Written on September 26, 2014. By Shari Norvell
This blog is for Nic. Thank you for challenging me to keep my word to update the blog regularly. You are loved!
Throughout my life, I have been consumed with a fiery passion for people to know how stunningly amazing God is. I crave the moments when the light of His presence fills every space, every nook, every cavern inside a person and they can see nothing but Him. That moment when a person realizes He has moved heaven and earth in a pursuit to find and fill them. That moment when they know they’ve been found.
But it isn’t just those big moments. Its the subtle little moments when the test becomes a testimony. The moments most people don’t notice because they are so intent on the one miraculous moment instead of savoring each and every one along the way.
A testimony is a written or spoken record of what God has done. They reveal the very heart of God, His desire for us and His longing for all that He is to manifest in our lives. They create an expectation in us that may not have been there before. Like when Abraham called forth things that weren’t as if they were. They ignite in us a remembrance of our DNA. The DNA of wild Father who does unexpected, unexplainable, world changing, life altering things. But this fiber of His being woven through ours isn’t just to encourage us to hope. It is meant to spur us to walk in the fulness of our inheritance. To become the testimony manifest for others to see and experience more. Much more!
“I have inherited Your testimonies forever, for they are the joy of my heart” (Psalm 119:111 NASB).
There is no scripture that could express what I feel about testimonies. They are our inheritance, wow!! And they are they joy of our heart. Joy means strength. So this inheritance we have been given strengthens us for the journey ahead.
Can’t you just picture young King David preparing for the battle with Goliath by recalling the testimony of the Red Sea. He wouldn’t have just thought of that moment though. he would have received it as his inheritance and become strengthened for the day ahead of him. A heart full of joy cannot grow sick or weary.
In Hebrew there is a word, ‘eduth” which means “testimony, precept or warning.” I love that it means warning. David used testimonies of God’s power to warn Goliath. In a similar yet different way, I feel like I should issue a warning before I share testimonies. “Look out,” you are about to be assaulted by the glory of God. I recently had an opportunity to share testimonies to an amazing group of people. I was armed with a barrage of Pappa’s goodness. Stories of revival, transformation, salvation and restoration. At one point, I realized I had to stop, though I had more testimonies I could give. It was too much! The people were overwhelmed with His goodness and needed time to digest the meal before savoring dessert. They were full. That was an incredible moment.
‘Eduth’ comes from a root word (Ayin-Vav-Daleth) that means “to return, repeat, do again.” Every time we give life to a record of how God has moved it releases a promise that He will do it again in our lives and the lives of those who hear it. When the inheritance of testimony is released, in an instant, we are connected to our history and our future. What He has done becomes tangible, as we pursue all He desires to do.
Every day when I ask Pappa for daily bread, I ask what He wants to take from test to testimony that day. It is not a issue of IF he wants to but WHAT he wants to. There is not a day He creates that doesn’t include in its covenant – testimony. In the moments that follow, I am filled with every kind of goodness there is. As I see how he took a test to fulness, I have no doubt that what is before me that day will have the same outcome. My path is laid before me. So I loved it when I found that the pictograph of ‘eduth’ is “to see the safe path.” A testimony is supposed to show the safe path, to witness the truth.
One day, I was preparing testimonies for a conference Scott and I were doing. When I typed the word testimony, it came out TestImony. Knowing how Pappa speaks to me, I began dialoguing with Him about my “typo”. I felt led to look up the meaning of the word “mony”. I found its meaning to be, “the purpose for which something is intended”. Putting the pieces together I saw that I or we separate the test from its purpose. The purpose of become a testimony, a portion of our inheritance that has been kept in a cup for us. Wowzer! When we don’t receive each taste of how He moved on our behalf or those whose field he has trusted us with, we remain in the test. We being to begrudge what we are walking though or complain along the journey. That sounds a bit familiar. Like the story of the Israelites in the wilderness. But it reminds me of many other stories as well. Other testaments from our history meant to show us a safe passage through our present and to our future.
I love the Old Testament and as I have studied it, I have discovered that every generation that stopped short of fulfilling their covenant with God did so because they forgot His wondrous works. They forgot how amazing He was and how every test leads to a testimony. The became blind to their safe path.
David described a people like this in Psalm 78:
The children of Ephraim, being armed and carrying bows, turned back in the day of battle. They did not keep the covenant of God, and refused to walk in His law, And forgot His works And His wonders that He had shown them (Psalm 78:9-11).
Let this not be the description of this generation, The generation Jesus cried out for. As we enter into 2012, I feel this even more poignantly because of a word Pappa spoke to me. He said in 2012, The generation would be marked, recognized by thankfulness. We would be known by the living testimonies we give. By the testimony we become and the celebration of that journey.