When you hear the word testimony, what comes to your mind?
Some people might think of a courtroom and a trial where witnesses give their testimonies.
Some people might think of an advertisement with people sharing their experience with a certain product.
When it comes to "faith", testimonies are usually publicly spoken to an audience to confirm true conversion.
Unfortunately many Christians who share their testimony of the amazing, miraculous and even practical ways they came to Christ tend to leave their testimony on the shelf. This is a tendency we all have, we all want to be comfortable and then carry on with life as usual. Believing becomes more of a memory than a lifestyle.
In John 3:16
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life."
The verse talks about believing, and this verb tense in the original Greek text literally means to continue in believing and the following word "have" keeps the same element of "continue having eternal life." Without belief we cannot be connected to eternal life that is from Jesus.
Jesus talked about abiding in Him, comparing Himself to a vine. John 15:5
"I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."
Branches that are not connected to the source of the plant wither and die. Their life runs out, but those that stay connected stay alive.
Jesus is giving us a clear picture of how to stay alive spiritually and how believing in Him continually is how we are to stay connected and bare much fruit.
So what does this have to do with testimonies?
Well, if we are not bearing good spiritual fruit and not exercising our faith in the Kingdom of God, we may only have our conversion testimony. And that may be a powerful story but it is not meant to be the end. The apostle Paul had an awesome testimony about his encountering Jesus on the road to Damascus but he was adamant about pursuing the call and following the leading of the Holy Spirit.
1 Thessalonians 1:4,5 Acts 16:9
The words of the Old Testament speak of people building altars to The Lord as a testimony of the encounter with God. These altars were places of testimony, their physical presence existed to invoke a memory of the past.
Just a few examples.
Genesis 8:20- Noah
Exodus 17:15- Moses
Genesis 33:20 - Jacob
So when we abide, believing in Jesus' leading through the unction of the Holy Spirit, we are building up our testimony. Our stories of faith become a heritage for our children and a witness to the world that He lives in us. When our testimonies are shared they help shape the future leaders of tomorrow. So build them strong and make them bold. Make them a living testimony!
It is time for His disciples to build their testimonies on the Rock, as Jesus said in Luke 6:46
46“Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? 47As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like.48They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. 49But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation.
For times of trouble will come and a strong testimony will stand.
For it is written in Revelation 12:11
Be blessed and pursue the greater things that He has for you.