I want to finish out my discussion on how our testimonies can encourage others to step out in the power and authority Christ has given us to effect change on the earth. I'm speaking of change in the sense of changed lives; lives that need to receive the message of what the Kingdom of God on earth looks like. And this "change" involves the power of the Holy Spirit to bring a pardon and forgiveness of sins to those who have been held captive by the lies of the Enemy [who whispers they don't deserve it]. It involves the power of the Holy Spirit to bring sight to the blind -- both those with physical blindness, as well as spiritual blindness to the truth of the Kingdom Gospel. This "change" also includes the power of the Holy Spirit to free those who have been oppressed by sins committed against them; those wounded by tragedy; and those who walk in false identities given to them by the devil. And finally, change can be effected when we share the good news of the acceptable year of the Lord (the day when salvation and the favor of God will abound upon all the earth for those who accept Jesus as their Redeemer). This is the change prophesied by Isaiah and spoken of by Jesus in Luke 4:18-19.
In the previous post, I presented Jeremy's testimony; one of hearing the Holy Spirit and responding in obedience to take a message of the redemptive love of Jesus to heal a hurting family. As I said in that post, it is clear to me that we have to find the balance between battling in spiritual warfare and proclaiming Christ's healing love. They are really two sides of the same coin, and when you are doing one, you are doing the other, and both reflect the power of the Holy Spirit to change a person's life.
Today, I want to share my dear friend, Terah's testimony. First, I want to say that when it comes to being steadfast and committed in battling the Enemy and his schemes, I want Terah by my side. She has been unflinching in battling for her marriage and her family; always relying on her identity as a Daughter of the King. Even when the devil has landed a well-placed fiery dart, she quickly recovers, and returns to her true identity. I think the secret to Terah's strong faith is that she was willing to examine her theology, and was willing to be discipled through a Bible study, where the Holy Spirit revealed God's truth. Then she was willing to accept those truths and walk out her salvation [in fear and trembling]. Now, together with her husband, Greg, [who is undergoing his own amazing redemptive transformation], Terah is growing in her spiritual maturity. As we all should do, this couple was willing to undergo some critical self-evaluation and then commit themselves to advancing the Kingdom that Scripture has revealed.
But before I let Terah tell you her story, I want to say that it is always amazing to me when I see the opportunities [to share the Kingdom Gospel] that God puts in front of us when we are willing to be obedient. Somehow, supernaturally, our hearts and spirits become both softened and more alert to hear the promptings of the Holy Spirit. That is what has happened in Terah's life. And I ask her forgiveness if I have the timeline of her testimony wrong, but I am sure that her heart and her commitment to serve others through the power of the Holy Spirit in her life will come through. Here's her story...
"I have been praying for awhile for an acquaintance of mine who had been in a long-term relationship, and had finally broken it off. My opportunities to minister to her just happened kind of organically. I was coming into contact with her through a series of meetings the residents of our county were convening regarding some concerns over government policies. I could tell that she was upset and having a difficult time, so I made sure she knew we were there to support her. But she remained heavy on my heart.
Shortly after one of these meetings, I received a prompting from the Holy Spirit and texted her that Jesus loved her and wanted her heart to be whole. She responded that she was struggling, and then she began to open up. I prayed over her, encouraging her to turn to Jesus and reminding her that her comfort would be found in Him. I then sent her a copy of The Full Armor of God: Defending Your Life From Satan's Schemes by Dr. Larry Richards". [My Note: This book has played a very important part in Terah's own spiritual transformation, and it is a book I highly recommend].
Terah continues: "This girl was doubting her own self-worth, and I wanted her to know that each of us has an important role to play in God's plan for mankind and the earth. So, I quoted her a sentence from the book that had spoken to my heart. I wanted her to know that she was important to God ... And through you, God will reveal something of Himself that will never be seen through anyone else. I then shared with her that one of Satan's primary schemes is to block our spiritual development by convincing us that we are worthless. And then I told her, 'You aren't! You were worth the death of God, Himself!'
