"Your Testimony Will Show Them" Part 2
"YOUR TESTIMONY WILL SHOW THEM" Part 2
"Your Testimony will show them". Questions formed within me. What did He mean,"My testimony would show them"? How? And to whom? The Lord's words puzzled me greatly. They burned into my mind like a brand of fire. I did not understand their meaning yet I never ever forgot them.
I only knew one scripture that was similiar, Revelations 12:10,"And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb,and by the word of their testimony..." But I wasn't aware that this scripture speaks of us now. It is"us" doing the overcoming, and the "he" we overcome is the devil, who is the oppressor-- the giver of sickness,disease and all other parts of the curse of the law.
What do we overcome him with? The blood of the Lamb. The blood of Jesus,"In whom we have redemption through his blood,even the forgiveness of sins."
The blood of Jesus which he poured out to save,heal,forgive,free. For each of us. And, the "word" of our testimony. What we say, our "words",based upon Fact. The Word. And the faith we have in Jesus and in the victory He won. Our faith in the victory He won for us--for us, not for Himself, because He doesn't need it. We do the overcoming through Him. Yet, in 2009,I wasn't overcoming. In 2009, I was being overcome.
THE TALK of DEATH~
As January 2010 burst forth in an explosion with the noise and flash of the New Year fireworks display, I was not sure I'd see another year past this. Only those words the Lord had spoken just before Christmas caused me to hope there would be more. I couldn't imagine having any testimony to "show them"-- whoever "them" was, if I died. I would need to live in order to have a testimony.
On the one hand, I couldn't think of any natural way to avoid death. Kidneys are a vital organ of the body, and it's a bit hard to live with non-functioning ones. In fact,it's nigh impossible.
But on the other hand,I was not actually convinced I would die. Especially in light of the Lord God's prophetic words to me "Your testimony will show them".
There had been so many times in my life when death came so close to me that I could feel the hotness of it's breath upon my neck. Each time the Lord had stepped onto the scene and saved me. But it was clear that my kidneys were in failure and I was feeling the effects.
It is doubtful that my family in faraway America were ever really aware of how close I came to death, since they never saw me. But,neighbours, they were another matter. They see and hear everything. And my neghbours? They did see, they did hear, and they were clearly worried. They were so worried, they took to sending flowers,loving messages on cards,candy,even fruit. Before their very eyes, my symptoms increased in both strength and number and my body weakened.
Radiating pain in my back and sides, especially the left one, was my constant companion,the heart skipped beats even with medication. My feet were so swollen,blown up like grotesquely shaped balloons. Chris loaned me a pair of his much larger house slippers,as often my feet could no longer fit into my own shoes.
I tired easily,but only slept for brief periods,in the day as well as the night. My appetite decreased as nausea was more of a problem. I became a pile of bones wearing skin. The smallest clothes I could find out of my then massive wardrobe,sagged and bagged,though I often wore a thick,loose robe,not feeling up to dressing.
When a body is dying, it tries to cope with the changes, and compensate, and the results can often be alarming.
I vividly recall the afternoon I laid down for a nap, and got up an hour later, only to find that the clothes I had been wearing prior to the nap no longer fit. My waist size had increased by two inches caused by fluid retention. What a shock this was.
I got up early, leaving Chris alone, looking comfortable and at peace. There in the quietness of that winter morning, in the dimness of light, my own thoughts were far from peaceful as I had not yet reached the point of feeling "resigned". There was still a little fight left in me. I was there grappling,going from despair to hope and back again when I heard the words,"You're going to die soon. Don't you think you should make arrangements for Chris and Alli?"
I knew these words were not God's. God never talks negative only positive, and always in line with his Word, and therefore His will,which lives and abides forever. God, the believer who so wants us to believe, never,ever tells us to give up. His are the words of life. He tells us,"I call heaven and earth to record this day against you,that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing:therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live."(Dt. 30:19)
God presents the good He has for us,and warns what bad will happen if we choose to walk with the enemy instead.
