If God didn't care about the quality of life while we live on the earth then all of Jesus' miracles would have been foolish. God does care. He is active in our lives. Jesus didn't comfort the blind man by telling him how great it will be when he finally gets to heaven and he can see. Or the woman with the issue of blood, that her suffering and isolation will be over when she gets to heaven. No, Jesus intervened. He lived and taught that life was to be influenced by heaven here and now, not just later! Testimonies of God's influence on our lives reveal His love and kindness. Today I want to share 5 reasons why testimonies are important!
1) Testimonies are to give counsel to us. Psalm 119:24 says, "Your testimonies are my delight and my counselors". Every day there are situations that arise requiring us to make decisions. We need to have our hearts directed and focused on God. What is He doing? What is it God has done in our past? What can we draw on from HIs character and how He has shown Himself faithful in our life? We are asking God to do it again! "I have more understanding than all my teachers, for your testimonies are my meditation," Psalm 119:99.
2) Testimonies reveal the nature of God. They anchor our thinking with heaven's perspective. Testimonies remind us that God is good. God is love. God is kind. God is for us not against us. God is healer. God is provider. God is the miracle-working God. God pursues. God redeems. God saves. We see His nature and character at work in testimonies.
3) Testimonies are to be remembered. Each generation is privileged to build upon the previous one. Deuteronomy 4:9, "Only be careful and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them". REMEMBER was a word that God wanted to seal in the minds and hearts of His people, Israel. The testimonies of God were to be their counselors. Israel's success was connected to what they thought about and what they talked about. They forgot the works and wonders of God and were led into unbelief. By the book of Judges, we read, "After that whole generation had been gathered to their ancestors, another generation grew up who neither knew the Lord nor what He had done for Israel," Judges 2:10. What? How can that be? .Remembering is part of our heritage. We are to pass on what we have seen and heard, how God has worked in our lives and our family.
4) Testimonies keep us encouraged, aware & expectant. They raise the watermark of faith. Testimonies speak to "This is our God. This is what He is like. This is what He is doing..." Last week I substitute taught in a 4th grade classroom (at a Christian Elementary school) and we had a little time with nothing planned, so I began to ask the kids if any of them have a testimony to share. How have they seen God at work in their lives? Before I could get the words out of my mouth, hands shot up all over the classroom. The kids took turns sharing how God's miraculous power had been seen in their lives or someone they know. What happened while each shared? The faith level for expectation rose. The watermark was a little higher for what God could do. If He did it once, He wants to do it again!
5) Testimonies build an agreement with the Spirit of God in faith. Whatever we agree with will fill our thoughts and mouths and what we will release in the atmosphere all around us. Testimonies fill our minds with what God is doing so we can speak and believe for greater things.
I will conclude today with a prophetic cry from a great preacher, Charles Spurgeon. He spoke this in 1859. "When people hear about what God used to do, one of the things they say is: 'Oh that was a very long while ago'. I thought it was God that did it. Has God changed? Is He not an immutable God, the same yesterday, today and forever? Does not that furnish an argument to prove that what God has done at one time He can do at another? Nay, I think I may push it a little further, and say what He has done once, is a prophecy of what He intends to do again...Whatever God has done is to be looked upon as a precedent. Let us with earnestness seek that God would restore to us the faith of the men of old, that we may richly enjoy His grace as in the days of old."