Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Defeat the Devil - Share Your Story

His response was unexpected. A man willing to say the hard things to begin a God ordained transformation process in my life. He was "Jesus with skin on." 

It was 2001 and I had been following Christ for a little over a year. After a recent move to Georgia I had found and joined a local church. Within a few months, I was asked to give my testimony, which led to sharing my testimony at The Atlanta Union Mission.

A kind, older man named Richard drove me to Atlanta the night I shared my testimony. God's goodness overwhelmed me. Sharing with those women that night felt like a gift.

Women approached me as soon as I finished. I was humbled by their sweet and heartfelt comments. They were gracious and receptive. I knew I felt more blessed to meet and talk to them than I thought they had been by my story. With my lack of scripture knowledge at the time I did not know that I was being a doer of the Word and the victory was just beginning.
They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.- Revelation 12:11 NIV 
Richard made his way to me. With more kindness then I had ever seen in some one's eyes and more gentleness then I had ever heard in some one's voice he said, "Mari, I just want to apologize to you on behalf of men. I am sorry for what happened to you."

The tears came quickly and easily, as if they had been waiting for this very window of time to escape.

I had no words.

I healed a little in that moment.

At that point in my journey I did not understand the Father's love, but I received it that night. Something happened in that moment, besides the healing tears that flowed, my heart softened and I trusted a little more. I saw something that my heart had only hoped for.
Trust is that rare and priceless treasure that wins us the affection of our heavenly Father. - Brennan Manning
God sends others to speak life to our spirits. It is one of the ways we come alive. God knows our past, all of it and He uses His sons and daughters to heal our broken hearts and remind us of who He created us to be. We just need to be willing to do our part.
Our heavenly Father understands our disappointment, suffering, pain, fear, and doubt. He is always there to encourage our hearts and help us understand that He's sufficient for all of our needs. When I accepted this as an absolute truth in my life, I found that my worrying stopped. - Charles Stanley
One often discussed topic for believers is "overcoming." We need only look in the Bible to find out how to begin to overcome. It is clear in Revelation that we overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony. It is our testimony, but it's His story written, edited and perfected by the author and finisher of our faith. He will never force us to share it, but He will bless us and others when we do. When we are willing to share what He is done, others begin to have faith for what He might do for them. They begin to believe in something bigger than they see before them.

I shared my testimony because I was asked and God took my act of obedience to His Word and began a work that would begin to restore the years the locusts had eaten beginning with the Father's love expressed by a man who was willing.

Has He asked you to step out and share what He has done? Do it, do not hesitate, there is someone who needs to hear it, it might even be you. We often forget, although it is clear that we are not to forget His benefits, what better way to remember then by sharing our stories.

Often as I have shared my testimony, God has been preparing me for something else. Using my own testimony to help me connect the dots of His activity in my life. I will have forgotten about something for years and all of a sudden the Lord will have me repeatedly share the same testimony for a period of time and it always come as great encouragement to my faith to see His hand continually moving and guiding me toward His purposes.

It's been a long time since I've even thought about that night, but it has been a frequent thought today. A pleasant one. It gave me reason to recall what the Lord has done. All the ways He has showed up. All the ways He redeems things. All the people He has used to remind me who I am. All the ways I have overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of my testimony.

I am grateful.

Remember what the Lord has done in your life. The people He has sent, the circumstances He changed and the gifts He has given along the way. You can't be discontent when you are recalling His goodness.
Some memories are unforgettable, remaining ever vivid and heartwarming! Joseph B. Wirthlin

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