The Purpose of Testimony
"Come and hear, all you who fear God, and I will declare what He has done for my soul." Psalm 66:16
The word “testimony” is used in different ways. One common way used is when a person (witness) is brought into a courtroom and placed under oath to tell, attest to, or give witness to his or her personal knowledge or experience with reference to the case that is being heard. A witness is not a witness, if he does not testify or does not have the courage to take the stand and give his testimony.
"Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, Whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy.” Psalm 107:1-2
Likewise; as God’s representatives in the courtroom of life-the world, we are His witnesses and we are mandated to lay aside our pride and fear and have the courage to testify of God’s power and goodness in our lives. It's actually very humbling to allow yourself to share your testimony with the church.
Simply put, testimony is godly praise report and every testimony has its purpose.
• To glorify God - "Give to the Lord the glory due His name; bring an offering, and come before Him. Oh, worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness!" 1 Chronicles 16:29
Although God does not need or require our testimony to be God, it is just a thankful response in reverence and glory of His name for the things He has accomplished in our lives. The very first purpose of testimony is to give all glory to God for the blessings we are enjoying. When we testify, we are telling God “Only you, nobody else.”
• To edify and encourage others - “…But Jesus sent him away, saying, 39 “Return to your own house, and tell what great things God has done for you.” And he went his way and proclaimed throughout the whole city what great things Jesus had done for him.” Luke 8:38-39
The essence of testimony is to inform others of the ability and power of God to deliver on His promises, in order to encourage those already trusting in Him and have expressed confidence in the counsel of His Word. Our testimony encourages others that same can be done for them.
• To overcome the devil – “Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. 11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.” Revelation 12:10-11
The bible clearly states that our testimony is a very powerful weapon that can be used against the devil. Testimony of how God has transformed and impacted our lives has the potential to touch the hearts of the unsaved and deliver them from the power of the devil. So, it is evident that the devil does not like people to testify about the goodness, miracles and mighty acts of God because of the power our testimony has –to overcome the devil.
• To seal our blessing or breakthrough – “And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan. So Jesus answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?” And He said to him, “Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well.” Luke 17:15-19
We may be wondering, what is the significance of what Jesus said in relation to the remaining nine lepers? The significance is that, although they were healed but they were not said to be whole. In other words, in giving glory to God, the returned leper will never find himself in a condition, position or situation where his testimony could be proven untrue, because God has been openly acknowledge for his healing. Therefore; it is reasonable to say that we should give testimonies of the goodness of God, especially when He has done something for us.