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Word 6: Testimony

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Testimony might be the rustiest, most neglected spiritual weapon in the Kingdom. It's treated like a pre-packaged sales pitch that focuses on specific moments and commonly follows a recipe something like 70% "me before," then 2% "Jesus lightning and fairy dust," followed by 28% "me-based humble brags and life hacks." 

Testimony is not supposed to be 98% about me. And that's just the start of where we're leaving the weapon and gift to rust.

In the Bible book of Revelation, we read that the brethren overcome the accuser by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony.

Somewhere, somehow, the word of your testimony is meant to rest in something like a peer fashion beside the blood of the Lamb in terms of power and authority. Do you see the opportunity for improvement there?

The first instance of the word testimony is when God writing the commandments on the tablets for Moses. The tablets, the law, are called "the testimony." And the ark that carries the tablets is called "the ark of the testimony." The tent in which the ark is housed is known as the "tabernacle of the testimony." 

The components of testimony when we look at their history seem to be: You, God, and God's invitation or summoning on your life. It's the basis for dominion as well. But maybe the simpler word to think about is Presence. 

Where the testimony travels, so too does a flame. A pillar in the night in the desert, or a small flame between the wings of the cherubim on the ark in the tabernacle. And, when the law moves by the Spirit to the believers' hearts at Pentecost, we see the flames above their heads as they speak.

There's another layer for us to consider, especially when we talk about leading an organization or even in how we think about marketing: a testimony is not best understood as a lagging indicator. A testimony is best understood as a leading indicator, and we should engage our stories with that in mind.

I might offer a restaurant review based on an experience I've had. I can offer that testimonial. But the reason I offer it, and the reason you may look at reviews before you go to the restaurant yourself, is to know what to expect. 

The Bible says the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy, which you can understand to mean what He's done before or for another He can and likely will do again. 

The relative value and impact of a testimony is shaped by who's sharing. For centurions, who already have an certain authority and are already being followed, the testimony adds value and structure to their leadership. And, because leaders always run the risk of being idolized or vilified in the eyes of the people they lead, a focus on the testimony and presence of God in their life offers a release valve and both relational and spiritual covering for the leader and for the people following the leader.

(This concept is central to the Centurion Response vision. While Centurion Response has been called to serve a very narrow demographic, our vision for testimonies and lifting up the name of Jesus is far broader. Check out to see the beginnings of another effort. The tools we use there are available for your business and for ministries you care about.)