“God wants not only spokesmen and representatives. He wants torches!”
Martha Kilpatrick, “You Are the Light”
And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.
Rev. 12:11 KJV
I think that the power of our testimonies is directly linked to how much Love we receive and how much Light we let into our hearts. The more we let God love us, the more we will love Him. And the more Light we let in, the more powerful our testimonies will be as they cease to be a recitation of events and become instead an explanation for the glow of resurrection life.
The J.B. Phillips translation of the testimony portion of Revelation 12:11 says “and through the Word to which they bore witness.” Jesus is the Word. It’s so easy to get swept up in the idea of telling “my story” that I forget that my testimony is only eternal for what it reveals about Jesus Christ. It’s my “witness” of “the Word” – Who He is and how He loves me, saved me. My life, my story, is remarkable for who He is in it.
I confess, I still get scared when that bright Light shines on me, illuminating some deep dark that needs to be gone. I have a pretty good idea why Brother Lawrence said that he despaired over his sin in the first ten years he was saved. The Lord has had to break me down in order to even introduce me to His thoughts and His ways. The world says that you get a second chance, but we don’t hear too much about anything beyond that. Forgiving someone who’s wronged me 70 x 7 times is not the way of this world. That’s Kingdom of God living. So when that Light beams down on me, I have to slap down the gibbering panic that says I should be better by now and it’s all over but the firing.
But in fact, every new encounter with the Light is a searing lesson in God’s ways and God’s thoughts. When I let the Light in, I have a new testimony of “the Word” at work in me. I have priceless knowledge of who the Lord is in that part of my heart; I’ve met Him in a place of shame or failure or wickedness or suspicion or accusation or any other kind of darkness—and “the Word” carried me out.
That is Love that conquers and plants a flag. It goes deep, deep down. That kind of forgiveness goes in and turns everything it touches to worship and adoration. Light makes way for the Love that fills us like a lamp, bubbling and burning until the glow of it spills out on all around us, bearing witness to “the Word.”