True or false: the only people who have a gripping testimony to share are those who spent twenty years on the mission field in Africa, those who were supernaturally delivered from addiction to crack, or those who heard an audible voice call their name and saw a white light at the end of a long dark tunnel.Â
False. Those are gripping stories and I love hearing them. But my true opinion is that every single follower of Christ could have a best-selling novel or movie made about their lives if they had a perceptive listener sit down and truly listen to their story. And scripture backs me up on this: Luke 15 says that when a sinner repents, all heaven erupts in joy. On earth, though, the spiritual “action” of your life is quiet and often goes un-noticed, perhaps even by you. But don’t be fooled: a life-and-death drama has unfolded within you, and it continues to unfold. The question is whether you validate that or not.
Let me share an anecdote to shed light on what I’m saying. When I go to Wegmans, I usually ask the check-out person, “So what’s one cool thing that happened in your life today?” You can probably guess the usual response: “Not much, it’s been pretty boring today.” I want to shout “Boring? Did you really say BORING??? That’s an affront to God! He gave you LIFE â€“ and you’re missing it!” (Just so you know, I don’t usually say that. Only sometimes.)
A better answer from that check-out person would be something like, “Well, I was tempted to smoke a cigarette today. I’ve been off them for four months, and when an urge hit me I asked God for strength and he sent me a legion of Shining Ones to fight for me. Right now there’s a battle going on in my bloodstream and in my soul. And I don’t know the outcome yet. But thanks for asking!” That would be a better answer.
Every day life is being won and life is being lost. In you and in me. It’s dramatic, but it may appear mundane if we don’t view it from the standpoint of heaven.
I’d like us to get in the practice of sharing short faith stories in worship on Sundays. Some of you are already good at this; you’re good at identifying God’s triumphs in your life and you’re good at sharing it. It encourages us! We need to see the victories piling up in others’ lives because it helps us appreciate the same thing happening in our own. So think a moment: what short triumph might you share as a way of thanking God for his activity in your life? Would you be willing to let me in on it so we could shape it into a 2-3 minute praise report for a Sunday morning? Or would you be willing to simply share it as a thanksgiving during prayer?
But I call dibs on the copyright to the mini-series when they start production of your biography in 2022.