Always God is calling out to each one of us,continually, in order to draw us to Himself. It is not His will that any should perish,nor is it His will that any of us live in despair. I have heard many say,"No, God does not speak to me. He only speaks to a select few,He only speaks to you." Well, I say to you, it is not that He doesn't and isn't speaking, it's that you're not hearing. He speaks through His unchanging word, but it lays unread, or at the best, skimmed over.
He speaks to us each personally. Both to me and to you. God's words rang out all through the earth,the bells of freedom, peals of mercy and love, as our Giver of Life gave us,you and me,the most precious gift He had to give. He gave us His only begotten Son because of His His life for our life. "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son,that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish,but have eternal life." (John 3:16)
How about your son,your only son,or your only child would you give your child to save someone else?
If you say,"I don't have a child. Imagine that you do,or think of any person whom you treasure above all else. Would you give such a priceless gift for someone else's life? God did.
Well, how about for an enemy? Would you give your son's life in exchange for theirs'? Do you love this much? God did. God does. He does love us this much. He loves me this much. He loves you this much. Which leads us to a subject that puzzles many: why did God give us Jesus? He gave the life of Jesus in exchange for our lives,mine and yours. "Then He is gracious unto him,and said,Deliver him from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom."(Job 33:24) Jesus was our ransom.
What is a ransom? Something given in order to pay a debt in full. Only this debt was much greater than our money could ever pay. Besides that,the one holding this debt over us already had dominion not only over us, but over all the earth, and all that was in it.
When Adam willinging chose to disobey God,he passed from life unto death. Not only physical death,but spiritual death as well. He,Adam,who was made in the image of God,our Maker, took on satan's nature. At that moment,he was then separated from God,who is all good, making us enemies of God. The Bible tells us that all he,Adam, chose and became--the sin nature, the curse-death-- passed on to each of us."Whereby,as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men for all have sinned." (Romans 5:12)
We were in Adam's loins when he sinned, so his sin and the sin nature passed on to us. It placed us in bondage to satan. This sin nature made each of us his slave, and brought us out of God's blessing,placing us under satan's curse.(Romans 5:12)
All Adam had: dominion(power/authority) over the earth and all that is in it, passed over to satan,who then became "the god of this world". We were in Adam's loins when he sinned,so his sin and the sin nature passed on to us. And in this way,all evil,death,sickness,disease,poverty,hate,destruction,selfishness entered this world.
In case you've ever questioned why is there so much evil in this world,this is why. Can a world ran by one who is pure evil be filled with good? No. The evil corrupting this world is proof of this. Man,who has the satanic nature within him, acts like the god he serves. Evil. Cruel. Cold. Sadistic.Oppressive. Self-serving. Unrighteous.
And each of us were being held in bondage by the god of this world,the devil. This left us in a hopeless situation,held captive against our wills,our choice. So,as the Bible tells us,we needed to be ransomed. But not just any ransom would do. This sacrifice had to be righteous,right-standing,sin-free. He could not be a man from Adam,as we are. As the Bible says, we have all sinned. We are each blackened by sin, no matter how "good" we try to be. We have no personal rightstanding,or righteousness. Our own righteousness is as the Word of God puts it,"...filthy rags."
Only unrighteousness comes from Adam,only ones with sin-producing natures,like us come from his loins. Sin-filled cannot redeem sin-filled. A man already belonging to satan could not be used. That would be like attempting to buy back all prisoners with one from the same prison. There would be no bargaining power,would there?
No,the man God would choose as the sacrifice for our sin,and as ransom, so as to set us free, had to be spotless,pure,without blemish,sin-free,and perfect in every way.
Sounding impossible? It is for man,but not for God.
How did He do it? He fathered a Son,the Bible tells us,His only Son,who was made of woman and therefore did not possess the sin-nature Adam passed down. This Son was Jesus. In I Peter 1:18-21 we have details of what Jesus became for each one of us,"For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world,but was revealed in these last times for your sake. Through Him you believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and glorified Him, and so your faith and hope are in God."
