Growing strong in spirit 2 - Remembering His testimonies
Ephesians 6:10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
Carrying on in our series of discovery as to how we can grow strong in spirit we are looking today at the power of testimonies. Testimonies are a boost to our faith and feeds our spirits with evidences of ways God has moved in the past. As He is the same yesterday, today and forever we can assume He can do that again. A testimony is essentially God showing up and doing a certain work among a certain group of people, so that when they praise Him through their testimony, He uses that testimony as an invitation to them, essentially asking them “Would you like me to do that again?” Our testimonies are the promise or the prophecy that God does this kind of thing in our days. Filling our minds with these testimonies helps us grow in our faith and become strong in spirit.
Revelation 19:10 Worship God! For it is the Spirit of prophecy who bears testimony to Jesus.”
All over the scriptures God encourages people to set up memorial stones commemorating something beautiful and supernatural that He accomplished for them. These memory stones serve as reminders of the God who accomplished them. Likewise we are called to remember what God does among us. The world and our enemy will seek to drain our faith, intimidate our walk with God and diminish our memory of His faithfulness. That is the unfortunate headwinds that constantly blow in this world. To combat this we need to seek out the stories of God’s moving around us and be diligent to record the good things God does for us. When we do, this pile of stories of authentic encounters and real events that chronicle our own walk with God can start to build up an expectation bias in our spirits about who God is and how He moves in our lives. A strong record of testimonies moves us and grows our faith for the next time we are called on to exercise it.
The tragedy of Israels story is told in Psalm 78 where their forgetfulness was the beginning of terrible consequences. They were commanded by God to diligently tell their children their testimonies so that the nation could have a record of faith in order that they would not forget God.
Psalm 78:1 My people, hear my teaching; listen to the words of my mouth. 2 I will open my mouth with a parable; I will utter hidden things, things from of old—3 things we have heard and known, things our ancestors have told us. 4 We will not hide them from their descendants; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, his power, and the wonders he has done. 5 He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which he commanded our ancestors to teach their children, 6 so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children. 7 Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands.
When Israel were not faithful to tell the stories their descendants came to moments requiring faith and we weak by their lack living testimonies. Their warriors had no courage for battle and their leaders had no expectation of God’s intervention. Lets read on in the Psalm;
Psalm 78:9 The men of Ephraim, though armed with bows, turned back on the day of battle; 10 they did not keep God’s covenant and refused to live by his law. 11 They forgot what he had done, the wonders he had shown them
It even speaks about the fact that God was angered because the people who had experienced so much of His miracle power and gracious provision did not remember Him as that God and when faced with similar needs did not find it in their hearts to believe that this was the kind of God He was.
Psalm 78:17 But they continued to sin against him, rebelling in the wilderness against the Most High. 18 They willfully put God to the test by demanding the food they craved. 19 They spoke against God; they said, “Can God really spread a table in the wilderness? 20 True, he struck the rock, and water gushed out, streams flowed abundantly, but can he also give us bread? Can he supply meat for his people?” 21 When the Lord heard them, he was furious; his fire broke out against Jacob, and his wrath rose against Israel, 22 for they did not believe in God or trust in his deliverance.
We are made exponentially stronger when we feed ourselves on the testimonies God has given in our lives. They helps us grow strong in spirit and cause us to see them repeated many times over.
Write down three of the latest great things God has done for you and tell it them to your family.