Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Sharing The Light

John 1:6-7 "God sent a man, John the Baptist, to tell about the light so that everyone might believe because of his testimony. John himself was not the light; he was simply a witness to tell about the light." (NLT)

I love how this verse is worded.

John was sent to tell about the light because of his testimony.

Official definition of testimony: evidence in support of a fact or statement; proof; open declaration or profession, as of faith.

Unofficial definition of testimony: something that one does not want to share for fear of embarrassment or judgement, even if God did miracles in ones life.

I think when people hear the word "testimony", they often shudder. After all, doesn't sharing our testimony mean airing our dirty laundry for everyone to see? Doesn't sharing our testimony sling open the doors of our heart for everyone to peer in and see the good, the bad, and the ugly?

Doesnt sharing our testimony mean being transparent for Christ, making us vulnerable in more ways than we would want to consider?

There is one question that probably lies deep in the hearts of every Christian: Does God really need us to share our testimonies, considering that He is all powerful and His will will be done no matter what? Does He really need me?

I used to buy into that myth and use that myth as an excuse to keep my mouth shut. My fears far outweighed my faith.

But one particular day, I let down my guard, and finally surrendered to Gods pull on my heart to share my testimony with a small group of women. The outpouring of response and tears and heart transformation that I saw in these women, was God's way of showing me, that yes, His will would be done no matter what, but He had called me to play a part in carrying out His will.

He has called us, His children, to be His vessels. To be a vehicle for shining the Light onto others. Not because we are the Light, but because our hearts are full of the Light - just like John the Baptist.

As I was writing this post, I was also logged into Facebook, and noticed I had a chat request from a lady I did not know, so I paused and took some time off from writing to engage with her.

Over the next twenty minutes, she asked me a lot of questions about my life and my ministry and my testimony. Then she began to share about her own life, her own ministry and her own testimony.

Several years ago, she had felt God calling her to leave her corporate position and stay home with her children, mainly because her children were in the teen years and making some wrong choices. For several years she struggled with their choices and watched them walk away from God. My heart broke for her as she shared her struggles.

Then she said she had been working at her church in child care, and wondered if parents should entrust their children to her, considering how her own children had acted. I could hear the despair and self doubt in between the lines of her sentences.

But as we chatted, I then learned that over the past few years, her children had returned to the Lord, returned to church, and were even helping in the ministry for children. She was so proud of her daughters and excited to share that their relationship had grown strong.

She went on to share how she was now reaching out to women who brought their children to this childcare center. God was orchestrating holy encounters between her, and women who needed to hear her testiony. God was using her to shed His light on hurting hearts.

She was sharing her faith and encouragement with women who were experiencing difficulties with their children, who didn't know where else to turn, or how to find the strength to continue the hard road of parenting.

She was sharing with some women who did not know Christ, who thought they just needed a helpful and caring voice, but who were really searching for hope.

God placed this woman, who had been through the battle and survived with miraculous results, in a position to use her testimony to encourage others.

She is a wonderful woman of God who was questioning her self worth, her abilities, her parenting skills - but how through it all, never questioned her God. She kept the faith, and kept believeing in His promises, and she could now see the fruits of her faith being harvested in the hearts of her children, and the hearts of the women that God allowed her to touch.

You see, this woman, who wondered if she was making an difference, was being used by God in amazing ways. Not because she was qualified, but because she was equipped in Christ, and because she was willing to share her testimony with women who needed to know that they were not alone in their struggles.

This woman who I discovered was living on the other side of the world in another country, was making a difference for the kingdom of God. She was making a difference in the lives of the next generation for her country, and in the lives of women raising that next generation. Gods Light needs to be shared internationally, and it begins right where we are.

God did not intend for us to hide the Light once we find it. Just like the familiar children's song says, "this little Light of mine, I'm going to let it shine! Hide it under a bushel - NO! I'm going to let it shine!"

We are right where God intended for us to be. Lets let our lights shine bright today.

Has God been calling you to share your testimony? Have you been fearful to share it? Have you bought into the myth that God could just use somebody else to impact hearts for Him? Do you think you are not qualified or equipped to shed His light?

Have you ever wondered if God could really turn your mess, into His message?

Dear Jesus, will you help make it clear to my heart, how you want to turn my past into my purpose for You? If you are calling me to share my testimony, to be a light for you in a specific way, will you affirm that calling, and make it crystal clear how you want me to move forward? Lord, will you fill my heart with a longing to make a difference in other peoples lives, and to be used by You in amazing ways? And lastly Lord, if you are calling me to this purpose, to share what You have done in my life, will you remove from my heart all the insecurities, the fear, the worries, and the anxieties, of being transparent for You? Please empty me of those feelings, and fill those gaps with unshakable trust and passion for You. I surrender my life to You Lord, and long for You to use it as you have prepared for me. Give me the srength to be a witness to tell about The Light. Amen.

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