Friday, July 17, 2015

The Word of Our Testimony

Joshua 4:1-9, 20-24
And it came to pass, when all the people had completely crossed over the Jordan, that the Lord spoke to Joshua, saying:  2 “Take for yourselves twelve men from the people, one man from every tribe, 3 and command them, saying, ‘Take for yourselves twelve stones from here, out of the midst of the Jordan, from the place where the priests’ feet stood firm. You shall carry them over with you and leave them in the lodging place where you lodge tonight.’”
4 Then Joshua called the twelve men whom he had appointed from the children of Israel, one man from every tribe;  5 and Joshua said to them: “Cross over before the ark of the Lord your God into the midst of the Jordan, and each one of you take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel,  6 that this may be a sign among you when your children ask in time to come, saying, ‘What do these stones mean to you?’  7 Then you shall answer them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord; when it crossed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. And these stones shall be for a memorial to the children of Israel forever.”
8 And the children of Israel did so, just as Joshua commanded, and took up twelve stones from the midst of the Jordan, as the Lord had spoken to Joshua, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel, and carried them over with them to the place where they lodged, and laid them down there.  9 Then Joshua set up twelve stones in the midst of the Jordan, in the place where the feet of the priests who bore the Ark of the Covenant stood; and they are there to this day.
20 And those twelve stones which they took out of the Jordan, Joshua set up in Gilgal.  21 Then he spoke to the children of Israel, saying: “When your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, ‘What are these stones?’  22 then you shall let your children know, saying, ‘Israel crossed over this Jordan on dry land’;  23 for the Lord your God dried up the waters of the Jordan before you until you had crossed over, as the Lord your God did to the Red Sea, which He dried up before us until we had crossed over,  24 that all the peoples of the earth may know the hand of the Lord, that it is mighty, that you may fear the Lord your God forever.”
In the text it says that Joshua chose twelve men, one from each of the twleve tribes of Israel and commanded them to take every man a stone.  These stones were to become a memorial to the miraculous power of God that divided the Jordan and delivered the children of Israel. These stones were to be a reminder for all the ages of the power of God to deliver His children from circumstances when it appears to everyone that all hope is lost.  The stones were their testimony to the world.
Don’t ever think that your testimony isn’t important, according to the Word of God you are made an overcomer by the blood of Jesus and by the word of your testimony. (Revelation 12:11)
Romans 8:37
“Nay in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.”
I am more than a conqueror: More because I didn’t just get delivered, I didn’t just get healed, I didn’t just make it through the Jordan waters, I didn’t just make it through the fire and through the flood, but God gave me a testimony.  It’s the blood of the lamb coupled with my testimony that makes me more than a conqueror, it has made me an overcomer!
It is our testimony that makes us valuable to the Kingdom of God.  Our testimony is what makes us dangerous, because our testimony makes us a threat to hell.  You see it’s not just what you came through, and what you made it through that makes you a threat to hell, it is the fact that God brought you through it all.  Your personal victory benefits no one except yourself until you open your mouth and declare the faithfulness and the mercy of God that delivered you, restored you, and set you free.  Then your testimony becomes a weapon, it becomes a sword in your hand, it becomes an instrument of power to set the captive free, and it becomes a lifeline to someone who is sinking.
So many of Gods people have been shamed into hiding their testimony, some are afraid to give their testimony because the devil makes them believe that if they talk about it, it might open the door for it to come back, or they might fall back into the pit they were delivered from.  This is nothing but the spirit of fear manipulating and intimidating you because the devil knows the power of your testimony.
Proverbs 18:21 “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.”
Satan wants you to keep your mouth shut because he knows your testimony has the power to bring life, to bring hope, to bring joy and peace, and to bring restoration and deliverance.
It is my story now, it was my heartbreak, and it was my confusion and fear, and my loss. It was my fall, it was real, it was hot, and it hurt.  There were times I felt like I wasn’t going to make it, times I felt like I was going to lose my mind, and times I felt like I was going to die.  But I am here today and I made it.  My mistakes didn’t kill me, I was bitten but I didn’t die, the alcohol and drugs didn’t kill me, the sickness didn’t kill me, the motorcycle wreck didn’t kill me, my marriage survived, and I found my way back to God.
My ministry was destroyed, my character was destroyed, but it didn’t kill me. I walked through the valley of the shadow of death, but I’m still alive.  I walked through the fiery furnace but I didn’t burn up.  I waded through deep waters but I didn’t drown.  I heard Satan whisper time and time again, “I’m going to kill you.”
But I’m still here, healed, delivered, set free, and preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ once again!  I’ve got a testimony! 
For years I fought hell every day and there were times when I felt like giving up, there were times when I felt like I wouldn’t make it, there were people who said I wouldn’t make it, and there were people who had written me off.  But Jesus gave me a testimony, He raised me up, He healed me and He delivered me from the mouth of the lion!
I should be dead…
·         But God has healed me.
·         But God has delivered me.
·         But God has promoted me.
·         But God has protected me.
·         But God has anointed me.
