Do you ever think that you don’t have a testimony? While other people talk about the rushing in of the Holy Spirit, of addictions suddenly gone, a miraculous healing or vision at the moment of salvation? Don’t be discouraged. My story of salvation is really a sort of long process though the years, so I wondered what’s my testimony? We didn’t go to church regularly when I was growing up. We might go on Easter occasionally and I remember going to Vacation Bible School some summers.
Once I was older I went here and there – to a church near my house a few times and a small house church with my cousin. I had gone “down front” in response to an altar call a few times and got baptized once or twice. None of it made a real dramatic difference. I believed in God and Jesus, but I didn’t know He is the Name above all names and that was just the beginning. I didn’t know about sanctification, so my life went on just as before but I considered myself “saved.” What’s my testimony in that?
Getting to Know God
Many years later, through a process of listening to Bible truths and teachings/sermons on the radio, I gradually began to learn about how a Christian should live and behave. I heard over and over that I should turn to God, read the Bible and pray, and how important it was. I owned several Bibles gathering dust on a shelf somewhere but had never read it. My excuse was the same as many others; I can’t understand it. But I never really tried. Again I wondered, what’s my testimony and do I have one?
So I bought a Bible in a more contemporary language and I read it cover to cover. What I found is a love story; the Bible is a love story and it is alive. That was a real eye-opener and the thing that naturally brought understanding to me of how to live like a Christian and to build a relationship with God – how to know Jesus and be sanctified. That brought to me the joy of the Lord at last when I was 40-years-old. But I was not too bummed that it took me 40 years when I found out Moses was 80 when he started. Plus I was amazed when God called him and he tried to decline. So Moses’ testimony was leading two million people through the desert. What’s my testimony; I don’t have a burning bush?
So I sort of drifted into my Christian life. No dramatic moment, just a gradual maturing and learning and building on prayer and the Word. So when the matter of testimonies would come up, I would think, what’s my testimony? I didn’t feel like I had one. But was I wrong?
I have always loved to sing but felt my ability was perhaps only mediocre. I did some karaoke here and there; I even got a karaoke machine for my house. My family complimented me, but I took that praise with a grain of salt. I performed in several talent shows at youth fundraisers and longed to be on the worship team, which did not materialize which has its own sad tale. What’s my testimony in that? That was a painful testimony.
At some point I began looking for opportunities on Craigslist, eventually landing some gigs, none of which worked out in the long term, which I did not mind because I trusted God to open the right door at the right time. Just Abraham did when God promised him a son through whom his descendants would be numbered as the sand on the shore and the stars in the sky.
When God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for him to swear by, he swore by himself, saying, “I will surely bless you and give you many descendants.” And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised. Hebrews 6:13-14 (NIV)
Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him. Genesis 21:5 (NIV)
The time from the promise given to the fulfillment was 25 years. God’s promises sometimes take patience.
Seek God Only
But I craved praise, receiving very little, keeping me wondering, was I any good? I later had a friend of mine help me to make a demo in his home studio. After a few hours we recorded two songs, and as we were listening to the playback I commented that my last chorus was much stronger than the first and his wife looked at me and said with conviction, “Don’t say that; you have a beautiful voice.”
I was taken aback when she said that; however, despite my past cravings for praise and reassurances, I was mildly flattered by this high praise, no more so than if she had complimented my blouse. I pondered it after I left, turning my reaction over in my mind and I said to God, “Why couldn’t I have heard that when it would have meant so much to me?” And I heard the Lord instantaneously and clearly as He said, “Because it would have meant everything to you and it can’t be everything.” I was floored by the power of the answer, the truth I knew it to be and my understanding of the right place this should take in my life. From that day forward I have not craved attention from any but the Lord. Now I write songs and sing to Him and if that is all I ever do, it is enough for me.
Whats My Testimony
What’s my testimony now? I do not know how many times I have told that story with amazement on my part every time until I finally realized, that’s my testimony!
So if you think, like I did that you have no testimony, think of your tale that thrills you, the one you never tire of telling, when you saw God move mightily, when He became your personal God. That’s your testimony. Cause everyone has at least one.