Your Story by Rick A Hughes
Everyone loves to hear a good story! A good story piques your interest, holds your attention, causes you to laugh or cry, paints you a mental picture, and allows you to easily exchange information. Many times the best way to get your point across is through a story. You have a personal story to share. It’s your testimony of how you came to know Jesus Christ and how He transformed your life. It’s the story of your personal New Birth experience. You must tell it because it’s your story of salvation and deliverance.
Unfortunately many Apostolic Pentecostals do not share their testimony, their faith, and their story anymore because they do not consider themselves Bible scholars. They have bought into the lie of the enemy that in order to be a witness you must be biblically educated. Surprisingly, God gave each of us a great tool for reaching people: our personal testimony. People may debate scripture all day long, but they cannot argue with a personal testimony. Skeptical people who are not interested in hearing the Bible quoted are usually open to listen to someone’s personal story. Jesus will lead us to people who share similar backgrounds, and then we must simply tell our story!
We agree Satan is powerless at stopping God from transforming lives; we are all living testimonies of God’s power. Obviously if Satan could stop God he already would have, but he cannot prohibit and restrain God’s power to save and deliver. Since Satan cannot stop God’s power, his only option is to discourage God’s people from sharing their testimony, to make them afraid of telling their story, and to weaken their faith to believe their story can help someone else.
The blind man Jesus healed in John chapter 9 was immediately called on the carpet in front of a hostile audience and asked to explain what happened. Note that he refused to enter into a theological debate with them and he steered clear of confrontation. Instead, he spoke from his personal experience and confidently said “One thing I know, whereas I was blind, now I see” (John 9:25). No one could argue with his testimony!
They had seen him begging and they knew who he was. Please remember Jesus said this man had been born blind so that the works of God could be made manifest in his life. God ‘custom made’ this blind man so he could witness in this manner to this group of people. Although he was biblically ignorant, he possessed a testimony and he shared it!
Apostle Paul was arguably the greatest scholar of the New Testament, and yet, everywhere Paul went he shared his testimony, his story. No matter whom the audience was, whether common folks, educated religious leaders, worldly philosophers, or kings and governors, Paul always recited his experience on the Road to Damascus and the conversion that followed. Paul knew that nothing was more powerful than his personal testimony!
You and I have a story to tell, a personal testimony to share. Satan is still trying to censure our story to keep it from gaining traction, because he knows about the power of our personal testimony. He understands that ‘a picture is worth a thousand words.’ So he continually tells us, “Don’t tell anyone what you used to be, don’t take off the mask and reveal your past life ‘before Christ.”
Your testimony, your story is the bridge between you and the sinner. God never wastes a hurt. Your past can be used as a catalyst to reach others. It is the bridge where you relate to others and they relate to you, after which you can ‘deliver the mail’, the message, the gospel of Jesus Christ!
Your testimony is powerful because it is unique; there are no others just like it. If you don’t tell it, no one will know! It is personal and easy to understand. You are the authority. It is difficult to argue with. People love to hear personal stories and they remember them. Stories build a relational bridge. In our post-modern world, your story may be your most effective witness. Share your testimony.