A major contributing factor to the growth of scepticism towards the existence of God is that often many Christians have been lulled into a sense of shame by subtle spiritual forces of Satan. It is subtle for simple reason that Satan and his kingdom are adept in the art of spiritual manipulation, leaving people often with reasons to justify their indifferent attitudes toward the profound effects of godly praise reports and testimonies.
For some Christians testimonies in relation to acts and works of God are viewed as antiquated and belonging to a different era. Indeed, some are persuaded by the argument that matters to do with faith should be private and not encroach into the public sphere. Still for some, they are sadly to say ashamed of giving God the glory for what He has done.
21 Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
The more Christians testify and give praise reports about the wonderful acts of God, the more it draws attention to His greatness; causing the world around us to enquire about Him. What is evident is that we know that the very act of testifying to God’s wondrous deeds lead many to look into the Church and enquire about Gospel of the LORD Jesus Christ. More specifically a good read and study of the ‘Book of Acts’ or ‘Acts of the Apostles’ will impel any Christian never to take indifferent attitudes towards testifying of God’s miraculous and wondrous acts.
The miracle of the Pentecost, where the apostles spoke with utterance inspired by the Holy Spirit and communicated to people of different languages which lead to over 3000 that day surrendered their lives to Jesus. The healings, signs, wonders and power displayed over evil spirits; the dynamic and explosive ministry of Stephen; Simon the sorcerer becoming born again, the dramatic conversion of Paul on the road to Damascus, the raising of the dead, the miraculous escape of Peter from prison; and the salvation of the entire household of Cornelius the centurion are just few examples that come to mind. It was because these were attested to that triggered quest within many to want to know God through Jesus Christ.
16 Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what he hath done for my soul. 17 I cried unto him with my mouth, and he was extolled with my tongue. 18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me: 19 But verily God hath heard me; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer. 20 Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer, nor his mercy from me.
This psalmist was obviously delighted and happy at what God had done that he was impelled to declare it. Not only was he willing to declare it but even provided some helpful hints and background information, for the benefit of those seeking God for answers, miracles, and solutions to the predicament that has and still is engulfing their lives.
We seem to have lost the art of testifying with joyfulness and thanksgiving. This perhaps is owing to the fact that we have become self sufficient especially in the Western world. The provision and availability of the welfare state, improved medical facilities, advances in science and technology, better paid employment with guaranteed rights; financial security and even state intervention as was witnessed in the global recession; has and is serving to educate many Christians out of depending and trusting in God. By default we are more inclined these days to look and champion the benefits of modernity than trust wholeheartedly in the integrity of God and His Word.
Never Be Ashamed
When God does something in our lives that we fail to give Him the glory by testifying publicly and openly; then potentially lives He had ordained and divinely appointed to be changed and transformed through us sharing that testimony; may very well remain unchanged and not transformed indefinitely but for His grace. Some people do not testify because they are ashamed to declare the faithfulness of God. In a world increasingly hostile to the existence of God the very least you can do is testify to what He has done that has effected a good change in your life. It is equally evident that many who have come to know God and receive Jesus as their LORD and Saviour were instinctively drawn as they witnessed, read or heard the testimonies of what God has done in the lives of others.
Evidently, the kingdom of Satan does not like people testifying about the goodness, miracles, and mighty acts of God because of the potential good that will result. Satan and his kingdom would rather that Christians keep quiet in order that no one is inspired to enquire about the salvation of God wrought through the LORD Jesus Christ. The kingdom of Satan are so inclined because of the distinct possibility of lives being changed and transformed for the good, serving to the betterment of those having experienced the goodness of God and others it inspires to believe, in the integrity and veracity of the Gospel.
The Gospel is the good news and it is only natural to want to share good news with others, as you want or at the very least hope they will rejoice with you. Already Satan has numerous outlets to share bad and often terrible news about Christianity, the Church and by inference God. You are probably more familiar with news propagated by different news media which does not cover the Church and church leaders with with glory. The news are often scandalous, salacious, derogatory and very disobliging to the Church. It is not to say that these things has never happened or does not happen in the Church, but it does overall give very damaging impression of the Church and potenially is detrimental to every other good that takes place in the church unnoticed and unreported by numerous media outlets. Therefore, it is important and all the more imperative from the Kingdom's perspective to counter attempts to misrepresent the goodness and grace of God manifest in His people, by informing, sharing and generally telling people and the world around us, the things God has done, and not be ashamed of doing so.
