God has said that those who believe in Him this year shall give testimonies. So, I prophesy to you that by the grace of God 2023 shall be your year of testimony. No matter the ups and downs globally, nationally economically, socially or politically God will set you apart to give testimonies in Jesus’ name. You will give testimonies of deliverance from powers of darkness and translation to the kingdom of God, deliverance from barrenness, joblessness, drugs, addictions, limitation, failures and stagnation in Jesus’ name.
What is a Testimony?
In the Hebrew language testimony means do it again.
A testimony is a written or spoken record of what god has done. Testimonies most times are results of steps that were taking to achieve an objective successfully. Testimony is about honouring the Lord by bearing witness to others about his work in your life. It is proof that God is at work. “I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee. Psalm 22:22. Testimonies are products of God exception, miraculous and supernatural acts on people on earth.
It is important that you give testimonies, because testimonies have the power to set you free. “And they have defeated him by the blood of the Lamb and by their testimony.” Rev 12:11.
The Power of Testimonies and why you Should Give Them
- Testimonies brings glory and honour to the Lord – Jesus says if I will be lifted, I will draw all men to myself. The way God is lifted is that he lifts the vessel that lifts himself. It enables people to see the awesomeness and mightiness of God. Every time you share testimony you create a platform in the heart of people to honour the Lord.
- Testimonies are proof that God can be trusted and that his word is true. Before it used to be philosopher, agnostics that are skeptics but, in our generation, where they see less miracles, people are more sceptical. Testimonies are evidence of God’s work.
- Testimonies act as a seal to the miracles that have been received. When the ten lepers were healed only one came back to share testimony and give thanks and only he was made whole. When you share testimony of what God has done you commit God to protect that testimony. God does not put himself to shame. You put pressure on God to preserve that testimony. A testimony is not what will happen it is what has happened. If some of you shared how you got born again and how God has helped you in the journey of life many others would have come to Christ. Luke 17:12-19
- Testimonies motivate God to reproduce testimonies in your life and in the life of others. Rev 19:10
- Testimonies helps you to defeat the enemy: Rev 12:11
- Testimonies have an impact and powerful effect on you, your family, your friends, the church and the community.
- Testimonies equip us to work in the purpose for which we were created and motivate us to live a life that displays the power of God.
- Testimonies reveals to us how God works. When you hear people say God provided for them miraculously or healed them miraculously, we are seeing how God works – Miraculously!
- Testimonies create an expectation in our hearts for God to work his miracles in our life. What he did in the Bible he can do now. Testimonies also help us to have expectation when you pray.
- Through testimonies God’s power is released into the lives of those who hear it.
- Testimonies are what connects each succeeding generation of believers to God’s promises and power (Share your testimony of when you just came to Canada in the hotel) Deut 6:17,20. When your children ask you why do you believe in God you are able to tell them this is what God has done in your life ; Psalm 78:5-7
- When testimonies are forgotten, faith for the miraculous is diminished and so is obedience to God’s commands. Psalm 78:9-10- Don’t forget what God has done. The bible is not fairy tales. It is a book of what God has done. Never cease talking about what God has done . There is prophetic power on every testimony. When you talk less you expect less.
- When testimonies are forgotten we not only forget who God is, but we forget who we are!
How to generate testimony – A case of Hannah
Testimony is great for many reasons shared above. Experiences has shown that testimonies can be had, heard, shared, repeated, lost and recovered.
The book of Samuel gives us synopsis of people’s life that produced testimonies, the likes of Hannah, Sameul and David. But for the purpose of this message, we shall learn how to provoke testimony from the life of Hannah.
“Elkanah had two wives, Hannah and Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah did not. 6. So Peninnah would taunt Hannah and make fun of her because the Lord had kept her from having children. 7. Year after year it was the same—Peninnah would taunt Hannah as they went to the Tabernacle. Each time, Hannah would be reduced to tears and would not even eat” 1Sam 1:2,6-7
The passage opens up with Hannah as a wife of Elkanah and a woman that has no child that Peninnah the other wife mocks. It has been said if there are no battles there will be no victory. It is therefore obvious from Hannahs life that challenges will play major part in making her a future testifier. Those who are mocking you now, will be silenced when your miracle arrives.
What do you do to provoke testimonies?
- Realize only those alive have needs and appreciate God for your life and lack.
- Realize if God has the power to seal your womb he has power to open it . “And though he loved Hannah, he would give her only one choice portion because the Lord had given her no children” 1 Sam 5 old king James says, “because God shut her wombs.”