Has anybody got a testimony?  The three Hebrew children had a great miracle when God delivered them from the fiery furnace. But the most valuable thing that they received that day was not the miracle, it was the testimony.  Because the miracle was theirs alone and only benefited them, it was just for that day and for that problem, but their testimony is still bringing hope to the hopeless, it’s still bringing strength to the weak, healing to the sick, and deliverance to the captive.  We overcome today by the blood of the lamb, and by the word of our testimony.
I believe now that somebody is going to be delivered because of my testimony, to be healed because of my testimony, and somebody is going to receive boldness and strength to try again because of my testimony.  Somebody who was going to quit the ministry is going to stay, somebody who was on the verge of a nervous breakdown is going to find peace, and somebody who was ready to quit on life is going to keep on living because of my testimony.
No wonder the devil is trying so hard to kill us, no wonder we’ve been going through the fiery furnace. He wants to shut us up; he wants to kill our testimony.
Psalm 9:13-14
David tells how God lifted him up from the gates of death, so that he could testify to the people of his deliverance, and tell how what the enemy sent to destroy him, backfired in the enemies face and destroyed them.
God is going to make the devils plan backfire in his face, if you will hold on God will deliver you and he will put the enemy's sword in your hand and you will cut off your enemy's head with his own sword and God will give you a testimony.
You need to know that there is…
·         No miracle without a problem
·         No victory without a battle
·         No crown without a cross
·         No resurrection without a death
·         And no testimony without a test
Somebody reading this today is going through the fire right now.  You’re in the fight of your life, for your life. You’re walking through the valley of the shadow of death.  You’re being attacked physically, spiritually, and financially.  Your family is under attack, your marriage is being attacked, your ministry is being attacked, it seems like all hell has been unleashed against you.  But the Lord told me to tell you, “You’re going to make it!  You’re not going under, you’re going over!  You’re not going to burn up in the fire, but you’re coming out with victory and you’re coming out with a testimony that will shake hell, and will break down walls and set captives free.”
When the children of Israel crossed the Jordan River, they set up two pillars.  One was in the middle of Jordan and one was on the other side of Jordan.  The first one in the middle of Jordan was a midway praise, “I’m going through it praise.”
I’m going through sickness, but I’m going to praise him anyway.  I’m going through a divorce, but I’m going to praise him anyway.  I’m going through financial problems, they’re threatening to foreclose on my house, but I’m going to praise him anyway.  I’m going through it with my children, they’re on drugs, they’re rebellious and hateful, but I’m going to praise him anyway.  You may be in the darkest times of your life, but give God praise.
Paul and Silas were beaten, and humiliated publicly, and they were bound and cast into the inner prison.  They could have murmured and complained, they could have been angry and bitter, or they could have slipped over into self-pity, but they didn’t.  The Word of God says that at midnight, Paul and Silas began to pray and sing praises unto God, and God shook that prison off of its foundation, shook the doors off their hinges, and broke the shackles off of every prisoner.
I just want to tell somebody, God works the night shift, in fact He does his best work in the dark.  You may not see it, but He’s working, you may not feel it, but He’s working.  He doth work, He’s working on the left hand and He’s working on the right hand and when He gets through with what He’s doing, He’s going to flip the light on and you’re going to see what’s He’s been working on in the dark.
When the children of Israel got to the other side of the Jordan: Joshua said, now take those stones that you carried out of the Jordan River and build a pillar here. This is your Thank God I made it Praise.  This is your thank God I made it testimony.
Is there anybody who has a thank God I made it Praise? A thank God I made it testimony?  Is there anybody who knows it’s a miracle you’re still here?
Psalm 119:92 Unless thy law had been my delights, I should then have perished in mine affliction.
Psalm 40:2, 3 He brought me up also out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.  And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.
David said: I was stuck in a horrible pit, I was sinking into the miry clay, all joy and all peace was fading from view, it looked like I was going to die, it looked like I would never be happy again, It looked like the devil had won, but God reached down into that horrible pit and he pulled me out of that miry clay, and he set my feet upon the rock, and he gave me back my joy, and he gave me back my peace and he gave me back my song,
What David was saying is that God has given me a testimony and when people hear my testimony they will honor God and put their trust in him for their own deliverance, and their own miracle.
Do you have a testimony?
Do you have a midnight praise?
Do you have a thank God I made it praise?
Does anybody know how to give God Praise?
Then open your mouth and give God praise, and tell the devil he’s a liar, and tell the devil he’s a loser.  Tell the devil your God is greater than divorce, your God is greater than cancer and heart trouble, Your God is greater than sugar diabetes and high blood pressure. Your God is greater than arthritis, and deafness and cataracts.  SCREAM IT IN THE DEVIL’S FACE!
My God is greater than drug addiction, He’s greater than homosexuality, He’s greater than perversion.
Now testify…
·         I was sick but God healed me.
·         I was lost but Jesus found me
·         I was bound by drugs and alcohol but God delivered me
·         I was oppressed by a spirit of fear but God set me free
·         I was about to lose my marriage but God brought restoration
·         I was about to lose my mind but God stepped in and spoke peace
There’s power in your testimony!

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