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Friday, April 13, 2012

The Power of our Testimony

In John Chapter Eleven we read about a story where Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead. It is a familiar story and I love to use it to minister to people about suffering. Many people suffered throughout the story. Lazarus suffered to the point of death. His sisters suffered wondering why Jesus stayed away when he had the power to heal. Those who had come to comfort them suffered with the reality of who this man Jesus really was. Why didn't he do something for someone he loved when he had done so much for strangers along the way. It even says that Jesus wept. He was overtaken by his emotions and the compassion he had for all those he loved who were hurting. Then He did the impossible: he brought a man back from the dead who had been dead for four days.

What struck me recently about this story is in the twelfth chapter of John, verses 9-11. A great number of Jews were coming to see Jesus and to witness with their own eyes Lazarus alive. As a result, the chief priests were seeking a way to kill Lazarus, because on account of his testimony, many Jews were becoming followers of Jesus. This struck me as I read it because when I started my ministry seven years ago I was told by God to share my testimony with every man he put in front of me, and he would open doors for me and take care of my family. That is what I have been doing ever since.

Being here in a new place, with people who think differently and do things differently I have been more hesitant to share my testimony. The biggest motivating factor was for fear of persecution. But when I read this passage and realized that my testimony is going to make the enemy afraid and I am going to be persecuted as a result, I have found a renewed passion to do what God has asked me to do. It is becoming clear that my doing so will probably make things more difficult here. But God never promised our lives would be easy when we follow him. He just promised He would take care of us. As I was praying about this today I got a peace that comes form knowing who has my back. The enemy, the world, other believers can only do to me what God allows them to. And every person who wants to shut me up or discourage me is another platform on which to share the good news.

1 comment:

  1. If you were told by God to share your testimony with every man HE put in front of you, then you really have nothing to fear. I believe for a lot of people, you're testimony unlocks a door that allows them to finally be set free from the prisons of things they've kept secret and as a result suffered shame and demonic abuse over. Along with this directive, I believe God has given you a strong gift of discernment as a means of protection against the persecution of His enemies. Don't fret about it, Brad, Just continue to be the man, the warrior, God has raised you up to be!