- Realize the solution may take a while to come.
- Realize that though there are people mocking you, God has also placed people in your life to help you and comfort you! “Why are you crying, Hannah?” Elkanah would ask. “Why aren’t you eating? Why be downhearted just because you have no children? You have me—isn’t that better than having ten sons?” This year God will send divine helpers and comforters to you.
- Notice that Hannah did not reply to her jeerers and cheerers or cheerleaders. She focused on God as she set her goal to have a baby. Set your goals and ignore the naysayers!
- In Verse 7 “therefore she wept and did not eat”. In the journey to your miracles and testimonies it is okay to weep and not eat but don’t stay there for long or forever- move to the next level.
- Hannah went to God in Prayers. Hannah did the needful! Not everyone in church is looking for physical or biological children, Hannah is just a prototype to help you secure your miracle. Whatever you are in need off do the needful but don’t exclude God. Hannah knows God is the giver of children. Hannah went to Shiloh. This year if you genuinely want testimony – go to Shiloh. Go to church. Go to the tabernacle. Look for God the author and finisher of your faith. “Learn Once after a sacrificial meal at Shiloh, Hannah got up and went to pray. Eli the priest was sitting at his customary place beside the entrance of the Tabernacle. 10 Hannah was in deep anguish, crying bitterly as she prayed to the Lord. 11 And she made this vow: “O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, if you will look upon my sorrow and answer my prayer and give me a son, then I will give him back to you. He will be yours for his entire lifetime, and as a sign that he has been dedicated to the Lord, his hair will never be cut.” It is important to note that Hannah going to pray here means more than “prayer”. It means doing the best possible thing to get you out of the mess you find yourself in. It may mean starting a business, looking for job, going back to school etc.
- Learn some lessons from Hannah’s prayer. It was genuine. Two words were used about her emotions- anguish and bitterly – “Anguish means -severe mental or physical pain. – be extremely depressed about something “Bitterly means – in an angry, hurt or resentful way “strong negative emotions.” It was sincere. It was from her heart. It was simple. It was focused. No ambiguity. No perambulation. It was specific. It was direct, it was forceful. Oh God give me a son!
- She made a vow – What is a vow? a solemn promise or statement especially one by which a person is bound to an act, service, or condition, vow is like an oath. Vow according to the Bible is a solemn promise to God to perform or abstain from performing a certain thing. Jacob made a vow in Gen 28:18-22,31:13, Job 22:27. A vow means unflinching determination, and helps us against temptations. Determination is worth nothing if it bends before discomfort. Vow means let us make a deal. God respect deals with His children. Over that need of yours make a vow. It shows God that you are serious! God doesn’t play with vows!
- Eli misunderstood Hannah. Sometimes your spiritual leader will misunderstand you don’t let that truncate your testimony. “12 As she was praying to the Lord, Eli watched her. 13 Seeing her lips moving but hearing no sound, he thought she had been drinking. 14 “Must you come here drunk?” he demanded. “Throw away your wine!” Vs 12-14. Pastors are not super humans. They are first human before becoming pastor. They can misjudge your actions! Pursue your testimony! Not only Pastors but generally people, your spouse, bosses, people in your WhatsApp groups, children, church members will misjudge you, misunderstand your actions. Have a positive disposition no matter what!
- Hannah did not despise her Pastor. Vs 15 “Oh no, sir!” she replied. “I haven’t been drinking wine or anything stronger. But I am very discouraged, and I was pouring out my heart to the Lord. 16 Don’t think I am a wicked woman! For I have been praying out of great anguish and sorrow”” A soft answer turns away wrath.” Pro 15;1
- Pastors/Ministers- pray for your parishioners. Many are in pains, anguish, bitterness of soul, in great distress and need. Prophecy to their dry bones. Prophecy solution. Decree and declare God’s mercy, good wishes unto them “ v17 “ In that case,” Eli said, “go in peace! May the God of Israel grant the request you have asked of him.”
