What is your testimony?

‘… that which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim to you… to make your joy complete.’ (1 John 1:1-4 NIV)

When I say the ‘Word works’ it probably sounds like a cliché…. You know, like another Christian way of speaking. Like saying, ‘it is well’ or something similar.

But it isn’t… It’s more like me saying in the words of that beautiful song by Kurt Carr ‘I’ve seen Him do it’

It is me testifying of what I have seen with my eyes, looked at and touched with my hands…

Today I ask you a major question: ‘what is your testimony?’

For me, I testify that I am alive today, kept by His Word and His grace. I testify that in Christ Jesus I am the righteousness of God, not because of how good I have been or anything else I’ve done all week but because of what Christ did.

I testify that God is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him. You can’t ever out give Him, I guarantee you that no minute, and no resource you give Him is ever wasted. He just takes it and multiplies it.

I testify that the Lord is my helper, I refuse to fear anything. I testify that the Word of God word burns like fire and is like a mighty hammer that smashes all rocks in pieces. His Word has always worked for me, no matter how daunting the opposition.

I testify that many years ago, when I was sated with being physically sick I cried out to God asking Him to show me if it was possible to stay free from sickness, I testify that God showed me through His word that it was possible. I testify that the Word works in my body and I know it is possible for anyone to stay healthy once they apply the Word to their physical bodies;

I remember when some of my acquaintances teased me no end about my almost non-existent ‘dating’ life; they felt it weird that Friday nights I’d rather go home than hang out with the wrong company. They felt I was odd for not seeing their way of fun as the way to go; I testify that when the time was right God brought the man He had kept for me my way;

I testify that those same people came to me later to ask me how to get out of the messes their very vibrant dating lives got them into. I testify that they acknowledged eventually that the Word way was the way to go. Things were evidently different when you partnered with the Word.

I testify that sowing into God’s house pays off. I remember days when I looked foolish, I remember hearing about the first fruits offering early in my career life and making up my mind to abide by it no matter what other contrary popular opinion I heard. I testify that God has kept his part of the contract. God indeed is a rewarder.

I remember sponsoring others to go for camp meetings to bless their spirits as an intern (youth corper) in my home country. I remember doing it with joy, choosing to be a blessing to lives with my ‘meagre’ earnings. I testify that even when men forgot, God didn’t. He has blessed me beyond anything money can buy!

I testify that I have gone through hard spots, tough places but through them all I have learnt to trust in Jesus. God has come through for me every time, every single time. Sometimes at just the last minute when I thought I would surely drown He came in and showed He was there all along, making my faith muscles grow stronger.

I remember doctors reports He made mockery of, I remember him picking me out from among many others and giving me jobs when everyone said it was impossible, I remember nights I thought I had reached the end of my rope, my pillow soaked with tears, my mouth dry with no words left to say, and I remember the sweetness of His presence enveloping me in the way no one else can, I remember Him telling me, ‘don’t be afraid’

Precious moments…buttercupI testify with all my heart that God is good, I testify that truly a just man may fall 7 times but God will always, always, always lift him up.

How I remember those times, soiled by sin, broken, sure he would never forgive me. He didn’t just forgive me, He called me friend, and He called me royalty.

With tears in my eyes I remember when it looked like it was the end for me, when it looked like I had blown my last chance, what did He do? He stepped in, He made those foolish mistakes work out in my favour, things that swallowed others up He used to lift me higher.

How can anyone then say to me that it’s just a cliché? How can anyone then say to me that the Bible is just a storybook? How can anyone then say to me that I am taking this thing too seriously and I should go easy on saying, ‘the Word works’?

How can you say you don’t need to go the Word way to have any of the things I mentioned and more? Don’t you know that what He gives is beyond money? Don’t you know that this peace He gives, this priceless Presence in a crooked and perverse generation can’t be paid for with the money in all the bank reserves in the world?

Don’t you know that no matter what hard place you are in right now, no matter the ridicule you have faced, no matter how messed up your world looks right now you WILL rise again because ‘the Word works’

I have touched it, I have seen it with my eyes, this Word… this living Word…

I have seen Him do it.

I have seen the barren woman give birth to child; I have seen the broke and disgusted man lend to nations; I have seen the widow woman raise mighty seed; I have seen orphans kept and protected by God to become super stars in their generation… I have seen with my eyes, the one called the black sheep of his family rising to become the sought after one… I have seen what the Word can do… The word works. It really does.

So today I ask you, ‘What is your testimony?’ Take out time to write it down, write down things He has done for you, shout them from the roof top, remind yourself of them. And then LAUGH… Laugh because like Tye Tribett sang, ♫’if He did it before, He will do it again…’♫

Just because you are in a hard place, don’t forget. Don’t forget who you are and Whose you are… be patient, because as surely as you can see these prints before you THE WORD WORKS and You WILL testify… Yay!!!!

Posted in Comfort, Destiny, God's grace, Gratitude, His Presence, Praise, Purpose, The Name of Jesus, Trusting God for a baby, Waiting on God, Words of Encouragement | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

Flintstone

I had a dear lady walk in my office the other day and say firmly to me that she had told her sister to make sure she got pregnant before she got married. She was livid that she had waited to get married before taking in, and now it was so difficult for her to take in. ‘Sister’ she insisted, ‘if I had tried it before my wedding I would be pregnant now… Doing the right thing does not pay off please!’

Then just yesterday a dear friend of mine sent me a bbm message, ‘Ulu how long will you tell me ‘he lost you’ when a guy walks out of my life? Will I ever be happy? I am so scared about the future’

And so this morning while I sat still in that quiet place, in that place where my own doubts get dissolved, as I thought of things I had to do, higher ground to attain, I asked myself the big questions:

What is my proof that it is worth it?

