As a follower of Christ, your testimony is powerful. It is the story of a changed life. You are not what you once were. Your life is in the process of being altered and transformed. You’re being remade into the image of Christ.
Paul’s testimony is woven throughout the New Testament. It is the story of a violent man who tortured and murdered people who had placed their faith in Christ. But then Paul himself encountered Christ and became His follower. Paul became a brand new creature. He was changed. Afterward, he didn’t hide what he once was. In many of his letters, he told of his past, giving evidence that God was in the process of altering him. God has used him to effect change in the lives of men and women for nearly two thousand years. His testimony still affects people today.
Satan hated Paul’s testimony, and he hates yours. He will do everything in his power to shut your mouth, compromise your witness, and render you powerless. Are you aware of what he’s up to?
Satan is the Accuser. He accuses. His first accusation will be that you cannot ever be used by God—you’ve been too bad or too good; either way, you are of no value, and your life is meaningless. He will whisper his accusations into your heart and mind, causing you to feel disheartened and downcast. You become immobilized.
Satan accuses, but the Holy Spirit convicts. When the Holy Spirit makes you aware of your sin, He brings life-change. You are drawn to repentance and to greater love of God as the Holy Spirit puts His finger on the hidden sins of your life. You see them clearly for the first time; you see them as God sees them. You turn from sin and embrace Christ as Savior. God redeems sinners. It says so in his Word. His Word contains the verifiable truth about who you are: You are now cleansed from sin and made new.
God then uses the power of your changed life to draw other sinners who are just like you. God promises a lifetime of being used by Him. You are one of His children, beloved, chosen, elect, a holy one, redeemed to be used by the King.
Satan’s accusations, on the other hand, promise a life of uselessness, a life of worthlessness, a life that has no meaning, a life of never amounting to much.
Satan is a liar. He lies. Since the Garden he’s been convincing us that God doesn’t love us, that He’s keeping good things from us, that He’s arbitrary and vindictive in doing so, and that things will be better if we take matters into our own hands and disobey what God has spoken.
If you have any of these thoughts in your mind right now, you have believed a lie. Stop believing the lie. Start believing the truth. God’s Word tells us the truth.
God loves us so much that He sent His own Son to die for us. Jesus loves us enough that He did it. God changes our hearts, giving us hearts of flesh rather than hearts of stone; He works all things together for our good; He planned our salvation and the good works we would do for Him before the beginning of time, before He had even laid the foundations of the earth. His plans are for our welfare and not our calamity, to give us a future with Him and the certain hope of heaven.
God does not lie.
Satan prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Lions hunt in packs. The roaring lions herd the unwary victim toward a trap of waiting, silent, hidden lions. The terrified victim runs, attempting to get away. The waiting lions pounce, and the victim is devoured.
If you have believed any of the above lies, taking them into your heart, unaware that you were sucking in poison, you probably feel trapped in your disgrace, in your drudgery, and in your shame. You may have become paralyzed in your cyclical thinking about your unworthiness and God’s lack of love for you (both lies). The waiting lions have pounced.
So, how do you get out of the trap?
Get your Bible out. Read what it says about you. Read what it says about God. Believe it.
Ask God to give you faith, to change your thinking and your life. Reject any imagination or thought that contradicts the truth in God’s Word. Those are the lies. Shape your thinking accordingly. God wants to use your life for a glorious purpose. Let Him.
Remember Paul. He told his testimony everywhere. Lives are still being changed. Lives will be transformed when you tell others about how your life has been altered by God.
How have you been changed? Testify!
All images this post from: FreeDigitalPhotos.net, small formats