In death, Jesus became sin for us that we might be made righteous in Him. He became the curse so that we might have the blessing in Him. He became the sacrifice for us in death so we might have abundant life here in this world, and in the world to come. He became the intercessor to our righteous,holy, all good Maker, so that we would be reconciled to God--friends,instead of enemies of God, sons and daughters. This is love.
Yet,that morning,when I hadn't listened to hear what God was saying to me, I heard instead a nagging,bossy voice speaking death. I was aware that these were the words of the enemy. But, on that wintery day, I allowed myself to absorb what he said, and you know, it seemed to make sense. I found myself actually agreeing with him,having forgotten that he is crafty, and his words are twisted around a forked tongue,speaking defeat,despair,no hope. Jesus calls him," The Father of all lies ,a murderer from the beginning."
I had forgotten that the God of hope encourages us,"Only believe; All things are possible to him who believes." I had forgotten God's words to me not long before,"Your Testimony will show them." Words of life,not of death.
Always,even in the smallest things,we are given a choice. We choose. And in a split-second, I made the wrong choice. I listened to the words of death. I listened to the liar.
That afternoon, I had an appointment. I didn't feel like going. In fact, I dreaded it; it took all of my strength to get ready for it. Once I had given in to defeat, my fight, my strength, seemed to drain clean out of me. I found myself sinking into hopelessness,but I kept that appointment.
Getting back home was such a relief. My energy was depleted,and as Chris unlocked our front door, I had but one desire,to withdraw,to get by myself and rest.
I walked straight for the tiny enclosed porch at the back of the house. This was my private haven. Within the porch's close,safe walls, I smoked, I prayed,I read. I sat in there alot these days,often in pain.
No sooner had I reached my haven, when I heard the sound of Chris's voice coming from our rarely used dining room. He was scolding our little dog,Alli Bongo for getting into a box of books kept in the far corner.This was very unlike Alli. I called to Chris,"What's the problem? What's she done?" "
"She got into this box of books and they're all over the floor."
As drained as I felt at that particular moment,I answered,"Don't worry about it, Chris. I'll pick them up myself." Of course, I imagined book strewn out all over the floor, a right mess to clean up.
I struggled up out of my chair. Entering the dining room, I surveyed the scene. There was the box. But where was the mess?
Stepping closer,I noticed two books,one fairly thin;the other,a pocket-size. They appeared to be neatly layed out,side by side. I crouched down intending to quickly rebox them. But as I picked them up,I felt drawn to them. The thin one was,"Prevailing Prayer of Peace",by Kenneth E Hagin,the other,"The Creative Force of the Tongue" by Charles Capps. Mama and Becky had sent them to me long ago,but I had never read them. Suddenly I wanted to,so scooping them up in my hands,I retreated back into my little cubbyhole.
By now,because I was skin and bones with no fat remaining,there was a sore spot on my coccyx from spending so much time in bed,or seated in one place for long periods of time. I had purchased a special pillow with the center cut out in November of the past year to sit on. It had been hard to find and very pricey,but to my disappointment, sitting on it was uncomfortable, more so than sitting without it,so it had set unused. I decided to sell it and to recoup some of the wasted money.
Chris and I placed an ad for it in the local paper. That night,a gentleman called about it,and decided he would buy it for his wife. Chris asked how much I wanted for it,and I told him. Somehow,this man talked Chris into bringing the pillow to him, in the next town,no less.
In a few moments,Chris with the pillow,were on the way. The selling of a pillow may seem to some of you to be a worthless thing for me to include in this story,but you'll soon see the importance,as it helped changed my destiny.
About 1 1/2 hours later, Chris returned without the pillow. I asked how it had went,and what the man had paid in the end. When I heard that Chris had only accepted £10.00 for it,not heeding my instructions,I was furious.
He had driven over there for only £10.00, a mere pittance? That pillow was worth much,much more,and although I had not expected the full asking price, I did want more than that.
