How and Why, We Should Testify!
“And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning (John 15:27 NIV).
Why should we testify? What is our true purpose? These answers can be seen in Acts 1:6-11:
Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”
He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.
They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”
Just as Jesus was taken up into the clouds, He will also someday come back to us on the clouds. Our Bridegroom will return for His Bride, for us. But, what should we be doing while we wait? The answer is seen within this passage. Before Jesus gives the Great Commission, literally within the same breath, He starts by telling us that we will never know when He is going to return. He then tells us to be His witnesses to the ends of the earth. The order of these statements is very important for they force us to focus on the what and not the when. No matter when our Bridegroom returns on the clouds, what will He find us doing? Well, it is clear that we shouldn’t be found simply looking up at the clouds, simply waiting. For, this is what the men dressed in white pointed out to Jesus’ disciples when they asked, “Why do you stand here looking into the sky?” They were pretty much saying to them, “Your Lord just told you to go and get busy, so why are you just standing around?”
Why should we testify? Because Jesus commanded us to tell others about Him and even promised to give us power through the Holy Spirit to do it. This is our true purpose: to know God and to make Him known.
We all have stories to tell. A testimony is simply seeing where the Lord is working in every moment of our lives and declaring it. It is experiencing Him and His manifesting presence and speaking about it in our own unique ways. God is always actively writing our stories for His glory. We just need to learn how to see it and declare it.
Testifying comes down to two simple steps. First, experience Jesus. See what He has done and is doing. Second, tell others about it. People may not come to a church service or other Christian event, but they will listen to someone share about what the Lord has done in their life. These kinds of interactions happened throughout the Bible and God wants them to still happen in our lives today.
In John 4 we see Jesus interact with a Samaritan woman at a well. After experiencing Jesus and interacting with Him, she testifies! John 4:28-30 says, “Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, ‘Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?’ They came out of the town and made their way toward him.” Then John 4:39 says, “Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony.” This woman experienced Jesus and then talked about it, and because of her testimony many came to believe in Jesus. In that moment her life became a bridge that led others to Christ.
Everywhere Jesus went He made testifiers. He pointed people to their true purpose: to know Him or to experience Him, and to make Him known. Another example is found in Mark 5. After freeing a man from demons, Jesus says to him in Mark 5:19, “Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.”
Two Steps to Testifying
1. Experience Jesus.
How do we do this?
First, pray. Say a prayer asking God to help you experience Him more, in new ways. Ask Him to reveal Himself to you and to help you to clearly see His hand in your life. No matter how seasoned you are in your walk with Jesus, there are always new ways to experience Him. Let Him reveal them to you.
Second, respond in faith. Be willing to attribute things that happen to you as God’s manifesting presence. God wants the glory, or credit, for what He does in your life. He doesn’t want you to attribute His blessings to chance or luck.
Third, talk, listen, and document. Talk with God. Be open and honest with Him and with yourself. Share your joys, victories, desires, frustrations, uncertainties, and heartaches with Him. Listen to what God puts on your heart and what He’s saying to you. Write down goals, prayers, dreams, biblical and spiritual insights and revelations, any verses that stick out to you as you read or that God places upon your heart.
Finally, live in expectation. Believe that God desires to and will move in your life because He created you to testify. He longs for you to experience Him in new ways, and in personal ways because you have a unique, personal relationship with Him. He has a story for you unique to you.
2. Tell others what He has done for you.
How do you do this?
Well, it isn’t just about written words. Not only did God create you to testify, but He also instilled within you the ability to do it in your own unique way. He gave each of us special gifts and talents. Although there is great power and importance to the written word, testimonies can come out in all sorts of ways.
It could be a scrapbook composed of things that remind you of God’s hand in your life. It could be a series of drawings or paintings that tell the story of your life with God. It could be songs of worship inspired by your life that God puts on your heart. Whatever your spiritual gift or talent is, whether writing, drawing, singing, etc., or a combination of them all, God wants to use it to tell your story, to tell the world that He is still alive and active through you in this world today. He wants to use your life to be a bridge that leads others to Jesus.
Here are just some amazing examples in the Bible of different ways to testify:
Psalms 105:1-2 – “Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done. Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts.”
Psalms 96:1 - “Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.”
1 Samuel 16: 23 – “Whenever the spirit from God came on Saul, David would take up his lyre and play. Then relief would come to Saul; he would feel better, and the evil spirit would leave him.”
2 Samuel 6: 14-15 – “Wearing a linen ephod, David was dancing before the Lord with all his might, while he and all Israel were bringing up the ark of the Lord with shouts and the sound of trumpets.”
Psalms 149:3-4 - Let them praise his name with dancing and make music to him with timbrel and harp. For the Lord takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with victory.
Works of the Hand
2 Chronicles 2:13-14 - “I am sending you Huram-Abi, a man of great skill, whose mother was from Dan and whose father was from Tyre. He is trained to work in gold and silver, bronze and iron, stone and wood, and with purple and blue and crimson yarn and fine linen. He is experienced in all kinds of engraving and can execute any design given to him. He will work with your skilled workers and with those of my lord, David your father.”
Exodus 24:4 - Moses then wrote down everything the Lord had said.
John 21:24 - This is the disciple who testifies to these things and who wrote them down. We know that his testimony is true.
One IMPORTANT Final Note!
Revelation 12:11 - They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony.
Not only does God use our testimonies to draw us closer to Him and to be a bridge that leads others to Him, but He uses them to defeat Satan. Our testimonies have the power to defeat the enemy, for when we spend time recalling all God has done for us, our testimonies become like a reservoir of faith, a spring of living water that we can tap into in order to move forward in whatever battle we face. Since our testimonies are our experience of Christ, the Word, the Word of our testimonies has great power. Power to give life, strength, and to defeat the enemy. Praise God!
So, let’s get busy friends finding your story, for God created you to testify, to shine like a star in this ever-darkening world that truly needs Jesus!