SHARING A TESTIMONY
Text: Acts 1:8
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses (testifiers) telling people about me everywhere…(NLT)
Listening to people share testimony (or their story) in church or Christian gatherings these days, you wonder whether the essence is to promote God/Christ or the devil…honestly!
Many pulpits and altars have been turned to a place of advertising the devil’s terrorist activities…in the name of “Testimony Time!”
It really makes me very sad…because I believe that every gathering in the name of Jesus, should be a platform to promote him and the power of his Word…and the manifest realities of what his death, his burial, his resurrection and ascension have purchased for all of humanity to freely enjoy here on earth…(salvation/deliverance from sin and satan, from death and the power of darkness, healing, divine protection, abundant life, etc…
People stand to share “testimony” and they go on and on painting gory pictures, and giving detailed accounts of what the devil has done…or what they suffered in the hands of the devil…and then they wrap it up with a few lines of “I just want to thank God for/ that…May his name be highly exalted.”
WHAT IS A TESTIMONY?
A testimony (in church or any gathering of God’s people) is an account or a personal experience of the effect or result of the effectual working of the power of God’s Word and Spirit (Read Mark 16:20).
Any testimony inspired by the Holy Spirit will always glorify Jesus and no one/nothing else…Yes! Read John 16:13-14.
So…a testifier is a witness…And if you look at our text (Acts 1:8), that is what Jesus said every Christian filled with the Holy Ghost will be for him everywhere we are found, anywhere we stand…
That is, every opportunity we are given to share testimony, we should talk about Christ…So that those who do not know him and what he can do, will know him, believe in him and be able to trust him to do the same for them…In him is everything any man will ever need in this life.
A lot of people have questions they want answers to…some have problems they want solutions to…others are in a dilemma they want a way out of…So they come to church…or honor an invitation to your program…
Now tell me, how can sharing a testimony of stories of woe…or that tells them more of what they have suffered or are suffering…(exalting the power of the devil more than that of our God and Father) put faith/hope in such a person’s heart to trust God for his/her deliverance, freedom or way out?
In fact, after such testimonies, the people are more full of fear and uncertainties…because even the things they didn’t know about the devil’s wickedness, your testimony has given them more information about (like details of your activities in the cult…or as an armed robber before you got born again)…
So some of them go from the service or meeting with their hearts and minds plagued with your gory stories of what the devil has done or used you to do…(the you that is now dead and crucified with Christ, by the way!).
Yet, there wasn’t much said about God and the power of his Word and his Spirit, to effectively counteract the negative information you passed down.
Why bring to the pulpit an account of an accident, plane crash, kidnapping, killings, or armed robbery that happened out there in the world, that the people didn’t know about, to depress their minds and stir up fear in their hearts…and then you go and sit down congratulating yourself that you have shared a testimony? Stop it!
Listen to me…If it is not what the Word of God you (or someone else) believed and put into practice has produced…or the fruits or blessings of the gospel of Christ…please, it’s not a testimony to share in church or any gathering of God’s people! (Read Colossians 1:6).
If we say our gathering is unto the Lord ( in church or anywhere), let’s sanctify the altar as a place from where he (God) speaks comfort, peace, healing, hope and faith to the people…
Let’s stop oppressing people with details of what the devil is doing, or what is happening out there in the world…instead of building them in faith and trust in God’s unfailing love, and the Word of his grace (Acts 20:32)…Let’s recover the pulpits back for Christ!
He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit is saying…in Jesus name!