"A Lion can not tell the Giraffe's Story"
Yesterday, I was reminded of the need for authentic testimony in the development of a Godly movement. I was asked to preach at our afternoon service in which the liturgy is done in both Kirundi and Swahili. While in attendance, I had the privilege of having my Associate Pastor Heritage Munyakuri, interpret the songs, prayers, and most importantly, the testimonies. I was moved, inspired, and challenged on many levels.
The role of testimony in American liturgies has been reduced an even eliminated in most worship services. Yet, in this African service, Testimonies were at least a third of the entire service.
These testimonies were not like the canned testimonies that I grew up with. (I praise the Lord that I am saved, sanctified, filled with the Holy Ghost, closed in my right mind, fire baptized, etc). No, these testimonies told a story. Stories of death, despair, abuse, brutality, hopelessness, poverty,and anger, interrupted by the love of a faithful God. The focus of the testimonies was on a God that responded to the anguish of the soul (Psalm 118:5).
My faith was strengthened by hearing story after story of real, profound change. In these stories, God didn't simply help pay a bill, help get into the best school, or help with a job promotion (not that any of that is bad!), but a great big God did great big things. He did the impossible, he provided the inconceivable, and he comforted the inconsolable.
I left knowing that my God is alive and doing immeasureably more than we can ask or imagine! (Ephesians 3:20).
I am convinced this morning that:
1. The Kingdom of God is expanded when people who experience God simply and sincerely share their stories (Rev 12:11). Jesus calls for witnesses, not salesmen.
2. The power of God is manifested through authentically changed lives. This is part of the Good news. The Good news that God, through Jesus is changing lives and we bring spiritual inertia to our church communities by not giving a forum for sharing what God has done for us.
Take time today and think about your story! Gratefully think about what God has done for you. Do not be in a hurry, but simply appreciate what He has done, is doing, and has promised to do. Once you do this, its time to tell your story. It may be the only sermon that someone will ever hear.
No matter how small or unusual your story is: Tell it, Tell it, Tell it!!!!!
May God bless you today as his love writes new chapters in your story!
May God bless you,
Pastor M Traylor