July 2019

On Being A Witness

A witness gives testimony of what they’ve seen and heard. “You are My witnesses,” declares the Lord, “And My servant whom I have chosen, So that you may know and believe Me and understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, and there will be none after Me.” (Isaiah 43:10 NASB) According to this verse, we are chosen to know Him and believe Him, and our witness – having eyes on Him and ears tuned to hear Him – is of who He is and what He’s about.

I used to think my testimony was of my experience and how my choices honored or dishonored the Lord. I felt a keen burden to live up to my idea of a “good christian.” Although there may be some understanding given by rehearsing the context of my experiences in God, this context is just that. The primary function of my testimony is to bear witness to Him. Ultimately, neither my response to Him nor the context of my circumstances will eclipse His expression of love, His self-disclosure to me. He alone is worthy of praise.

One of my favorite passages of Scripture is in 1 John 1:1-4. “What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life—  and the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us— what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.  These things we write, so that our joy may be made complete.” (NASB) This implies that our joy and our fellowship and community with one another are directly tied to our witness and testimony of Him. And haven’t you also experienced the joy of seeing the work of the Spirit and the love of the Father expressed in, through and to those you care about? As we witness each other’s journey in Him, we are brought to a fuller knowledge of Him.

Let us be accountable to one another for the witness we bear and the testimony we give, so that our joy may be complete. Let us put aside our preferences of interpretation and relate to the world around us only the truth of the gospel as Jesus presented it. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16 NASB)

Father, I thank you for the life you’ve given us through your Son, whom we have believed because of the faith you’ve given us. The grace to know and believe is like oil in our lamps. Grant that we will keep the flame burning and so be ready to give an account and bear witness to the eternal truth of Jesus Christ, who died and rose again, and who is seated at your right hand, now and forever. In His beautiful and powerful name, Amen.

If you journal, consider writing a testimony of witness to who God has revealed Himself to be to you. Context may be necessary, but His revelation is primary. Bear in mind that the context of this world will fade. Only the eternal remains.

If you would like to share any comments or insights with the larger Cultivating Faithfulness community, please email me.

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