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Your Testimony - Overcoming

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Loyal
Top Poster Of Month
A few decades ago, many of the churches I went to, would occasionally ask people to give their "testimony".
It seems this really isn't practiced anymore. I'm not sure why.

What is a testimony? There seems to be some confusion about this. When you ask some people what their testimony is.... they reply with....
I got baptized when I was 16, .... or ... Jesus loves me.
Sometimes they will say something like ... "one time at band camp, a frog got in my swim trunks".
and yet others will say... "I got arthritis in my left knee, and my dog died last year".

None of those are testimonies.

A testimony is simply how God changed you, or how God is working in your life, sometimes it can be
what God has done for you lately. A testimony is mostly about ... "overcoming".

I my case... as I've shared a few time before on TJ... I used to be a drinker, womanizer, addicted to pornography.
I used to curse quite a bit, exaggerate (lie) from time to time, and even steal things from to time.
I have been in jail (more than once) and used to get into a lot of fights.
That was the "old" me... and that's part of my testimony.
I can't say I don't sin at all, I can't say I'm perfect yet. But I can say... I haven't looked at pornography in years
and years. I've been faithfully married for about six years now. I would say I quit swearing, but I think I did
one or twice last year. (hey, it's better than it used to be... almost every other word).
I don't lie or steal anymore, and I haven't been in real fight in decades.

This is known as "overcoming". What are we overcoming? The works of Satan, the deeds of the flesh, the
sinful nature, it's know by many names... but whatever you call it. It's the old flesh, the part of you that you
want to get rid of.

It's funny, I was a fireman in Texas about 20 years ago. Every now and then when I go back down there I run into my friends from those days,, and they'll ask to go out drinking with them, or to a stripper club, or maybe just dancing (but not with my wife). Of course I always turn them down. Sometimes, if I feel led to, I'll share my testimony.

A lot of this has to do with how we are "slaves" to sin. We are literally in bondage to sin and have no power
to overcome it on our own. When we become Christians and the Holy Spirit enters us... we should have a new power, a power we didn't have before. A power to overcome.
 
Loyal
Top Poster Of Month
Part of this "power" should make you fearless even in the face of death.

Rev 20:4; Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.

What can we do with this power?

Rev 12:10; Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, "Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night.
Rev 12:11; "And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death.

This is the power overcome... sin, the flesh, and even the fear of death. As a Chrsitian, you should be "overcoming".

1 Jn 5:5; Who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

Without Jesus you have no hope of overcoming.

Rev 2:7; 'He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will grant to eat of the tree of life which is in the Paradise of God.'
Rev 2:11; 'He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt by the second death.'
Rev 2:17; 'He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, to him I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and a new name written on the stone which no one knows but he who receives it.'
Rev 2:26; 'He who overcomes, and he who keeps My deeds until the end, TO HIM I WILL GIVE AUTHORITY OVER THE NATIONS;
Rev 3:5; 'He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.
Rev 3:12; 'He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will not go out from it anymore; and I will write on him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God, and My new name.
Rev 3:21; 'He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.
Rev 21:7 "He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son.

Are you an overcomer? Do you have a testimony? Or is your testimony simply that Jesus loves you... but you're still in bondage to the same sins that you were before
Jesus "saved" you.
 
Loyal
NIce post BAC thanks for sharing, my church that I have only been attending now for two years has a video every week of someones true testimony, some of them will bring tears to your eyes. Its amazing to here what God does in people life's, I really like them. Although I have herd one preacher (Vern McGee) state he could not stand these testimonies in churches because it brought the attention on the person instead of Jesus, I do not know if I agree with him but it is certainly something to be careful about.

It is so nice to life transformation take place, when you look back and o my goodness I could never live like that again, thats when I get crazy happy and know God is working in me, even the tv & movie shows I used to watch my my skin crawl now.

Do you think everyone who is saved experiences such joy and growth in the Lord? that is a question I often ponder
 
Loyal
Top Poster Of Month
There are places in the Bible, where it tells us to "tell what God has done" to those who come after us. Even our children.

Jos 4:6; "Let this be a sign among you, so that when your children ask later, saying, 'What do these stones mean to you?'

