Ever since I read John’s post on Monday, I’ve been contemplating testimonies of liberation and deliverance. I’ve read many testimonies and heard more than a few, but the ones that went into my heart and stayed there number less than 10. I was pretty surprised when I thought about it. I remember lots of testimonies, but largely in the way that you’d remember random personal anecdotes about people you’ve met – pure mental flashes with no real heart response. The testimonies that sliced past my cynicism and burrowed under my defenses weren’t the most shocking or spectacular. They were testimonies based on who God is, not on what He did.
Testimonies that Speak to Me
Receiving a testimony is incredibly personal, so I’m not saying that there’s anything at all amiss in the testimonies that weren’t anointed for me. The Holy Spirit knows exactly how to speak to me and when, and that means that it’s possible for you to be lit up over something while I am less moved. This is the beauty of being an individual invested in a wholly unique relationship with Jesus Christ. The Lord gave me a love for stories, and He uses them to reach me and teach me and love me, all the time.
Because I love stories, and have hunted them down rather obsessively my whole life, it is increasingly difficult for me to find a story that feels new and exciting. It’s not impossible, just harder and harder. How fortunate for me that God is so vast, and so mysterious!
Vanilla Testimonies: Just Add God
You can have the most vanilla testimony in the world in terms of what God did for you, but genuine, personal knowledge of who God really is makes that same vanilla testimony priceless. I’ve heard it said that every major human story that can be told, has been told. The only differences that remain are found in the tiny particulars. I’m inclined to believe that’s true. But the moment you add the Living God to the equation, it’s all new.
Look at the story of Jesus! There are so few people who are willing to receive Jesus in the whole Truth of who He is because He was so very strange. He was all over the map in terms of what He did and said, and most especially what He did NOT do or say. He’s so shocking because His entire reason for being was love for His Father and His Father’s will. And our heavenly Father is not human. There’s nothing remotely human in the ways and thoughts of God, so we are confounded utterly when we try to meet Him in our reasoning. Most of us don’t want the paradox of the All Mighty. A tidy story is comfortable and controllable, so the parts that don’t fit are ignored or explained away.
I love being confounded by God! I spent so many years believing Him to be small and petty and mean—believing Him to be human. And I can’t seem to get enough of His magnificent strangeness! I don’t just love God – I like Him. I like Him better than anyone in the world, and I’m on the look-out for ever more of HIM. It’s wonderful to know what He’s done and what He will do, but I prefer to discover something entirely new about who He is. That story has never been told in its entirety and there’s nothing else like it in the world. Any testimonies that help me chase that story are testimonies that speak straight to my heart.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
John 1:1 KJV