How to Tell Your Salvation Testimony In 5 Simple Steps
Step 1. What was your life like before you experienced salvation?
If you're anything like me, these aren't your favorite memories but helping people connect to who you were is important. It can help others have hope for their own struggles. As I was interviewed by CBN's 700 Club in 2019 I was asked again and again for all the details concerning my dark past. It was a critical part of painting the picture of restoration for their audience. Even with my helmet of salvation securely attached I felt the dark reality of who I was weighing against me. Shame and guilt made their attempts to reestablish a grip on my identity. It was almost like that old man Paul talks about in Ephesians 4:22 wanted me to believe he was who I am now. It's just not true though. You may find it helpful, in this important and valuable process, to confess the biblical truth from 2 Corinthians 5:17 in the first person. Say (out loud if possible), "I am enfolded into Christ now, I am a new creation, the old me has definitively passed away and the new me is here to eternally stay!" add in there the statement I got from Graham Cooke, "I can't resurrect that old corpse."
Step 2. What did the tension feel like as you tried to live life before your surrender to Jesus Christ?
Vulnerability is a valuable friend we get to know well as Christians. Leaving our comfort zones might feel weighty but without authenticity who are we anyway. This vulnerability causes tension. Tension that some say is the recipe for revival on the earth. It's a big deal if you think about it. Paul Manwaring who put together a support textbook for a Masters in Kingdom Administration curriculum considered deeply in his materials how tension is the space we leave for God to show up. Without it, we're alone running the show. Manwaring explains how tension is what allows stringed instruments to make sound and metabolisms to generate heat in our bodies, heat that keeps us alive. Without tension, there is no sound, without it life doesn't even go on but with it life is fueled, restored, and created. Authenticity may feel like painful exposure but it just means we're trusting Christ and leaning into our own personal revival. If you can begin to describe the tension you felt, it will remind you of the nature of God to reach in no matter how impossible, dark or corrupt. Having a firm grasp on that makes you a living river, full of life for others.
Step 3. What is different about your new life with Jesus?
Was there a contrast between the two that genuinely stands out? For me, I was rescued from a state of constant anxiety. To date, it's one of the greatest miracles I've personally witnessed. I had been in that state for so long I didn't even know how dark it was. Jesus handed me a very different reality and I immediately felt peace that overwhelmed and territorially replaced the anxiety. You could almost experience the new car smell just being around me I was so fresh and clean. Not everything was instant but the contrast between peace and anxiety was a crocked to straight reality. As a novice researcher I eventually looked into brain physiology and quickly discovered that this miracle had to be very physical. Parts of my brain must have manifested and others replaced or removed. The power of Jesus transformed the physical wiring of my brain. I wish I had the CAT-scans to prove it (a wonderful tool when telling a testimony if available) but my thought life is proof enough for me that a radical transformation took place on par with a limb growing out or Moses splitting the Red Sea. Jesus gave me a new brain.
Step 4. Take us to the moment when you realized Life with Jesus was actually working to heal and transform you personally.
The absence of my anxious confusion gave way to the presence of intense hunger, and a picky appetite. Nothing else would do. I tried self-help books like I was accustomed to but the only thing that would quench my new appetite was the Word of God. Day and night, the things of God nearly consumed my every waking thought and action. I wasn't perfect but I had a veracious new appetite that had never existed before. Here is the part in your testimony where you get the chance to really dive into the bright side of the contrast of your salvation. Where step 1 may have put tremendous pressure on you, this part should lift your spirits and encourage you. It's the reason that Revelations 2:4 tells us to remember our first love. As you describe it, much in the same way that we can taste our favorite foods as we describe them, we begin to experience those same encounters again. But not only you, your reader/hearer will experience it as well. That's why we tell the testimony, so that God will do it again for all those in need.
Step 5. Tell us what life looks like now that you have a personal relationship with Jesus.
Personal revival looks like a healthy life full of God's wisdom and good fruit. You were made a good tree, a new heart, a new brain, a new creation! According to Matthew 7:17 good trees like you bear good fruit. So, what is the good fruit you've been producing in your life? How do you live today and what has life with Christ made different that reveals Gods character of goodness in the land of the living? To take this a step further you can ask yourself what your transformation and restoration can mean for the rest of us. What can it mean for creation? Or even, do you believe that what God did for you He can do for someone else? If yes, then tell us that. That is the testimony of Jesus, His life manifesting through you in a powerful way. His life, death and resurrection will transform lives, bring sustainable revival, and ultimately heal a broken world with abundant hope, love and joy.
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