Note from Joanna: Our beautiful guest post today is from my dear friend Jodi Kozan. She has an incredible heart for Jesus that shines through her words! You can read more about how to connect with her at the end of the post.
“O my people, listen to my instructions. Open your ears to what I am saying, for I will speak to you in a parable. I will teach you hidden lessons from our past—stories we have heard and known, stories our ancestors handed down to us.” (Psalm 78: 1-3 NLT)
Do you ever read through old testament passages just floored by the fact that God’s chosen people would forget, forsake or flippantly ignore God’s commands? I know I have. However, it doesn’t take long to be reminded that we too fall prey to spiritual eyes and ears being closed. It’s one thing to hear about God’s truth, it’s quite another to appropriate it in our lives. Otherwise, it becomes just a story and not a revelatory life changing reality. Teaching and testimony go hand in hand.
The apostles knew the importance of hearing and experiencing God’s Word as found in a relationship with Jesus Christ. Peter and John were arrested and put before the religious leaders in the council and asked to stop preaching about Jesus, of which they boldly replied: “We cannot stop telling about everything we have seen and heard!” (Acts 4:20 NLT) Oh, I can just imagine the Holy Spirit adrenaline pouring forth from those two men of faith just aching for all to come to know what they knew deeply from the core!
Backing up again to our key passage from Psalm 78:4 it says: “We will not hide these truths from our children; we will tell the next generation about the glorious deeds of the Lord, about his power and his mighty wonders.”
Have you ever “hidden” your faith from those within your sphere of influence?
It is evident throughout scripture that when we fail to "tell the next generation", we can all suffer the consequences. But when we declare who Jesus is in our lives (or how the Holy Spirit has empowered us), our testimony of God’s goodness lives on in others. It not only encourages those who already profess faith in Christ, but it also plants seeds of faith in those who do not yet know Him.
When I reflect on reasons why I’ve withheld testimony in the past, I am humbled by God’s grace. When we choose to keep our testimony to ourselves, in a sense, we become hoarders--self consumed with our faith.
Love is the basis for testimony. Love of God and our love for others. The spotlight then is on Jesus and His wonder working restoration power in our lives! There is nothing more satisfying than sharing my faith in Christ to a world in need. Be it through my own family, ministry team, neighbors, church members or online communities, knowing wholeheartedly that it’s not about me, but all about Him!
"So each generation should set its hope anew on God, not forgetting his glorious miracles and obeying his commands. Then they will not be like their ancestors—stubborn, rebellious, and unfaithful, refusing to give their hearts to God.” (Psalm 78:6-8 NLT)
What about you? Do you wrestle with giving your heart fully to God by sharing your testimony? Maybe you have believed the lies from the enemy. He wants to rob you of kingdom effectiveness, kill your passion for Christ and steal your confidence to share Christ through your story. My advice to you: Walk in the opposite spirit and be stubborn for Christ, rebel against apathy and to refuse to be silent any more. Ask yourself this: What have I personally seen and heard or experienced about Christ Jesus that I am called to declare today, tomorrow and throughout my lifetime?
Jodi Kozan is the founder and president of Women’s Journey of Faith. Their vision is the “Restoration of Women” and everything that coincides with WJOF along with Jodi’s writing and speaking is geared in that direction. They host Faith Story seminars, conferences and highlight speakers online at www.wjof.com
Jodi has been married to Tim for twenty-three years and have four daughters living in Saskatoon, SK Canada. You can visit her personal website as well at www.jodikozan.com and connect on Facebook and twitter!