I was reminded today of one of the believers greatest treasures...one of our greatest weapons against depression, apathy, discouragement, and unbelief. One of the strongest tools for building up ourselves, or brothers and sisters and the entire church.
That secret weapon..that incredible tool is simply this...
The power of the word of our testimony.
How many times in scripture did the Lord admonish the children of Israel to remember...remember aloud...to each other and to their children, to rehearse what God had done, to tell and re tell the story...to paint His words and works on the door posts of their houses so that they might be reminded in their comings and in their goings, to build alters of remembrance. How many traditions do the Israelies have, even today that stem from the telling of God at work in their midst.
This is one of God's simplest yet greatest lessons that the church today gives very little attention to yet if practiced can build up not only ourselves but the body of Christ. I've seen this practice at work and boy does it work.
Think back to when you've had a mighty work of God in your life... what made it more real? ...the telling of it...
What about when you began to hear of the possibility that God might be bigger than you thought...might work the impossible? had done so for someone you knew or knew of?....
What happened in you when you began to hear of God's workings? Didn't faith rise up inside of you? Didn't you think to yourself...Yes, Amen!...I knew He was like that!...somewhere inside you really already knew He was greater than you had imagined..you only needed to hear the testimony of it to be encouraged and reminded.
There was a time when our church wanted to reach out to our neighborhood (we met in a house church setting)..to let them know that we weren't nuts, nor were we dangeous...:) we were just really serious about the Lord and having the church in our city. We invited people from all the churches we knew who were like us and we all met up in our neighborhood one Sat. morning. We had planned a weekend of meetings at the local highschool and had already invited the neighborhood through flyers, radio ads, etc. Now we took it to the streets. We prayed in the front yard of one of the saints then with banners and poster signs in hand we began marching down the streets of our neighborhood toward the highschool for our first meeting. There were probably about 100 of us and we sang as we went. It was a bright fall day with crispy air and the strength of numbers gives you courage so we sang loud and strong. Many of our neighbors waived as we passed by. It was a beautiful thing...right up until we got almost to the school...suddenly the police arrived...one of our neighbors had called them...and some of them came out on the street to yell at us and shout obscentities at us...but guess what? We had permits and had done everything rightly so the police proceeded to protect us rather than remove us...:) They escorted us into the highschool and advised our unruly neighbors to depart.
Later that day and on through the weekend different neighbors tentatively came into our meetings. They were able to see for themselves that we posed no threat to the neighborhood and actually served the same God many of them did.
Was anyone saved that weekend, you ask? Well not unless you count the brothers and sisters in the church there. The messages preached that weekend became the ground work for a deep move of God in that church. For years afterward the saints there and those who had joined us that day referred back to those meetings as a beginning reference point for an entire eyeopening journey in Christ. (the Lion and His Lioness)..and we had the added benefit of now being "public" in the community...no longer hidden but a light set on a hill. Personlly I will never forget the experience nor what God did that weekend in me, in my children, in my church family. It was deep, powerful, and lasting...and as long as those of us who were there tell the story...well ...you see my point?
This is just one testimony of God's amazing greatness...and I am encourged myself just hearing it again.
So I'm issuing a challenge to you...think back to some times that God has been faithful in your life...to some times when he has moved in you or your family or your situation...remember how good He was then or how miraculously He intervened. Now tell me about it. I don't want to hear about lepers in Africa being healed...I want to hear about something first hand. You can write it here or you can do a post of your own and drop me a line to let me know..but I'd love to see this practice reinstated in the church...the practice of His saints reminding themselves of Who God is, what He has done and just How faithful He really is.
Let us remember... Let us declare our Lord!
...and then let us tell it to our children's children and write it on the doorposts of our hearts!