group seems to be tied to the word of our testimony as well as to the blood of Jesus.
So, I wonder, what part does a testimony have in the triumph over Satan? I am wandering into pure speculation here, but I hope you will wander along with me. The word translated testimony here can also be translated record, report or witness as well as testimony.
To be sure, our testimony is the witness to God’s saving grace and life-changing power that our faith-based, love-filled, people-serving lives create. However, I believe we should consider the power of telling our testimony, as well as living it.
Giving testimonies is a major part of church services for some church denominations. Members and guests testify or give a witness before the group of what God had done for them – perhaps how He saved them from a life of addiction or how they’d been miraculously healed, how God called a child, long prayed for, or opened a door for missionary work or even how they found the strength to endure a trial, even though God did not remove it. My belief is that this speaking of the great things God has done encourages all who hear it, including the one who experienced it. We know that the spoken word is powerful. Speaking your testimony of what God has done for you is a great way to use that power.
Also, as my devotional points out: if we don’t share our testimonies, “we rob God of the glory He deserves, and we hold out on those who need to hear the good news.”
Perhaps giving testimonies at church is not something that our church culture will allow. But think about this: How often do we ask for prayers at church or on Facebook and then neglect to announce or post praise when God responds?
Perhaps we fear we are bragging on ourselves when our prayers are dramatically answered, but that is not the case. When we tell what God has done for us we glorify God and give others hope. This is true when God answers by calming the storm or by helping us to endure it with peace – whether healing occurs or the faithful stay true right through a terrible health trial and await healing in the next life.
When God answers our prayers, we must give Him glory. When God answers our prayers, we owe it to our fellow believers to allow them to share in our praise report.
And that’s not all, the world around us, though they may think we are crazy, cannot help but be impacted by our testimonies as well. Have you ever shared your testimony, the story of how God has changed your life, with a non-believer? Young people in your congregation, who are just learning to stand on their own spiritual feet, could also benefit from hearing how God has answered our prayers and changed our lives. I think you’d be surprised at the positive reception.
Perhaps our congregations should consider some time for testimonies from time to time – if only in a more informal program rather that during services. Perhaps we need to consider having seasoned believers testify of God’s intervention in their lives to the young people in kid’s classes and teen classes.
For sure, we need to individually do a thorough job of sharing answered pray in praise reports at church or on Facebook or in our prayer emails. Many do, I know.
Would you share a testimony with me, dear sister? Please post it in the comments for this blog or attached to the blog post on Facebook or email me directly. I would welcome the opportunity to thank God for what He has done for you or through you – how He has shown His own glory in your answered prayers.
I welcome your thoughts, comments and questions. You can write me at Nancy@DynamicChristianMinistries.org. I’ve placed a few more scriptures about showing love below.
*Draw the Circle, by Mark Batterson, published by Zondervan (Day 32)