~*~ As this posts, I will be up a beautiful mountain, praising God with over 100 other women. This is the workshop I will be leading for some of our wonderful ladies while gone on our retreat...I post it here in the hopes that it will touch your heart for Him today. ~*~
Would you be shocked if I told yo that nothing about who you are...
not a single part of it was a mistake?
That there are no "oops" anywhere within you?
There is nothing God sees that He wishes He had done differently...
however there are things within you that He wishes you would do differently.
God created us in beauty and for purpose (see Ps 139). He made no mistakes in our personalities or desires as He made us to be used for His glory and His power. What we see as weaknesses are actually strengths...and our enemy knows this, so he injects people and circumstances into our lives to influence our viewpoints on how we respond to the world. And once we believe that we are “bad”, we no longer believe we are loved or useable...we are out of the fight for His purposes because we have turned to focus on ourselves and all that we think we are missing.
So often, we can think “if only God had made me this way or that way”, “if only I wasn’t so stubborn, controlling, gullible or (fill in the blank)”, “I hate this about myself”. We can bash our hearts and our minds...the qualities that make us who we are. When we do this, we go against our Maker.
“But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? Shall what is formed say to Him who formed it ‘Why did You make me like this?’ Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?” Romans 9:20-21
The beginning of our testimonies are our personal acceptances of the person He made us to be. Not an over-inflated ego...not a deep despair...but a controlled realization that He made us as we are for a reason even when we still may not realize what those reasons are. Once we begin to move forward into this belief, our testimony for His glory begins.
Webster's defines testimony as:
the statement or declaration of a witness under oath or affirmation;
evidence in support of a fact or statement;
open declaration or profession, as of faith.
We are reminded in 2 Timothy: “So do not be afraid to testify about our Lord...”
We can share our testimony in meaningful ways with people without the hot spotlight or the large crowds or the fear of “doing it wrong”. How?
By the simple living out of our lives.
When we are called upon to act for God, two things happen. On the inside...we tremble, we fight and we doubt. On the outside, where people actually see what are doing...we act. That action may be counter to His call or it may be counter the wisdom of the world. It is the action that is seen by the world...it is the action that is stored up in the minds of those who are watching and it is the action that they will remember when they think of you...it is the action that is our testimony for Him.
What goes on in your mind when He calls to you is called relationship. What goes on in your external words and actions is called testimony. And once people know you are a Christian, you are always giving testimony to the strength of our God. The question to ponder is whether our testimony is for or against Him.
Let’s start with a few questions...I ask you to give these serious thought and, if possible, that you write them down and actually answer them.
Does the thought of sharing your testimony with others bother you? If so, why?
What are the things in your life that have made it hard to live? That have impacted you in a “negative” way?
What are the things in your life that have made life worth living? That have impacted you in a “positive” way?
What are some things that God asked you to do that have been hard for you? Things that you know were right but were very much outside your comfort zone?
What happened in those times when you knew you should do something but you didn’t? When you held back in spite of His calling you forward?
What happened in those times when you did these things anyway? When you stepped out in faith that He would catch you should you fall? When you went against your own “logic”?
Based on what you know about God from the Bible, how do you feel about Him?
Based on what you know about God from your own experiences, how do you feel about Him?
Whether or not you know it, by answering these questions, you just wrote out your testimony!! You just formed the basis for the understanding of why you believe what you do. It is these beliefs that are what are driving your actions in life.
The questions now are:
Is this the testimony that you want to give?
Is it everything you want it to be?
It is everything you think that He wants it to be?
Does it give God the glory and the thanks that He is due?I challenge you to take these answers to God and ask Him if this is the testimony He has planned for you...and for you to respond to what He is calling you do with it.
“I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have recieved.” Ephesians 4:1
Even from the mountaint top, I am looking up as always...