We had the pleasure of being back in the church that Chad & I owe much of our spiritual heritage to this past Sunday. Both Chad & I were baptized there so it was especially touching to be at the water baptism of my young cousin who was publicly declaring her decision to follow Jesus.
It was a great service & Pastor Bishop spoke from Revelations 12:11. I’ve heard the verse many times, even sang a song that had the verse as the chorus but it never spoke to me the way that it did on Sunday.
“We will overcome, by the blood of the lamb and word of our testimony”.
To be perfectly honest, before now, I never really had anything to overcome. In fact, I was always a little bashful to share my testimony as it’s pretty uninteresting. There’s no miraculous conversion or salvation from a life-threatening situation. But as I enter into this new chapter in my life, I start to sympathize with the cries of the psalmist (“Turn your ear to listen to me; rescue me quickly. Be my rock of protection, a fortress where I will be safe”) and for the first time, I am being called upon to overcome.
It’s not so much the overcoming of the physical things though I am sure that will stretch me in and of it’s self as we move into a new climate & culture. Instead, it’s the overcoming of spiritual things; opposition, doubt, and condemnation. As Jesus himself said “They will hate you because of me”. Ouch! That’s a hard pill to swallow! No one likes to be disliked but the truth of it is that people will and have disagreed with what we are doing and it’s hard. We’ll never forget the sign we saw outside of a restaurant in the town of Kampot while we were in Cambodia in 2008. It read “Missionaries not welcome”. We read it with a dawning understanding that we will in fact be hated because of our faith in Jesus.
But there’s the beauty of that verse. It promises that we will overcome by the blood of Jesus, essentially our faith, and also, now hear this, by the word of our testimony. Right now we only have our personal testimonies and the vision that God has given us but in the years to come, it will be the testimony of what God has done in our lives and the lives of others that He has empowered us to touch. How awesome that we don’t have to plead our own case!! The fruit of our lives will be visible to all and we will overcome all doubt and all opposition by the true & honest work of God that we have committed our lives to. Thank you Father!