The following is an article I wrote earlier this year that was recently published in the November issue of a religious magazine put out by the organization with whom my husband holds his ministerial license. Though many of you reading this may have access to the magazine and can read the article there if you choose to do so, some of you don't have access and can't read it. So, I have decided to post it as my blog today. I hope reading what I've shared proves to be a blessing to you.
His Blood, My Testimony
By Kerri S. Wilson
My friend, a former atheist, often tells me that man’s most convincing argument for the existence of God is his or her personal experience with God. While it is written in God’s Word that even nature glorifies Him, we humans fail to recognize Him through His creation. But it is difficult for one to argue away another person’s testimony of a personal relationship with Him.
John wrote, “They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony” (Revelation 12:11). Though this passage is familiar to and quoted often by most of us, I wonder how many of us grasp the power behind its message.
Two things are in play in this verse: “the blood of the Lamb” and “the word of their testimony.” It seems that a cause-and-effect relationship exists. I think it is valid to consider that without the shed blood of Jesus I would not have a testimony. Furthermore, my testimony increases my potential to overcome whatever would hinder my relationship with God.
My personal testimony is this: Jesus changed my life through His death, burial, and resurrection. His sacrifice made it possible for my sins to be forgiven and made His spirit available to me so I could be brought into relationship with Him. It is through my relationship with Him that I have come to understand His will and learn of His love for me. As I’ve grown in my relationship with Him, I’ve gained the grace I need to turn away from my personal expectations, desires, and lusts for earthly things and toward His embrace. As I face new challenges, my remembrance of previous experiences with Him helps me continue to let go of self and reach toward Him. He uses each struggle to change me into who he created me to be, and my relationship with Him continues to grow. My story of relationship, weakness, and overcoming the struggle to let go of my attachments is my testimony.
Each time I consider my testimony, I gain more strength to continue to overcome whatever tries to hinder my relationship with God. Paul, strengthened by his own testimony, explained, “We would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life: but we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead: who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us” (II Corinthians 1:8-10). The Message paraphrase put it this way, “And he did it, rescued us from certain doom. And he’ll do it again, rescuing us as many times as we need rescuing.” My testimony helps me remember His power to strengthen me to overcome over and over again.
My testimony also impacts others. God’s transforming process in my life testifies of His power to others. It also draws them to Him and gives them opportunities for relationship, personal testimony, and thus the potential to overcome the struggles they face. Here are a few words to me from my friend to illustrate my point: “Your testimony (discussion of your struggles and relationship with God) has allowed me to look more clearly at my own relationship and struggles. God has used you many times to help me see by first seeing it in you and then relating it to my own issues. And the love that both you and Eugene demonstrate all of the time is His light that cannot help but illuminate my darkness and help me come out of the shadows.”
All who hear my friend’s story can’t help but recognize the power of the blood of Jesus at work in his life. And all who hear my story can’t help but recognize the power of the blood of Jesus at work in my life. And the same is true when others hear your story.
His blood, my testimony—it is not only the best argument for the existence of God; it is also the best evidence of His love and mercy towards us.