So like a spoiled child,I insisted Chris call the man, tell him he could either pay closer to my asking price,or Chris could come and collect the pillow. The man refused to pay the increased amount.
Soon,Chris was on his way back over to retrieve the pillow. The Bible assures us of this one thing,"For we know that all things work for the good for those who love God,and are the called according to His purposes." I've learned with the passage of time how very true this is. But little did either of us know that night that God was moving in a big way.
While Chris drove back toward the next town, I opened the little Capps book and began to read. The impact of the simple words of truth inside the opening pages hit me with the force of a speeding train.
Mark 11:22-23,"Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you,That whosoever shall SAY unto this mountain, Be thou removed and be thou cast into the sea: and does not doubt in his heart,but shall believe that those things which he SAYETH shall come to pass:he shall have whatsoever he SAYETH."
He shall have whatsoever he says...he shall have it...he shall have it!
The Bible says we get what we say? The Bible says THAT? Yes! The Bible says it!
Wow! This being true, I don't have to give up hope. I don't have to die right away.
Greatly excited, I decided to do a test. I said to the Lord,"Lord? If this is true, if you mean this, that we can have what we say, then I can have it,too. So I want to test it right now."
I spoke into the air,"I believe that this man will change his mind about the pillow,and that he will pay--and I spoke out the amount I wanted for it."
Faith rose up within me,and I added,"Further more, I say that he will pay for Chris's petrol there and back, as well."
A minute or two later,the silence was broken by the shrill rings of our phone. I thought to myself," Who could that be at this time of night?" I answered,and found the man who had answered the pillow ad on the other end.
Getting straight to the point he said,"Your husband is here."
Then he asked,"How much do you want for this pillow?"
Listen closely to my reply as the results are based entirely upon MY WORDS. I said,"I would like £____ for it,and I think it's only fair that you pay Chris's petrol costs too." I winced at the word,"think". I wondered if I should have left it out.
When Chris returned that time,I greeted him exuberantly. And sure enough,he had with him the exact amount I had said.
It works! It works! Believe it. Say it. Get it.
Almost bursting with excitement, I shared what I had discovered that night from the Capps book. Then I told him about the test I had done. I reached the part where I had said to the man what I wanted,saying to Chris,"This works! I got the amount I asked for,plus petrol money for your two trips over!"
Chris looked at me,unsmiling. His words were spokem with dryness,"No,not the petrol money. He didn't give that to me."
The wording of my request to the man played back in my head,and I said to Chris,"Well, I wasn't so sure you would. I said "think" when I asked for that. Using "think" was a big mistake." But,I still was convinced that my test was a success,and that the knowledge of this spiritual law--words being the most powerful force in the Universe--would influence the course of my life--that God had a plan, and His plan would work to bring about great change.
CALLING THE THINGS THAT ARE NOT AS THOUGH THEY WERE~
The next day,I was still charged with the power of excitement, my every action fueled by the hope. "Choose blessing,not cursing; Choose life,not death."
That day,I made another choice before God:I choose blessing. I choose life.
On a piece of paper I wrote down several scriptures to which I added positve statements based on each one of these scriptures,meaning,I made each scripture personal. "I,Paula,am healed by Jesus' stripes.(Is 53:5) I,Paula,am in good health. I,Paula,see myself as well and whole. My kidneys are whole and function perfectly."
Now perhaps some will immediately think,"That's New Age stuff. It's of the devil." But, hear me out please. The devil has never had an original thought in his entire existance. He is a created being. The Bible calls him a thief. Actually that's "THE" thief. God is the creator,and He created this. He has always said everything before He does it,and He still does.Did you ever notice that so do we?
So let's stop and think for a moment. God is the Creator;the devil is the copycat. For all that God does shows His originality,and the devil always a copy, because even he is smart enough to know that God is always successful in everything He does.