In many parts of the world, there is a concerted effort to stop or at the very least restrict the demonstration of God to the private space. In the time it takes you to read this article, politicians, pressure groups and militant (new) atheists are putting pressure on their elected representatives, parliaments, legislatures and governments to pass and implement laws further restricting the rights of Christians to openly practice their faith in the public space.
The attempt to silence the work of God is having such profound effect on the mentality of Christians who are being swayed towards accepting the faith should be confined to the private space. As this gains momentum, many will start to believe in the lie that God does not exist. After all, those who want to restrict Christians solely to the private space, are in part motivated by the conjecture that God does not exist.
Sharing your testimony is the perfect response to those whose hatred of God informs their political or social activism. It keeps alive the demonstration of God in the consciousness of the public space, and could potential serve as triggers for others to encounter the Living God.
The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.
The precise act of testifying is ascribing glory to God for what He has done. The essence of testimonies are not without purpose. They are to inform all of the ability and power of God to deliver on His promises, invigorate the minds and convictions of those already trusting in God, and to restate the claim that God is not absent in situations of all who hope in Him and have expressed confidence in the counsel of His Word.
Although God does not need or indeed require our testimonies to be God, it is nonetheless a faithful response to the things He has delivered and accomplished in our lives, hence the outpouring of praise and testimonies in reverence and glory of His name. It is important to realise that God is God in the absence of our testimonies, He still remains God.
In the penultimate week before Jesus was crucified, he entered into Jerusalem amidst a festive throng to a crescendo of adulation, jubilation, praise and thanksgiving for all the mighty works the people and more importantly His disciples had seen Him done.
37 And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen; 38 Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest.
However, not all who were present shared in the jubilation and the giving of praise to God for what He had done. The Pharisees and othe religious leaders present were clearly purturbed and atagonised by what they had witnessed and wanted Jesus to order the people to stop giving God the glory.
39 And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples.
The response from Jesus was stark. Even if the Pharisees and other religious leaders had achieved what they wanted, sitll the stones would have cried out in praise for all the mighty works the people had seen Jesus accomplished.
40 And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.
Permanence of Testimonies
29 Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come before him: worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.
To understand and therefore appreciate the effect and impact you testifying to the goodness, miraculous and wondrous deeds of God; just consider for a moment what you are doing in the very act of testifying. God delivers you from spiritual oppression, or heals you from disease, or answers a long standing prayer request which you have stood in faith for over many months or years. You have in the process of trusting God had to contend with many well intended people trying to lessen your expectation to avoid disappointment; or even sow doubt in your mind as to God performing the expectations of your heart; only for God to finally deliver and come true on His promises. What do you think would happen if you do not testify to God’s goodness?
Well to answer this question, consider the Gospel account of the ten lepers who were all healed by the LORD Jesus Christ. Given the fact they suffered massive discrimination and were already marginalised, and ostracised from within their own communities, you would think that the fact they can now participate once again within their communities was cause to give God the glory and praise. Well, one out of ten had the sense and wisdom to recognise the gravity and magnitude of the transformation that had occurred in his life, and duly obliged almost by instinct to go back to Jesus and give Him the praise.
What about the remaining nine that were healed? The LORD Jesus was equally concerned that the nine healed lepers did not even countenance the thought to give God the glory.
15 And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, 16 And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. 17 And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? 18 There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger. 19 And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.
You may be wondering what is the significance of what Jesus said in relation to the nine healed lepers. The significance of course is that although they were healed, they were not said to be whole. In stark contrast to the nine remaining healed lepers, the one leper who came back to testify was healed but as a result of his testimony was also made whole. In other words, in giving glory to God, he will never find himself in a condition, position or situation where that testimony could be shown, demonstrated or proven to be untrue, because God had been openly acknowledged for that healing.
His faith was his conviction. He was convicted by what Jesus had done and as a result made whole by the LORD. To be made whole in this context in explicit terms, can only mean one thing; and it is to be delivered from the very causes of his impediment, never again to revert back to it because the LORD had rewarded the diligence of his faith.
Therefore, testify of the goodness of God especially when He has done something in answer to your prayers. It is incumbent on everyone professing the true faith in God through Jesus Christ to testify of His goodness.
O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. 2 Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy;