Psalms 145:4 – “One generation shall praise Your works to another,
And shall declare Your mighty acts.”
Psalms 78:4 – “We will not hide them from their descendants; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, his power, and the wonders he has done.”
Psalms 102:18 – “Let this be recorded for future generations, so that a people not yet born will praise the Lord.”
Psalms 22:30 – “Our children will also serve him. Future generations will hear about the wonders of the Lord.”
Ever since God’s promise to return Joe, my promised bridegroom, along with His calling for me to be there for Joe, “for a time such as this,” in ministry to him, I have always loved the story of Esther. It is a story that God has used mightily in my life, especially when it comes to understanding the power of a testimony. For God called Esther to shine, to be a vessel for His light. It was fitting then that her name actually meant “star." Her story is the only one in the Bible that does not mention either God or Jesus. Instead, she was the Star of her story, yet through her story we, without a doubt, see God. We clearly see His hand at work. We see how He orchestrated her life to save His people. Like Esther, God created us to be stars as well in our own stories, stories that He longs to use, like hers, to also save, for a time such as this.
God has always called His people to testify. In fact, 40 out of the 66 books in the Bible are named after people, other Stars in God’s ever-unfolding story. God has aways used His people to bring forth His Word. And I don’t know about you but I am so glad that they took the time to testify, to record their stories for future generations. Well, God’s call on our lives remains the same. We are next in line, a truth God truly revealed to me the day I leaned that my name also means “star.” From generation to generation, like them, every one of us has a unique story to tell. As it says in Acts 14:17, God has not left Himself without testimony, never has and never will. For, He is the Living Word, able to be experienced in real-time, and because of that, each of our lives are meant to be the continuation of His story. We, like Esther, and all that have gone before, need to continue to aid the next generation with our testimonies “so that a people not yet born will praise the LORD (Ps. 102:18b).”
Those that actually wrote the Bible were simply writing about themselves, or those they knew, experiencing God and Jesus, sometimes in real-time or at least within their lifetime. We see in the Book of Acts that the disciples started testifying to Jesus, which was simply the act of sharing their stories, their experiences of Jesus which were not that old. For people “took note that these men had been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13b). There were times when they referred to the Torah, or portions of the Old Testament, but usually this was in correlation with what they were sharing, to enhance their message, to align their testimonies with older ones, in order to bring even more proof and power to their witness. They very rarely simply quoted Old Testament Scripture in order to do the sole converting. Yet, are we not to follow in their example? Are we likewise testifying in real-time? Are we sharing our experiences of Jesus as they happen or even just years later? No. Most of us are solely trying to convert people by sharing only older stories, the testimonies of people like the disciples. However, what if we shared these stories in correlation with our own personal, real-time stories? What if we aligned our testimonies with older ones, in order to bring even more proof and power to our witness as well. Can you imagine the impact? For, if we are honest with ourselves, simply quoting Scripture doesn’t have the impact on non-Christians that it used to. But what if, along with sharing about the miracles of the Bible, we also begin sharing miracles of our own. What if along with sharing about their experiences of Christ, we also share ours. What if we have stories just like the disciples had, stories that wow a new generation as their stories wowed their onlookers of the day. Jesus is still alive. He is still moving in our midst. He is the Living Word and desires to still be experienced in real-time so that the world will know that we also have been with Jesus. Our voices have the power to bring Christ alive again to a world that desperately needs to know this truth.
God still longs to use us to save, to be His hands and feet and voice. He wants to use our lives and stories to be a bridge that leads others to Christ, just as He used the disciple’s stories and Esther’s story, etc. to be a bridge for us. For, when we share how God has transformed our lives, others are inspired to seek His love and grace forming new stories of their own, testimonies that will literally have the power to save. They hold this power because Jesus is the Word of our testimonies and when we experience Christ and then share these stories, He works through us to change lives. As is says in Revelation 12:11, we overcome the enemy by the blood of the Lamb and by the Word of our testimonies. It is all about Christ living in and through us, the Living Word.
If you haven’t gathered yet, a testimony is more than a conversion story, the story of how someone came to know Jesus. Although this story is important and should be shared, too many stories stop there, and thus sadly, so does many relationships with the Lord. Too many people truly stop experiencing Jesus once they come to know Him. They just go through the motions. In reality however, our story of conversion should simply be the starting off point (or story) to a lifetime of stories and experiences of Jesus that tell of how He is still moving in and through our lives. Personally, my conversion story isn’t very exciting. In fact, I used to think that I didn’t have a testimony and struggled with this for years. This alone is a testament to God, of how He is now using me to encourage others to testify. For, He went on to give me an amazing on-going testimony filled with stories that have nothing to do with my conversion, but simply a life filled with experiencing Him on a day-to-day basis through my personal relationship with Him.
In fact, God went on to fill my life with so many stories, even supernatural stories, that for years I was afraid to speak out and share them, mostly because no one else around me had such stories or at least shared them. But guess what? A new time in history, in His Story, lies before us, for a time such as this, a time when stories like mine will not be unique or strange. For God longs to write, always has. He longs to reveal to you as well that you are a Star in a unique story that can impact lives, a story that will reveal that God is still alive and moving in our midst, something this world desperately needs now more than ever, especially as darker times unfold.
So, let me help you. First, I have been capturing my testimony for close to 20 years now. Not only can I share different methods on how to do this and on how to get started, but I can testify to how this journey and discipline has truly changed my life. Second, let’s talk about how testifying takes many different forms. It isn’t just about written words but covers all of the God-given talents out there. The best example we have is King David. Most of the Psalms are in fact his testimony and even though we read them, they were actually songs. So, go ahead, testify through music, art, dance, you name it. Finally, let’s break down barriers together, especially the barrier of fear, and learn how to share our testimonies together. It can be scary to share your story, or your God-given talent, for Satan wants us to stay quiet, fearful, and thus hidden away. But it is time to rise above, to no longer keep our lights hidden under that bushel. Instead, it is time, like Esther, to rise and shine, to be that city on a hill. So, let’s shine Stars – Shine! Let’s together shine the light of Jesus Christ for the world to see that we might save as many as possible. Let us join our testimonies with those that have gone before us in order to form a bridge that everyone, even the hardest of hearts, will be wooed to cross over.