THE ESSENCE OF TESTIMONY
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In definition we may say that essence means the importance or the usefulness of testimony. And testimony is the speaking out, explanation or the expression with happiness of what God has done for you or to your family, to your neighbour or friend. For example, when God leads you to successfully complete your exams or course/s, you would need to testify with joy in your heart what God has done for you, which at first seemed impossible in your sight. This is what we call the essence of testimony. It is the expression of thanksgiving from your heart to God. It means the outside expression of what is inside of you, i.e the joy, the happiness of expression from the inside.
The Psalmist knew how important it is to testify of God’s blessings and deliverances and he says, ‘’bless the Lord O my soul and forget not all his benefits’’ Ps.103:2. In other words what he meant is, ‘’do not forget to give or talk about his testimonies’’. When God chose David in the presence of his brethren, David remembered that he was in the bush tending his father’s flocks I Sam.16. This experience had never left him of his remembrance.
St. Paul did it before the presence of King Agrippa in his defence in Jerusalem. He said ‘’I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision’’ Acts. 26:19. What did he mean? He meant that he remembered how Jesus met him on the way to Damascus Acts. 9, how he was merciful to him, how he forgave him and yet commissioned him with this ministry. He then said, I was not disobedient, or in other words, I cannot forget all his goodness concerning the heavenly vision.
It takes a man who had encountered the Lord personally to testify of the goodness of the Lord. Such man could not forget so easily what he saw, or how it went with him. Although we may not rule out a few people who would never acknowledge that the Lord is good, no matter what he has done for them. This group is where Ahithophel I Sam. 15:31 and Judas Iscariot Matt. 26:47 were found. They were ingrates at their times.
But the Psalmist had a great deal talking about the goodness of the Lord. It also earned him the popular quote ‘’goodness and mercy shall follow me, all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the forever and ever’’ Ps.23:6. David also remembered God’s deliverance on the day he faced the Philistine champion Goliath. For it was his first public outing from the day he was anointed in the presence of all his brethren by prophet Samuel I Sam. 16. Though from his testimony, he explained that one day, a Lion came while he was in the bush with his father’s flock, a lion took one of the sheep.
He said he went after the lion and smote it, and delivered the sheep from the lion. Well, nobody was there with him in the bush, but we believed he was saying the truth. And this word is called ‘’testimony’’, for a young man of his age to go after a lion without being afraid or running for his dear life instead. I personally believe that God confirmed his testimony before King Saul, and his Soldiers. Testimony can be a source of deliverance or healing to somebody.
Before this outing, he enquired of what should be given to the person who shall kill this uncircumcised Philistine. Of course Goliath use to come out for forty days defying God’s army and no man challenged him I Sam. 17:16. This man would come out every morning and every evening crying that Israel should give him a man to fight with him saying, ‘’if he is able to kill me, we will serve you but if I kill him and Prevail over him, you will serve us and be our servants’’, and none showed face until David came that day.
When his brothers learned of his interest, they tried to ward him off but could not, yes because the Lord was interested in the whole drama. Again the Lord knew that David would not fail to testify of it before his people in his lifetime, and that it must be documented also for future generation to see. When David finally appeared to go and fight with Goliath, the champion disdained him.
In the eyes of Goliath, it was an insult to his personality to see a youth of about 17-18 years of age coming to fight a champion from his youth. What he did not remember was that he himself had been a champion from his youth and that David was in his youthful age also, and that God’s youth is stronger and wiser at the same time. He did not see how the youth of God could come to fight with the youth of the Devil.
This is one of the many mistakes of the ungodly; they usually see Satan defeating God with human side or popularity. On many occasions God has used insignificant things to win his battles.
Yet David was not troubled in any way, nor did he consider the size and height of Goliath. This was the major reason God called him ‘’a man after my heart’’.
You might be reasoning out why and what prompted God to declare him with that reference I Sam.13:14, ’’A man after my heart’’. All the Soldiers of Israel were there with the rejected king Saul, and Goliath was coming out every morning and every evening and defying all the armies of Israel, and none could be moved to challenge the uncircumcised Philistine. Did any of them know that Goliath was an uncircumcised man from Philistine?
This was happening for forty days before the man with the heart of God appeared, whether a Soldier or not, he had been anointed, and anointing makes a difference in a man’s life, as it made that day. I perceive that as David was on the way coming, God was happy that a man was coming to challenge the champion of Gath. You know that before you come out to challenge a champion, you must have prepared seriously, David was prepared with anointing of God upon his life.
It was the reason he could not stay one minute to notice the insult from the Philistine champion against God and his army. The Bible says each time this man came out, the Soldiers of Israel including his senior brothers who were in the army would tremble and complained about how this man is defying the armies of the living God, but they had nothing to show for it.
But when David finally defeated the champion of Gath, it became a powerful testimony, and which made the women of Israel to sing out in honour of David, and this singing brought King Saul with hatred to a man who delivered him that day from the Philistine shame. This testimony made Saul to later deny David of the promise of his daughter for killing the Philistine champion for him.
Remember we are talking about the essence of testimony. The Psalmist would always thank God for various deliverances which God had delivered him from. He would thank God delivering him from the furs of the lion, and from the bear. He never forgets how he was from the house of Jesse. He always thanked God for raising his family up in Israel.
The Psalmist would always say, ‘’he has remembered my low estate and had rescued my soul from death’’. ‘’He is beautiful for situations’’, ‘’out of the depts have I cried unto thee Lord’’ etc. All these words are testimonies which God gave him at various times, he didn’t forget any of them.
One testimony mentioned attracts another one. If you cover or eat the testimony which God has done for you, he will not be happy with you. It was one the secrets of the Psalmist. God knows you inside out, there is hiding place for anyone from his eyes. He has purer eyes than to behold iniquity. He acknowledged, where shall I go from the Spirit of the Lord? If I descend into the Ocean, you are there, if I go into the heart of the earth, you are there already.
Testimony is very powerful, especially for those who know the use. I will continue to testify about the goodness, mercies and loving kindness of God in my life. The Lord would always bless a testifier, so that he would continue to testify about his goodness and mercies.
At a time he sang a song saying ‘’I will sing all the mercies of the Lord forever I will sing all the mercies of the lord x2, with my mouth shall I make known his faithfulness, his faithfulness, with mouth shall I make known his faithfulness to all generation’’. This is a song, a popular song in the scriptures. This song is a testimony itself. Moses the servant of God also sang a song of testimony, even with her sister Prophetess Miriam.
‘’who is like unto thee O lord who is like unto thee, O Lord, among all the gods, who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders Halleluiah’’ Ex. 15:11. This song was sang immediately they crossed the Red Sea. The Red Sea was a serious barrier that stopped them from crossing over.
I will also request that you follow suit and the Lord shall continue to bless us abundantly in Jesus name, Amen.