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The Testimony Precedes Experience

I know I’m not alone in this, but I sometimes make poor decisions. I allow fear to influence my heart and thinking. Old wounds that haven’t completely healed get reopened when I feel most vulnerable. Whatever verbiage you use, it feels like you’re falling apart.

Each of us has our own area of struggle. While one deals with explosive anger another deals with lingering depression. One overeats to numb the pain while someone else chooses drugs or alcohol.

Broken places demand attention; and family history, culture, or any number of things will offer coping strategies. The problem, as we all know, is that they work until they don’t. Especially when the coping leads to sinful or wrong actions of some kind, the guilt and condemnation will crush you if you allow it room.

The enemy pounces on your vulnerability and feeds you lies that your wrong actions are who you really are and there’s no escaping. It’s certainly easy to say, “just don’t listen to the voices,” but when you know you blew it in some way, they are harder to ignore.

Recently, I found myself in a situation like this where I felt down on myself and condemnation shouted in my ears. It was inescapable. I tried to read the Bible. I prayed. For whatever reason, the accusations were hard to shake.

At one moment, however, it changed–quite suddenly actually.

I stopped, and with a flood of understanding, I said with somewhat bewildered realization, “That’s not my testimony.”

In our natural world, what you do–your actions–define you.

How others perceive you and how you perceive yourself has much to do with the choices you make. Certainly, God is concerned about the choices you make and we each will give an account, but He is not defining you by wrong actions you made 20 years ago or 20 seconds ago.

For You have heard my vows, O God;
You have given me the inheritance of those who fear Your name. –Psalm 61:5

Psalm 61 is a cry from David’s heart to be heard by God. He longs to experience the “rock that is higher than I” to gain perspective on his life and situation.

It’s there that he proclaims that God has heard his vows and given him an inheritance–a testimony. He is not receiving an identity of despair and condemnation. He has the testimony of those who fear His name.

Revelation says that the accuser has been thrown down and the saints overcome him by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony (Revelation 12:10-11). Jesus’ blood launches you into a new testimony as you are a new creation.

Truly, you overcome because He gave you a testimony of overcoming!

You may think that testimonies can only be found after you have a personal experience–after the fact. In reality, you have access to all Jesus purchased for you. That is your testimony! You are testifying of His finished work instead of your lack, limitations, or failures.

I’ve been trying this out over the last few days. If I feel fear creeping in about finances, I begin to thank God that my testimony is provision. If lustful thoughts want to occupy space, I take a breath and thank Him that my testimony is purity.

The application is endless because He has provided everything (2 Peter 1:3)!

Begin today: testify of His greatness. Yeah, you may not have done everything perfectly, but you have access to an eternal testimony opened by faith. Take hold of His promises and speak them boldly!

What are your thoughts on this? Do you ever find yourself bogged down by condemnation? What testimony do you need to grab onto today?


Side note: had a tremendous, blessed time with my in-laws over the past week of Thanksgiving and they left Monday evening which is why I’m only writing one post this week. I’ll be back on schedule next week for anyone who’s interested! 🙂

4 Comments

  1. I so needed these words today, Jason. Thank you, and glad you are back!
    Blessings!

    • That encourages my heart so much! I’m certainly glad to encourage myself, but knowing others are encouraged too is such a blessing. Glad to be back and thank you so much, Martha!

  2. I am with Martha, I needed these words today not because I have never heard them but it’s comforting to know I am not alone in this struggle. today I spent an hour with the pain therapist and she marvel how far I had come since I last seen her. I am out of the pit I was in and I owe it all to Jesus. I am His and HE is mine, oh how I love those words and the truth in them. Great post brother.

    • That’s amazing, Betty. Yeah, I know what you mean about hearing these things before. I’ve even written similar things like this previously, but God’s reminding me again so I’m thankful you are encouraged too! Continued healing and wholeness to your whole to you, Betty--body, soul, and spirit. Thank you so much.

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