A Testimony is a spoken or written account of something that you have experienced. Your experience is something that no one can take away from you. The dictionary definition says:
a formal written or spoken statement, especially one given in a court of law: the testimony of an eyewitness.
• evidence or proof of something:
• a public recounting of a religious conversion or experience.
For someone who goes to church it is usually the last part of the definition we can relate to. Giving testimony in a court of law is not the experience of all of us, but it should be the experience of every Christian to give testimony to what God has done for you. So what should a testimony contain? The first obvious thing is that it is the truth. If you give testimony in a court of law you will be asked to swear on the bible (or perhaps something else) that what you say is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. It is sad that I have to point this out as the basis of all testimony.
Secondly it is personal to you, it is your experience not someone else’s. If it is about someone else it is just hearsay. Many of us did not have a “road to Damascus experience” when we first became Christians so we think that our testimony is not worth sharing. Perhaps our conversion was quite mundane, however if it has not made an obvious difference to our life then we should me asking ourselves why not?
Thirdly and this is quite important, a testimony wherever it starts during your life should conclude with a very recent incident where God has intervened in our life. What happened years ago is only relevant if it continues to be our daily experience now!
Finally there are many things that you can bear testimony to. Not everyone experiences prophetic pictures, the “chance” encounter with someone as a result of prayer, the problem in our life which miraculously fades into insignificance by God’s intervention. So many other things which we know are the supernatural working of the Holy Spirit. The fact is not just each individual instance but the many that show us, and the people we bear testimony to, that God is real, he is listening to us and answering our prayers. That this happens on a regular basis shows us we can rely on the Holy Spirit to guide us, to give us the wisdom for each and every situation, and proves to us that our God is faithful.
Until we acknowledge the Holy Spirit, who lives within us, and yield to his authority in our lives we will be constantly wondering what we are to do or say, second guessing everything we do. Living in fear of doing something wrong. God is love, perfect love, and perfect love casts out fear, love and fear cannot co-exist together. So if we follow his will for our lives, we will experience him working through us.
Of course none of us are perfect and we do not always hear God as clearly as we would like, but God looks, not outwardly, on what we do, but inwardly, on our heart, our intentions, the motivation for what we do.
So can I ask you, and I include myself in this, where in the last week has something happened in your life that was not natural? If we experience a ‘coincidence,’ will we attribute it to the Holy Spirit working in our lives, or will it just be lost in the humdrum of living. Of course if you do not pray for things to happen, for the right things to say, for God to direct your thoughts and actions, he will never be able to answer your prayers!
1 Peter 3: 15 (CEV) Honour Christ and let him be the Lord of your life. Always be ready to give an answer when someone asks you about your hope.