Monday, October 13, 2008

Testimony

Testimony. One often associates this word with court proceedings. In Church, a testimony is given to glorify God. It helps others to get to know you a bit better as well. A testimony may encourage others.

Here's Random House's definition:
8 dictionary results: tes·ti·mo·ny
1. Law. the statement or declaration of a witness under oath or affirmation, usually in court.
2. evidence in support of a fact or statement; proof.
3. open declaration or profession, as of faith.
4. Usually, testimonies. the precepts of God.
5. the Decalogue as inscribed on the two tables of the law, or the ark in which the tables were kept. Ex. 16:34; 25:16.
6. Archaic. a declaration of disapproval; protest.
[Origin: 1350–1400)

Wow! A testimony formed before Jesus walked the Earth. The Old Testament declared witness! The Old Testament proved God's love for His creation and declared the proof that we would testify to His Goodness.

I offered to give my testimony this Thurs at a women's Bible Study Group. Yikes! Making the commitment to do so took some stress off but just for a few hours.

Yesterday I sat under a tree. I had pen in hand, poised to write. Nothing flowed. I continued to sit. I decided to lay on my side. After my arm cramped, I switched positions. I moved to lay on my stomach. In proper prostrate position I lay face down. Head in both hands I rubbed my eyes and waited for words to come - for what seemed like hours I waited. The paper remained blank. I placed the pen behind my ear. Birds chirped. Palm trees swayed and I listened to the whoosh whoosh whoosh overhead. Still the words did not come.

What was I doing? What was I doing? How could I condense 42 years into 10 minutes or less? Impossible.

Yes, it is impossible,the Lord quietly whispered through my hand-covered ears. He spoke, but with Christ all things are possible. You are not going to do a thing. Just step aside. Let the words flow. The page will be full before you know it. It will be filled with what I want to say.

I slowly rolled over onto my back. As I looked at the sky, big tears escaped and ran freely down my temples. No need to wipe those tears as God was one step ahead of me and had already caught my tears before they even hit the ground (Psalm 56:8).

I gratefully envisioned my Lord Jesus inhaling the sweet perfume as it emanated from the palms of the woman's hands. Nothing needed to be said. Her service said it all. She sinned much. He forgave all. She pleased Him. Her pure gift delighted. He smiled. She had done something great for God. No shame or condemnation for those in Christ Jesus.

Jesus died on the Cross of Calvary. He carried my burdens and pain today as I lay in the grass, just as He did each and every day of my 42 years of life - no matter what I lay in or on or around. He nailed all to the Cross. He saved every tear I shed and will shed. In a bottle. A bottle made for tears which He will present to me one day in Heaven.

Still enjoying His presence I ask, "Where do I begin? What do I share? How do I overcome this fear of failing this challenge?"

Deep sigh. I began to watch a plane overhead. It shone brightly in the sun as it slowly made its way toward a bright fluffy cloud. A silvery flash and was no more. Something clicked. I saw that plane for a short time and it was gone. Hmmm...it was still there, just not in my immediate sight. That is because a plane is designed for flight. It was designed for a Pilot to take over and guide it to its destination. The plane did not run itself! It could not and was not designed to fly as an entity unto itself.

I compared these women to the plane overhead. For these women will go to other destinations, fly other missions, and do many things for the Lord. But that fact does not change the Truth that there will only be one Pilot and a Pilot never loses sight of his plane. He guides, directs, maintains and values this vessel. He controls everything regarding His plane.

I would give this testimony before these women - some of which I may see for just a season and then they may disappear from my life. It did not make a difference in how I would present my testimony after all! It just mattered that I gave it. I felt the fear of man slip from my shoulders in that instant and it felt wonderful.

This Thursday's destination will be a roomful of women eagerly seeking God. God's love, mercy, grace, forgiveness, redemption, hope. They are: women who do not yet know tears matter to Him, women who do not trust anyone - let alone God, women who have been hurt - rightly so and still harbor bitterness, and anger which leads to rage. They are women who fear failure on a daily basis and live in fear and women who wear all the latest Spring Fashions each year but have not allowed God to spring clean their closets in decades.

Christina, can you hear me? "Yes, Lord I do". The Lord spoke to my soul one last time and said, The Women of Cornerstone Bible Fellowship I will deliver and equip for battle. This is their victory song!

On that day Deborah and Barak son of Abinoam sang this victory song: “When the leaders took the lead in Israel, When the people answered the call to war
Praise the Lord!
Hear, O kings!
Pay attention, O rulers!
I will sing to the Lord!
I will sing to the Lord God of Israel
!
O Lord, when you departed from Seir,
when you marched from Edom’s plains,
the earth shook, the heavens poured down,
the clouds poured down rain.

The mountains trembled before the Lord, the God of Sinai; before the Lord God of Israel.
In the days of Shamgar son of Anath,
in the days of Jael caravans disappeared;
travelers had to go on winding side roads.
Warriors were scarce,
they were scarce in Israel,
until you arose, Deborah,
until you arose as a motherly protector in Israel.
God chose new leaders,
then fighters appeared in the city gates
;
but, I swear, not a shield or spear could be found,
among forty military units in Israel.
My heart went out to Israel’s leaders,
to the people who answered the call to war.
Praise the Lord!
You who ride on light-colored female donkeys,
who sit on saddle blankets,
you who walk on the road, pay attention!

Hear the sound of those who divide the sheep among the watering places;
there they tell of the Lord’s victorious deeds,
the victorious deeds of his warriors in Israel.
Then the Lord’s people went down to the city gates –
Wake up, wake up, Deborah!
Wake up, wake up, sing a song!


I brushed the grass off my jeans, hastily grabbed the empty page and headed for the front door. Forget the pen and paper! My fingers would move much more quickly over a keyboard. I had so many thoughts busting to come out. Yes, I assuredly had been given an outline to draft. The Lord had shown up and given me ideas. And direction. He would keep my tank full. He would program my navigation system. He would perfectly pilot this vessel. He would get me to my destination. Turbulence woudn't surprise me! But, I am prepared. Inflight activities still unknown, but packed and ready to go. The Pilot will adhere to this flight plan.

"Lord, I willingly surrender my agenda to you. Thank you for this trip. It no doubt will be an adventure. Thank you in advance for safe travel. And for securing my final destination. I will be wearing the purest of whites and purple and gold of course. Thank you for giving me this opportunity to add a sparkling jewel to the Crown which I will one day present to You. Amen"
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