Besides,this works because it IS God's words, and solidly based upon His Word. Not only one verse of Scripture either,but the entire Word of God. Yet,I won't even attempt to give more scripture for this now,because if I tried to take time to share all of this with you, even in part, my sermon would rival that of the Apostle Paul's in the book of Acts when he preached 8 hours straight,and a young man seated in the upper loft fell asleep,tumbling down to his death. But what happened next? That's not part of my story. Yet if you are curious, turn to Acts,chapter 20. The Bible says for us to prove the things differing,so let's do it,remembering that God always esablishes His word by that of two to three witnesses. "By the mouth of two or more witnesses may every word be established."
Eventually,I will tell you more from my personal life having to do with this law of words and the power of words, even our words. But you'll need to wait for this,until the Holy Spirit decides it's time to share it,causing it to take shape.
That words ARE the most powerful force is something I must always stress now is what I want to get across to you at the moment. This is so important that I no longer speak forth ANY negative words from my mouth about any situation in my life, nor will I speak any about any other person's.
God worked and worked,patiently, to get me to hold on to this truth. I think that old saying,"Stupid is as stupid does" may apply to me here. He had to finally demonstrate this truth by way of some vivid experiences,one far from pleasant. But God drove this truth into me,and it is anchored firmly within my heart-- that our words will bring victory or defeat to us.
Our words unleash God's power, or the devil's, to go to work in our life. So,I will work, also in patience, to bring this across in preachings/teachings and writings. Positive words bring Life. Negative ones bring Death. "This day... I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing:therefore choose life..." God presents the good He has for us,and warns what bad will happen if we choose to walk with the enemy. To know this,to really know it,and practice it, will change your life.
The day I wrote out the scriptures and the affirmations, I first thanked God for revealing this to me by way of a tiny book. I thanked Him for bringing healing into my kidneys. I thanked Him,and I continued to thank and praise Him. Then I began confessing these scriptures and the affirmations over myself outloud. I confessed God's word. I confessed all that is positive.I confessed Life. And I did this several times a day. Each time I got the opportunity.
I stopped confessing symptoms. I stopped confessing sickness. I stopped confessing fear. I stopped confessing death.
On the second day,I felt and looked just as awful as I had the day before,but I didn't care. Like a bloodhound keeps it's nose on the ground,and stays with the trail of the scent, I kept to the scent I was on,saying God's word with meaning,by choice,no matter how I felt.
A week later,still no noticable change. No matter. I fought the good fight--I hung on to my confession. In the second week,I felt hunger for the first time in months. I knew then that healing had broken through. I knew that "He(God) is faithful to perform what He has promised." The Word of God works. Our words work when based upon it. Jesus,The Word had healed me through His word. I had passed from death unto life. God will never let you down. His word will never let you down.
Soon after,health, vigor, vitality and strength began returning to me,turning despair to joy. "I will joy in the God of my Salvation." I was exuberant and thankful to my Lord Jesus. I went to my doctor and happily shared my healing with him, and Who had done it, but he was not as exuberant as I. In fact, he did not react well at all. His reply was angry and cutting. A kidney function test was ordered immediately. I'm not sure if this was my idea or his.
The following week,I re-entered his office,and what a change had come over him! His entire face was lit up by his smile. He spoke and I'll never forget his words. They are ingrained in my memory,burned in. "Paula, I got your tests back,and I don't know what you've been doing,but whatever it is,keep doing it! I've never seen such results for you. They're PERFECT. I couldn't be happier."
I wish I could say that this was the moment when I started walking consistently,day by day,hour by hour,minute by minute, in the light of the vital truth I had been given,but sadly, this is not how it happened, as you know if you've read "Broken Promises". Yet,God was not finished with the work. And due to the fact that I wasn't good to holding onto the light I had been given, it was necessary that He show me, by way of tiny steps,and small bites at a time,showing me the same truth,applied, over and over again. His goal was to see me completely free,to see me committed to Him totally. He had a plan for my life. His plan extended beyond this healing. His work had only just begun. I longed for something,and He was about to give it to me. I was about to get a major prayer answer. I was about to partake of God's Double Header.
TO BE CONTINUED...