Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Our Testimony

In Daniel 4:1-3, King Nebuchadnezzar shares his words of acclamation to the Most High God with all “the peoples, nations and men of every language, who live in all the world.”  This acclamation precedes the king’s testimony of what happened to him and God’s deliverance, which becomes, as we study in our, day-one, lesson, a model for giving our very own testimonies.  

Presenting our testimony is not something that appeals to many Christians.  It represents a terrifying task for many and a seemingly impossible task for some.  However, as Christians, we are to be ready to give our testimony at a moment’s notice, and give it with pleasure, for the glory of God.  Like Isaiah 26:8 says, “Your name and renown are the desire of our hearts.”  Therefore, what a better way to bring fame and “renown” to the Most High God than by sharing what He has/is doing in our lives with those around us, in “our own sphere of influence.”  However, once again, we learn that our testimony has to be intentionally sculpted to be most effective.  Once again, it needs to be something we had thought about in advance; during our moments of clarity, so what comes out, when we share it, is that all the glory belongs to God, not to us.  Pride can take hold of our testimony in a way that when we are done presenting it, the person listening to it is so mesmerized and astonished about OUR accomplishments and our story, that he/she forgets who made those accomplishments possible.  If we don’t deliberately ask the Holy Spirit for the precise words we want to convey when giving our testimony, we might end up making it all about ourselves, leaving God in the background, behind a few trait phrases and clichés.  

Our swollen egos might show up as we describe either what we do or don’t do.  Like Beth Moore says:  “Most of us are tempted either by our performance, or by our abstinence,” meaning, that pride rears its ugly head in our “godly acts” when we begin to boast about all the good deeds and service we do; as well as in our acts of abstinence, when we boast about how good we are for not doing the disgusting things that other people do.  It is a fine line we must walk.  The line becomes wider, however, when we only boast in the Lord, as we are commanded, 1 Corinthians 1:31 “Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”  If we start, like King Nebuchadnezzar started, by giving a great acclamation to the Maker of the heavens and the earth; and constantly, throughout we continue to boast in the Lord, and in Him alone, our testimony will bring fame and renown to the One and Only. 

What greatest testimony than the one presented by a child of God who recognizes his/her own inability to save himself/herself and acknowledges that there is a need for a Savior and that there is only one who saves, one who gives life… “This is the testimony:  God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.  He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.”  1John 5:11-12

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