My first experience of someone giving me a prophetic word came when I was at college. The course I had signed up for didn’t exist!!! I was feeling rather confused and lost, when my friend (who at that time I had only just met) who came from a charismatic church told me, rather hesitatingly, that she believed that the Lord wanted me to know that He was still the God who made a way through the water. That He would make a way where there was no way. This was a reference of course to the Red sea crossing.
I knew immediately that this was God speaking to me because I felt peaceful straight away, and sure enough, in just a few days a course had been sorted out for me and two other students, almost out of nowhere. Not only did that ‘word’ bring peace to me then but it has proven to be my testimony throughout my life. Whenever I have found myself in a situation where it would seem that there is no way forward with, metaphorically speaking, the Red sea in front of me and the Egyptians behind, the Holy Spirit reminds me that ‘my God is the God who makes a way where there is no way’.
I was at a meeting a few years ago when someone was teaching about how we should respond to testimony. I think we all know, if we are honest, that testimony can make us rejoice and praise the Lord or, if we are not careful, other peoples testimony can make us feel envy and jealousy. They can even make us feel left out by God, or negative about ourselves and our own levels of faith. This was good teaching on how to let someone’s testimony always provoke faith in your heart instead.
The illustration used was of a father with several children. He is with just one of them and they pass an ice cream van and he buys the child an ice cream. When he gets back with this child to the family, it’s no surprise that the other children will be quick to say, can I have one too. Now without pushing the picture too far, we can see that a good father will respond and the children will be confident that they too will get an ice cream.
‘The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophesy’, Revelation 19:10 and any testimony I hear is like seeing into the heart of my Heavenly Dad. If Father God has blessed one of my brothers or sisters, and I have a similar need, I can go to Him in faith, and in the best sense of the phrase say ‘me too’. The psalmist wrote ‘no good thing does He withhold from those whose walk is blameless’. This was his testimony before the cross, and now in Christ we have that confidence that we stand ‘blameless’ ourselves before our God. We must still recognise, of course, that as a good Father would, the Lord will choose wisely what He gives us and when.
Testimonies show us who God is and the kinds of things He does for His people. This is true of the many testimonies that we read in the Bible, all written for our encouragement and to build our faith in who God has been for His people. We hear about who He is and what He is doing today from contemporary testimonies, and so we can draw from all of these stories, and learn who He wants to be for us now and in the future. When we hear of, or read, a testimony let us just thank God with all our hearts for what He has done for someone else, this will then release our faith to ask for His blessing on us too.
Similarly when the Lord has done some miracle or good thing for us, we will of course give thanks to Him in our hearts, but we should also copy the psalmist who declares ‘ I will give you thanks in the great assembly; among the throngs of people I will praise you.’ Psalm 35;18. As we give our thanks, and our testimony, we bring glory to Jesus, and we will also be opening a door of faith for someone else too.
I love how Psalm 107 begins, ‘Give thanks to the Lord for He is good; His love endures forever. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so – those He has redeemed from the hand of the foe’. I always think of this as the ‘say so’ psalm. Sadly, for various reasons, we all need that encouragement to share testimony, perhaps it’s not part of our culture, but as we read on in Psalm 107 we can see the power in it. There is the repeated refrain ‘Let them give thanks to the Lord for His unfailing love and His wonderful deeds for men. Let them sacrifice thank offerings and tell of His works with joy,’ in verses 8,15,21,22,31 and 32.
Let us have a heart of thanksgiving for testimony and let us give our own thanks and testimony whenever we can, always remembering that testimony is about what the Lord has done and not how great we are and what amazing faith we have !!!!