Ah testimonies… who doesn’t love a good testimony?
What are testimonies, you might ask? Testimonies are truths of what God has done in our lives. They are a testament to His goodness and glory shown in a tangible way. For example, one testimony might be that your arm was broken, but after someone prayed for healing, it was completely healed! Or you were in desperate need of $50 but had no idea where you would get it, but then someone randomly gives you a $50 bill, or you find one in your mailbox, or wherever! These are testimonies of God’s goodness – He is the great healer and provider. Testimonies can be found in less obvious forms as well – finding your car keys when you thought you had lost them for good, running into an old friend that you have been meaning to contact, having a healthy baby, etc.
Our church decided to begin each Sunday service with a slew of testimonies from anyone in the congregation that has one to share. We have been doing this for more than a year now and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. It glorifies what God is doing and gets us excited about it! In recent months we have decided to take it a step further and after each testimony would stop and just shout our praises to God’s goodness, make some declarations of who He is based on the testimony, then claim the testimony for our own lives.
“I want you all to know about the miraculous signs and wonders the Most High God has performed for me.”
In my book Hope Filled I touch on the subject of claiming testimonies, but I’d like to dive right in to the topic with more exploration and clarity now.
In Revelation 19:10 an angel speaks to John saying that the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophesy. What does that mean? Personally, I view this verse as meaning that the testimony of Jesus (the good that God had poured out so miraculously through Jesus) is the spirit of prophesy (something that will come to pass once again). I believe that what God has done, He can do again. In the bible Jesus will advise people to tell others of what he has done (see Mark 5:19), and why? I believe it’s not only to showcase God’s goodness to all the people, but also to bring hope, and what is the essence of hope? The belief that good will come. If I am unable to have a baby, but then I hear a testimony of how someone was not able to conceive, but then did, I would start to gain hope that maybe that could happen to me as well!
If we’re going to go through the path of claiming other people’s testimonies for our own lives, I believe there are some tools that we can use to build our faith level and, God-willing, have them come to pass. (I’m not about to give you a list of to-do’s in order for you to get your wish, rather I’m giving you some tools that will help build your faith and strengthen the relationship you have with God while striving for your hearts desires. Ultimately it’s God who will choose what’s best for us, when it’s best, and how He gives it; but I also don’t think He wants us to sit lazily for things to come to pass in our lives, we need to press in and reach for our dreams).
The first tool is declarations. I’m going to use my earlier example of not being able to conceive, and then miraculously getting pregnant here. If I hear of someone who had infertility issues but were able to get pregnant, and I haven’t been able to get pregnant, I would love to claim their victory for my own life. I think the very first thing that should be done is let God know the desire of my heart. It’s not that He doesn’t already know, but speaking it out loud has a lot of worth. Following that up with some spirit-lifting declarations (spoken out loud!) can really build up the faith level. Saying things like “I will get pregnant!”, “I will have a healthy baby!”, “I am no longer infertile!”, etc. Words are so powerful, and the more we repeat them the more we believe them!
The second tool is scripture. Find passages in the bible that agree with what you’re hoping for. Remember, the bible is a living book and is full of testimonies waiting to be repeated!
The third tool is prayer! Talk to God! Tell Him what you want. You can’t receive what you want if you don’t ask for it. It’s as simple as that.
Have I claimed other people’s testimonies for my own life? Of course! I often do actually. Every Sunday morning a whole whack of people at my church claim one another’s testimonies for their own lives… it’s great fun! We have even witnessed people get healed right after someone shared a testimony of how they got healed! Amazing! I really do think that having a boost of hope can bring on miracles.
More specifically for myself though, leading up to my pregnancy with Tobias and throughout the pregnancy, I scoured the internet for successful vbac (vaginal birth after cesarean) birth stories to cling to. They kept my hope up, and I knew that if it could happen for those people, then it could happen for me. And it did! I had a successful vbac and I thank God for it!
There have also been times when I claimed others’ testimonies but they did not come to pass in my own life (at least not yet… God’s timing can be completely different from what we think it should be). I don’t give up hope though. God always knows what’s best for us, and sometimes it looks different from what we think it should.
So with all that being said, I think it’s great to hear testimonies, and if we feel moved by what God has done for someone, then we shouldn’t be afraid to ask for it to happen for us as well. It doesn’t mean that we will automatically get it, it doesn’t mean we’ll get it at all, but we might. As long as we hold onto hope, God will bless us in the best way that He sees fit.