As a child I had a hard time with honesty. I didn’t blatantly tell lies, but I more so lied to cover up when I had done something wrong. I didn’t want to admit when I had messed up, this is unfortunately, still a struggle for me today. So often I am afraid that people will think less of me if I share where I have fallen short.
This is one of the greatest tactics of our enemy, to keep silent, those of us whom God has set free and forgiven. Revelation 12:11 tells us how we overcome the enemy, it is by the blood of the lamb and the WORD OF OUR TESTIMONY. Speaking of the good things that God has done in our lives both frees us from the enemy but it also helps to set others free from his lies.
One of the greatest weapons we have in the fight to reach the lost is the word of our testimony. It feels like we should hide our past, it feels like people will judge us for it, but in reality most people appreciate honesty and transparency. It is through relating with people in our weaknesses that God can show his strength through us.
I believe that God uses my past to connect me with certain people, someone who needs to know what God has done in my life. Genesis 50:20 shows us Joseph as King recognizing the irony of his past. He sees how God used everything the enemy meant to destroy him in order to set him up for his greatest victory. “You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.” God wants us to share our story. He wants us to tell of the good things He has done.
It can be easy to tell of things from your past that happened so long ago they may be irrelevant. What is God doing in you today? What is He freeing you from right now? Where did you fall short last month? That has been my prayer, in all these things I am learning, that God would bring me people to share them with. So often the ONE you are called to reach needs to hear from you how God has set you free. It can be hard to tell of your failures, but so good to celebrate what God did in setting you free from them.
I remember sitting in the front row the first Sunday for our new church plant. I was so excited that people came. Then my husband began preaching, to my shock and dismay, he began telling the story of our first year of marriage, in all its ugliness. He told everyone how we fought, talked about getting our marriage annulled, shared how our honeymoon was ruined with anger and he ended the day telling everyone how he punched out the windshield of our car while we were going down the road. I assumed that was the first and last day of our new church. I assumed no one would be returning for week 2. I couldn’t have been more wrong. People connected with our failures, they connected with our transparency. Since that day we have not hesitated in sharing about our past, the way God has set us free or how he continues to redeem our past.
It is not always easy, but when we are lead by his spirit we can be confident that God has a plan in our transparency.
My prayer is that our faith would be stirred in a way where we are connected to the heart of God in a new way.