Living Testimony, we hear that all the time. At one point I wondered about the significance of those two words. They seem just two words that define themselves. You are alive and a testimony is a sworn statement. You have all you need for a living testimony. For a Christian is is much more than that because it is our proof of God’s change. It is how we show the world that our God is real, awesome and loves us no matter the circumstance. It is a two worded phrase that has a personal meaning and a public one. Let’s talk about the personal first.
Ephesians 2:1-6 tells us how we have been dead in our sins and made alive in Christ. This is intensely personal because without Jesus we would be dead to our Father. Sure, we have seen someone say “You’re dead to me” in a movie and even cruel people have said it in life but to be permanently separated from your Father? It’s terrifying. It’s something we all live with until we have conviction to change. It doesn’t matter if you grew up in church, are a good person but not religious or even a murderer, when you become convicted there is a movement in you. The Holy Spirit can change the heart of men in an instant but, you have to want it. God provides our salvation, Jesus opened the way with his death and the Holy Spirit guides you to the Father when you are ready to live. Your salvation is secure in Christ once you do believe. But to be living…that is the change that drives you to chase God every day. His warmth, his love, his gloriously blinding face. Living things need light, Jesus is the light of the world but you still have to go to him for that life. Ultimately the term living for a Christian is their life in Christ and not the scientific definition we use to describe something that is living or not. (Romans 6:23)
[su_pullquote align=”right”]…your testimony does not stop at your salvation but is the beginning…[/su_pullquote]
Testimony is your witness of God’s movement in your life. I know I fail at being a witness sometimes, it’s okay because I am not perfect, but I should do better. We should ask ourselves if our testimony is the public or outward reflection we want people to think when they think of a Christian. Testimony is not just about how you came back to God but should include your daily work. Our seasons may be joyous or they may be downtrodden but if our testimony is putting everything through Jesus then what have we to fear? Nothing. As Christians we should be helping those less fortunate so that we are a witness for Christ. Helping that homeless man get food is sharing your testimony and a chance to share more. Spending your evening with your significant other doing devotionals together is a great example of how you mutually share your testimony. If Paul can share his testimony in front of a king while facing potential death then we can surely share ours by giving someone a sandwich.
I won’t ever claim that I am a better person, Christian or otherwise, than anyone else so this is my personal definition of living testimony. Your living testimony is the personal knowledge that Jesus Christ is the son of God who was slain so that we may be brought out of the death (eternal separation from God) that sin guarantees us. It is the public desire that we share our life changing story with others not only in our conviction to change, our return to God-first living but in our daily interactions with every child of God be they Christian or not. If a true change has come over you then it doesn’t matter so much in how you got to where you are but in how God is putting you on to a path to touching people and being a disciple of his grace and unyielding love.
Cultivating a Living Testimony
Defining what we believe is a living testimony is (as G.I. Joe said) only half the battle. How can we cultivate this testimony to be something we do every day? The easiest and also hardest idea when you make this commitment to share your testimony daily is mindfulness. It is so easy to forget and wander. Joseph and Daniel both were dream interpreters but they were also mindful In many instances where they were giving testimony before foreign kings by interpreting dreams (Daniel 2:19-28) and ensuring God was given the glory and not themselves.
I don’t know about you but I want that. I want God to have everything because once we give it all and are no longer encumbered by our own doubts and fears we open ourselves up to be the vessel he intended us to be. I use to and sometimes still do want to control every moving part of a situation and it just isn’t possible. Every day you cultivate a living testimony and there are so many ways you can do that.
I think that if we remember that your testimony doesn’t stop at your salvation but is the beginning and that to grow that testimony we need to chase God and have hunger for his word. Pray constantly and nurture others. Obey God’s truth and be mindful. If we remember those things then we know that we are giving God a great living testimony and that when our light fades and we are taken home then we have assurance that he will tell us that we have made him proud. We have pleased our Father.