Deut 31:13; "Their children, who have not known, will hear and learn to fear the LORD your God, as long as you live on the land which you are about to cross the Jordan to possess."
 
Loyal
A few decades ago, many of the churches I went to, would occasionally ask people to give their "testimony".
It seems this really isn't practiced anymore. I'm not sure why.

What is a testimony? There seems to be some confusion about this. When you ask some people what their testimony is.... they reply with....
I got baptized when I was 16, .... or ... Jesus loves me.
Sometimes they will say something like ... "one time at band camp, a frog got in my swim trunks".
and yet others will say... "I got arthritis in my left knee, and my dog died last year".

None of those are testimonies.

A testimony is simply how God changed you, or how God is working in your life, sometimes it can be
what God has done for you lately. A testimony is mostly about ... "overcoming".

I my case... as I've shared a few time before on TJ... I used to be a drinker, womanizer, addicted to pornography.
I used to curse quite a bit, exaggerate (lie) from time to time, and even steal things from to time.
I have been in jail (more than once) and used to get into a lot of fights.
That was the "old" me... and that's part of my testimony.
I can't say I don't sin at all, I can't say I'm perfect yet. But I can say... I haven't looked at pornography in years
and years. I've been faithfully married for about six years now. I would say I quit swearing, but I think I did
one or twice last year. (hey, it's better than it used to be... almost every other word).
I don't lie or steal anymore, and I haven't been in real fight in decades.

This is known as "overcoming". What are we overcoming? The works of Satan, the deeds of the flesh, the
sinful nature, it's know by many names... but whatever you call it. It's the old flesh, the part of you that you
want to get rid of.

It's funny, I was a fireman in Texas about 20 years ago. Every now and then when I go back down there I run into my friends from those days,, and they'll ask to go out drinking with them, or to a stripper club, or maybe just dancing (but not with my wife). Of course I always turn them down. Sometimes, if I feel led to, I'll share my testimony.

A lot of this has to do with how we are "slaves" to sin. We are literally in bondage to sin and have no power
to overcome it on our own. When we become Christians and the Holy Spirit enters us... we should have a new power, a power we didn't have before. A power to overcome.
@B-A-C - Praise the Lord for what He has done in your life! I have shared my testimony on here more than once, or different parts of it at different times, and then the Lord recently led me to write it in book form and to place it on a blog he had me create for that purpose, and the Lord is using it in other people's lives, for the number of people who are going through what you have described here is at an alarming rate now, even within the church, and among church leadership. So many, many people are still where you were and have not yet overcome, and many of them know the right way, for they claim to be Christians, and some of them are pastors, but they are addicted and Satan has them in his grip, and they are resisting the Holy Spirit's voice instead of being overcomers. But, praise God! In his power, in his strength, in his wisdom, we can overcome! Amen!!

P.S. When I was a young woman we used to have testimony services at church at least once a month. I remember those well. Sometimes we would have something like that during communion, too. Those were very special times for me. I always got encouraged by other people's testimonies. We never know who is going through what we are going through or what we have gone through and how our testimony might help someone else not to go down the same path as us, or how it might help them to be overcomers, too, so YES, we should be sharing our testimonies.
 
Active
I can't say I don't sin at all, I can't say I'm perfect yet.
With that sentence you refute your "overcoming".

This is known as "overcoming". What are we overcoming? The works of Satan, the deeds of the flesh, the
sinful nature, it's know by many names... but whatever you call it. It's the old flesh, the part of you that you
want to get rid of.
Thanks be to God, He has provided us the way to "get rid of it".
It is written..."And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts." (Gal 5:24)
How do we "crucify the flesh, etc"?
It is written..."
Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin." (Rom 6:3-6)
The next verse tells us the results of obeying the 3rd thru 6th..."For he that is dead i freed from sin." (Rom 6:7)

A lot of this has to do with how we are "slaves" to sin. We are literally in bondage to sin and have no power
to overcome it on our own. When we become Christians and the Holy Spirit enters us... we should have a new power, a power we didn't have before. A power to overcome.
When you can say "When we WERE the slaves to sin" you will be counted as an overcomer.