I told her I knew how she felt! God wants to hold a full-length mirror in front of us to show us in all of our created and beloved beauty. But what is Satan's counter-move in this spiritual battle? To hold up a magnifying mirror to show some slight defect, and then we become distracted from the full-length redeemed image God provides. The devil's battle plan then proceeds to make us appear ugly to ourselves; to feel bad about ourselves; and to keep us from becoming all that God designed us [and assigned us] to be. I encouraged her to pray with all her might, pressing into Him, and I promised her that Greg and I would be with her every step of the way.
And then by the power of God and the Holy Spirit's ability to set up Divine appointments, within a few days, we passed her unloading hay on the highway. Both Greg and I felt the prompting to stop and pray over her, invoking her identity as a child of God, and the Daughter of the King. We pressed into Jesus on her behalf, trusting Him to renew her mind as to her new identity.
I have to say that I am amazed at these opportunities that Jesus and the Holy Spirit are presenting to Greg and me! And I see us both growing in our own identity, and our power and authority. It's as if the Holy Spirit is bringing people to us so that we can share our own testimonies of what He has done in our lives. For instance, a friend from college called Greg out of the blue to discuss his marital problems. Considering that our own marital issues are being healed by the power of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, it is a blessing to let Them work through us to heal another! I can only imagine the impact in the spiritual realm when my husband prayed a warfare prayer over this man's marriage, with authority!
And within this same time-frame, an acquaintance from these political meetings in our county called us in a panic. After feeling threatened for her participation, Greg was able to talk her off the ledge by walking her through an emotional healing with Jesus. By the power of the Holy Spirit she was able to imagine Jesus healing her emotions and fears, and letting Him speak into her. In the spirit, she could see herself kneeling at the feet of Jesus while He ministered to her, and then she responded out of her gratitude by washing His feet. What a beautiful picture of spiritual healing! Then Greg showed her how to put on her spiritual armor to stand up against all the schemes and the strategies and the deceptions of the devil. This woman has no need to fear the tactics of men when God is for her! It is such a privilege to share [with another] the power of the Holy Spirit, when we are willing to put on our armor and walk in the authority [given to us by Jesus] to overcome all the power of Satan. That's such a tremendous testimony of God's love for us!"
And we need to embrace the truth that the word of God (Jesus) is living inside of us in the form of the Holy Spirit; He is active and full of power -- whether to reveal a word from the heart of God to our heart, or to ask us to partner with Him in defeating a spiritual attack upon our souls and spirits. Whether we experience that power as Love or Warfare, it all serves the same purpose... to remind us that we belong to the Father, and that we are representatives of His Heavenly Kingdom while we are here on earth, commissioned to help set people free from the Kingdom of the god of this world. As heirs of that heavenly kingdom, we are to walk in obedience to our King!
When we realize that each Person of the Godhead committed Himself to seeing that we receive eternal life, and dedicated Himself to helping us walk in freedom while behind enemy lines, then it is critical that we testify to the Power that can change lives for eternity! But for our testimony to be convincing and persuasive, it must involve more than recitation of Scripture and adherence to rituals and tradition. We must walk in the Power of God that resides in us. Our presence in any circumstance must convey an atmosphere that is charged with His Presence and Power. We must be the conduit between Heaven and Earth, using our testimonies to transmit God's love to a hurting world.
I don't need to remind you that God doesn't need us to exhibit His power and love -- He could just whack any of us in the heart and change us if He wanted. And it is surely not our own clever abilities which allow us to minister to others, but the empowering Presence of the Holy Spirit within us who guides us and counsels us whether to give a word from the Father, or to employ a tactic on the spiritual battlefield. Either way, we will have a testimony to share from our hearts; hearts that have been transformed by the love of the Father and the power of the Spirit within us. If you have personally been changed, and know the love of the Father, ask the Holy Spirit to use you and your testimony to change the life of another human being. Let God be glorified through our obedience to Christ and the Holy Spirit!
Psalms 107:2-3 So, go ahead -- let everyone know [Jesus' faithful love never ends]! Tell the world how He broke through and delivered you from the power of darkness and has gathered us together from all over the world. He has set us free to be His very own! (Passion Translation)