I love to share things that have happened to me. A crazy amount of ridiculous things have taken place in my life, and I enjoy sharing the hilarity of awkward situations I've been forced into.
But beyond the silliness...are we sharing our stories?
Our stories about when we didn't think we were going to make it. About when we almost ended it all. About when we didn't think God would come through. About when we were broken in so many pieces, we were certain that we would never be healed. About the immense pain caused by a family member or friend.
And how about the stories of incredible joy and goodness? When we did pull through? When God showed up? When we saw a purpose in the pain? When the unthinkable happened? When we fell into the arms of Jesus...when we realized the power He has in our lives?
These are the stories that make us who we are. Our generation has so many platforms for communication, with technology and social media. We have the potential to reach more people than was ever before possible.
Sometimes, I wonder if God lets us go through certain things because He wants us to be a comfort to people who will go through the same. I wonder if He allows us certain hurts because it will bring us closer as a Church...to truly be one body.
Our stories need to be shared. And not flippantly, as though they don't matter, as though they are powerless...but proclaimed as they are. Without trying to downplay the pain. Without trying to downplay the goodness.
"They conquered him by the blood of the lamb and the word of their testimony." -Revelation 12:11
Revelation 12:10 accuses Satan of being the "accuser". At least in my life, that is his most accurate title. He accuses me of not being good enough, of not being important enough. He tells me that God can't use my life, God can't use my stories...that I'm too little and insignificant. He points his finger at me and says what I'm going through is too big for me, it's too big for God, and pain only leads to more pain.
Well duh. Satan isn't stupid.
The great accuser is CONQUERED by BLOOD OF THE LAMB. That is the Blood of Christ Jesus, spilled out for us on the cross...it literally covers us and conquers Satan.
I think it is so cool that NOT ONLY is Satan conquered by Jesus's Blood, but also by our testimony. God uses our stories-- the good and the seemingly bad-- to DEFEAT SATAN. God uses you to defeat evil.
So of course, Satan is going to downplay the importance of your story. He is going to tell you that it's not as exciting as everyone else's story, that it's not going to have an impact on anyone. He's going to tell you that God can't use your story...but that's exactly what God wants to do.
For me, telling my stories has been so healing for me. Being able to proclaim God's workings in my life is such a blessing. But it's more than just me...time after time, Jesus has used my story to bring healing to another person's life, which is the most humbling thing ever. Being used to glorify God and advance His kingdom...wow. It's amazing.
Friends, He desires to use you, too, in so many amazing ways! Never once doubt that He is not using you and that He will not use you. Together, let's pray to surrender more deeply to being used by Him.
God is continually working in all of our lives. We are living our testimonies out...our stories are not over. But God sees everything, beginning, end, and middle, and He pours out His love and His goodness upon us every minute of every day. Let's glorify His name and proclaim our testimony, to set prisoners free and kick Satan's butt.
If you're doing this whole Lent thing, here's my challenge for you: share your story. How has God worked in your life? Where has His goodness manifested itself? Share it in the comments and then pray for opportunities to share it with those in your life!