- Hannah believed in her pastor’s prayer despite the initial misunderstanding. Vs18 “Oh, thank you, sir!” she exclaimed. Then she went back and began to eat again, and she was no longer sad.” In the journey to your testimony don’t stay on the wounded lane. Go past it. Like your GPS will say “go past this light, move to the next one.” Move to a better lane. Many of you have not conceived physically because you are carrying wrong pregnancies. When a woman has fibroid, it is difficult to be pregnant. It is called alternative pregnancy. Bitterness, rancour, acrimony, hatred for anybody could be an alternate pregnancy. Don’t let it grow. Abort it. Hannah did not harbour bitterness toward Peninnah, Elkanah or Eli. Meaning at home or in the marketplace, neighbourhood or home, church or office move past bitterness. Do you believe in your Pastor’s prayer after that issue, do you still pray together with your spouse, in- laws, departmental leader, after that disagreement? Maybe it is not prayer but rebuilding your business relationship after that initial sour moment, or will you go to your grave – holding on to anger and animosity. You may be blocking your testimonies. I was privileged to mediate in a couple’s issue. They had 6 children together and divorced, the man married another woman. I told him that is not a solution. He let the second wife go and embraced the first wife! Can you?
- Know Your wife- (1Sam 1:19) Elkanah. Sexual intimacy is powerful for procreation of children. But for our discussion this year for you to have a testimony there is someone you need to copulate with. The KJV said Elkanah “Knew” his wife and Samuel was the result. Let me say there are two personalities you need to know to be productive in life. Firstly, there must be a spiritual knowing of Jesus Christ for you to be productive. Do you know Jesus as your personal Lord and Saviour? It is said “Know Jesus no crisis” or “No Jesus know crisis” Your knowing Jesus produces life. Live your life for others through your selfless life and positive interactions. The other group or personality you must know is “people” You are not an amoeba. It is only amoeba that has ability for asexual reproduction (Maybe there are more now.) Meaning in the journey to testimonies you need to know people. There must be social interaction. You need to work with people. In the church, in your work place, in school, in business. You need to do your due diligence in your business. Know your business. That is what leads to profitability and ensures testimonials and testimonies.
- The Weaning stages. “But Hannah did not go. She told her husband, “Wait until the boy is weaned. Then I will take him to the Tabernacle and leave him there with the Lord permanently. [g]”1 Sam 1:21 What does it mean to wean? To accustom (an infant or other young mammal) to food other than its mother’s milk. Be strongly influenced by (something), especially from an early age. Hannah needed to wean Samuel before taking him to Eli. Weaning is about preparation for life issues. Getting off the mother milk and learning to eat solid food. We have so many “un-weaned” babies in the church and it is causing the body of Christ pain. Un-weaned preachers. Un-weaned businessmen, un-weaned professors, civil servants, politicians. They have poor foundations. Many people rush things. Hannah understood the principles of weaning which helped Samuel in his life developmental stages and was largely responsible for his success as a prophet and judge in Israel. As parents there is a need to properly wean your children before exposing them to life challenges. That fist phase of parental moral training will go along way in their life’s. One of the challenges of the church is that newly born-again Christians are not weaned or even ready for weaning before jumping to positions.
- Fulfill your vow. Samuel goes to Eli. “Sir, do you remember me?” Hannah asked. “I am the very woman who stood here several years ago praying to the Lord. 27 I asked the Lord to give me this boy, and he has granted my request. 28 Now I am giving him to the Lord, and he will belong to the Lord his whole life.” 1 Sam 1:26-28. Hannah knew that he must fulfill vow by bringing Samuel to Eli. It may look simply but imagine for a minute you have been poor all your life and you have promised God in your moment of desperation, anguish, bitterness of heart the first one million Naira, pounds, dollars you make. How easy would it be for you to release it. How many are even remembering first fruits today? If a pastor talks about first fruit now you look at him as if he is using trick to enrich the church. ( 1 Corinthians 15:20, Exodus 22:29) These are well established laws and principles in the Bible. Hannah knew this is a special favour from God. Hannah knows that it is better to fulfill a vow than to fail to do so. Have you made vows, pledges, in church, to train your children, to help your community? Go ahead and fulfill your vows. Eccl 5:5 says, “It is better not to make a vow than to make one and not fulfill it.” Making vows and not fulfilling it is lack of integrity. Who knows whether it was the vow appended to the prayers that made deal with God come through? You know what when Hannah sow the seed of Samuel it germinated: “And the Lord blessed Hannah, and she conceived and gave birth to three sons and two daughters. Meanwhile, Samuel grew up in the presence of the Lord.” Vs 21.
Conclusion: It is your year of testimony. Hannah with joy testified. You shall testify. Things turned around for Hannah. It shall turn around for you. Hannah prayers were answered, you shall not cry in vain. God will silence your mockers and disgrace those who want to disgrace you. God will take you higher than you can imagine. He will cause you to have biological babies, spiritual babies, material babies and intellectual babies in Jesus’ name.