I thank God for your testimony, but if you really want to love God above all else, there is nothing standing in your way but you.
A real "turn from" sin is permanent.
Thanks be to God.
 
Loyal
On the Holy Spirit: Back in 1974 we moved into an apartment in Sunnyvale, Calif. with our little son. My wife was pregnant with our daughter. This was the beginning of the witness that was to win us to God. As we moved into that apartment on the ground floor another family, a black family was moving into the apartment directly above ours. They already had three small children and the wife was pregnant with their first boy. During the time we lived beneath them we became close friends and they witnessed to us with their lives. That is to say they were serving God in a manner I have seldom seen before or since.

While we became friends, it was their charity that drew us to them even while we laughed at them behind their backs. We drank our beer and did other things that world people do while they were loving God and their neighbors. Toward the end of 1974 my job working for Uncle Sam came through and as soon as my wife's doctor would allow it we moved away from that family of God, but we retained a communication link with them and their friendship. Never during the time we were close neighbors did we ever consider serving God in spite of what we saw in their lives. It was only when things came to a head in our marriage and we about to lose each other and even the love we both had for our children was insufficient to hold us together... although it had kept us together that long.

During our friendship with that family they were always helping us even though they had more children and their income was definitely less than ours. When a baby sitter was needed it was always our need and their supply. The other wife took care of our two along with her own four and we being typical would not pay them anything if we could help it. Through this abuse and misuse of friendship they never wavered in their service for God not in their friendship with us.

In January of 1976, my wife were at the end of our rope. Divorce was in our minds. We were still together only because of our two children. Our son was a 2½ and our daughter was just over 1 year old.
Neither of us wanted a divorce, but neither did we want to continue living in the middle of a battlefield. The subject of our Christian friends came up and we decided to call them on the phone to see if the mother was willing one more time to watch our children so we could spend a couple of day alone together and hopefully work out our problems. We called and she immediately agreed.

We got some things packed for the children and loaded up the car to take them to Sunnyvale, now about 50 miles to the south. As we were driving we got to talking and one of us [neither of us remember which one it was] suggested asking our friends if their invitation to attend church with them was still open. They had never pressured us on that point, but they did invite us a couple of times.

When we arrived at their home in Sunnyvale, we immediately asked about going to church with them. The wife was delighted and got on the phone to talk to her husband at work. The connection was made and our future was changed.

Our repentance occurred on Jan 15, 1976 and we were baptized in water the next day. On Jan 17 my wife received the baptism of the Holy Ghost, but I was left on the outside but quite hungry. We became regular church goers never missing. We joined their new converts class and began for the first time in our lives to read the Bible.
I would go home crying after each service because I had not received what my wife did. I wanted it. I was not even sure what it was but she bubbled and I knew it was a good thing.

More than once in the days and weeks ahead our new pastor would speak to me in the pew from the platform in front of the whole congregation saying: "Brother Hedrick if you don't receive the baptism of the Holy Ghost you are going to hell". [This hurt me, but it was really the beginning of the end for us in that church, but not yet.] The only thing I knew was what the little remembered from Catholicism and now the little I had heard so far. Bible reading was a brand new thing so I understood little or nothing from there. But... I knew why there was not Holy Ghost yet for me. I could change it, but it was a hard decision.

On March 6 of 1976 I went to church resolved to get the Holy Ghost. I would give up my job, the government job that I loved too much so as to please God. That the day and the hour for me. I was standing in prayer and worshipping God. I had been doing that every time I went to church so this time no one immediately joined me to offer encouragement.. not one man. It was customary for the women to pray with the women and for the men pray with the men. I was taking too long and I guess they all gave up on me. No one came to stand beside me and pray with me initially... but. My wife saw me praying alone in front of pews and below the platform and she let a little of her temper take hold of her as she moved forward and took my hand to pray with me. My eyes were closed so I did not see or understand all of this until she told me later.

Somewhere along there once she was with me, I reached out and touched God and told Him that my job was in His hands and I was in His hands. What I felt then was a warmth that moved through my entire body from head to foot filling me completely. My mouth which had been praising God and talking to God began to speak words which were not English or German or Spanish. They were of God... That was really the beginning and still a long way from the end.
 

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