What is my proof that I shouldn’t just throw in the towel and go the popular way?

I needed to be absolutely sure why. Because you see, those days will come.

Those days when you face so much opposition that you sit and ask, ‘Is it really working? I’ve prayed so hard about this, I’ve spoken the Word I know and things don’t seem to be changing’

Those days when you feel you have done all you know to do. Yet the bills are still piled up; yet you’ve seen proof yet again that you are not yet pregnant; yet another promotion list is out and your name is glaringly absent; yet another day has come and you don’t have a proper job to go to; yet another day just ended without your projected turnover; yet another month’s rent is due and you don’t even know where to get your gas money from let alone rent money, yet… yet… yet… yet…

151c074a37876d03d5115b6a6154a57eWhile I type, I have my earphones plugged in. After the last line, right on the money this song by Jesus Culture started playing:

♫ You stay the same through the ages
Your love never changes
There may be pain in the night
But joy comes in the morning

And when the oceans rage
I don’t have to be afraid
Because I know that You love me
Your love never fails
‘Cause You make all things work together for my good♬

You see, honestly, I don’t even know the specifics of your situation.

I don’t know how much you desire it, how much you have prayed, trusted, believed, declared. But there is one thing I do know:

There is NOTHING you are facing right now that is new, nothing that is ‘you-specific’, nothing that came into being just because of you. N-O-T-H-I-N-G.

So this morning after I asked those questions, I dropped my devotional and really started talking to myself.

I reminded myself that like a soldier positioned to guard a city gate, there’s no room for slumber. These are simply not the times to allow a brief moment of discouragement; these are not the times to allow lethargy or anything that seems like it take our minds off the Word.

God’s Word is true, and God’s word works EVERY-TIME, no matter the situation, the continent, the colour, the race… His Word works, always.

Sure, many oceans may be raging in your life right now; sure, the doctor’s report looks grimmer than death; sure in spite of how much you believed and prayed your loved one passed on to the other side… BUT all these things don’t change the fact that the One with whom we have to do, the One who spoke the Word we hold on to is dependable.

He stays the same through the ages; there may be pain now, things may look really uncomfortable, you were so sure you would get married or have your baby or get that promotion at work or any of those other things that may be trying to steal your joy right now. It didn’t happen like you thought but you simply can’t stop trusting God. Believe me you are not the first to trust God for something He guaranteed you is yours. And in all the cases we know of, He stood true to His Word. Why then should He change with you?

Remember Joseph, locked away in prison; his present hour reality a far cry from His God-given dreams. The issues he faced were simply an aberration from the picture God had shown him. Would it ever really happen the way God had shown him? Would his dreams ever come to be?

Oh, remember Mary… ‘Blessed are you among women’ the angel had told her. But as she wept inconsolably, watching each nail pierce her son’s hand. Watching the soldiers do unspeakable things to her son. As she watched him give up the ghost, the baby boy she had suckled, her dear child she had weaned and taught to speak, it must have been hard for her to reconcile the picture she had and the one in front of her. She certainly did not look blessed among women…

Remember Abraham walking around every day repeating names for himself and Sarah that God had given them. Names that literally made people think they were crazy. It was difficult enough being barren. But to have to say it daily to everyone’s hearing that you were not, that must have been the most painful part. Why not say Abram and Sara till it physically manifested? Why not do what people felt acceptable? This speaking consistently with God business was embarrassing…

So it may be with you now, you feel like quitting. You think you’ve prayed too much, you think it’s more fun ‘on the other side’ the other side of mediocrity, the other side of letting things just happen, the other side of chance, the comme ci, comme ça side where anything goes, the side that everyone seems to be on…

Therefore I set my face like flint,
confident that I’ll never regret this… (Isaiah 50:7 The MSG)

I smile when I read this, I smile to realise God saw into your situation and how you may think sticking with His word and His principles won’t pay you off in the end and you may start to regret… I smile to realise He had that recorded years ago before we even came on the scene because He knew how you may have all those questions you’ve rolled over in your mind like morsels of food these past days…

And so I want to remind you:

That your next door neighbour is not the yardstick.

That your colleague is not the yard stick.

That lady paying her bills by being all over the place is not your yardstick.

They may have even told you, ‘I want to take you somewhere, err he’s not a witchdoctor, God just gave him ‘special powers’, and he will give you that child you need. You’ve waited long enough’ and the option seems so tempting, after all others are doing it painlessly. It seems so tempting because you think you have stuck to the Word so long and nothing has happened. And so the short cut seems to be the way to go.

Can I remind you today that the only foundation that truly lasts is the foundation built on the Word?

Don’t, don’t, don’t, don’t settle for anything less.

I plead with you, be strong! Stay in the Word. SET YOUR FACE LIKE FLINT, be confident of this, you won’t regret it… You will testify; this isn’t going to end the way (in those times of panic) you’ve pictured it will end. It will end with you testifying of God’s faithfulness, it will end with you being proof that God is a rewarder of diligence.

Dig deeper, stand firmer, keep the word He has spoken to you about you (that your personal word) before your eyes. Say it out to yourself, keep it on your screen as you work, let it be before your eyes, on your dashboard, by your bedside, as your display image, as your status, continually playing in your ears, whichever way you choose.

Don’t waste precious time worrying or crying…

The word of God always works, it will work for you.

Posted in God's grace, Non fiction, Purpose, The Name of Jesus, Trusting God for a baby, Waiting on God, Words of Encouragement, Worship | Tagged , , | 9 Comments