I’m looking forward to 2022 and see it as an ongoing opportunity to build an authentic testimony. I believe it’s going to be a significant year as we continue on our journey with God and the people He has placed around us. I see the future as highly relational and we will be more effective in our witness as we develop our emotional intelligence to handle relationships in an honest, caring way.
Everybody’s story is valuable and what young people want most today is for us to be real. People want to hear your authentic testimony, both the good and the bad. Christianity is the most relational faith on the planet. We are in a relationship with God the Father, God the Son and God, the Holy Spirit. Yet we still face challenges and we need to be real about them so others can identify with our journey when we share our faith.
Jesus said in John 16:33 “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” So, I think the future for all of us as Christians is a real mandate from God to cultivate our personal testimony of faith. As Revelation 12:11 says, “They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.”
There is an amazing principle outworked in a genuinely aligned walk with Jesus Christ. Romans 8:28 – “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose”
What is your authentic testimony?
Testimonies are a very powerful way to reach others so I encourage you to share yours. My wife Kerry and I have shared candidly in our biography Gotta Die to Live, our struggles and successes showing God’s hand upon our lives in every stage. Your story of overcoming could be the very thing someone needs to hear to fight another day, or to make the crucial decision to give their life to God.
According to the Pew Research Centre there are some 2.4 billion people on the planet, who are aligned culturally, traditionally, or experientially with the Christian faith so we should not let ourselves be held back. Historically, at least 600 million people have an experiential faith that has flowed out of the evergreen testimonies of Azusa Street Revival at the turn of the 20th Century; the Welsh Revival; and today’s Pentecostal, Charismatic or evangelical experience. May these inspire us to never stop boldly sharing what God has done for us, in strength as well as in weakness.
Open Doors documents that 340 million live under hostile regimes so the Persecuted Church is a huge issue that needs to be at the forefront of our prayers and our ongoing outreach to the world. Christendom is being reshaped. We’re coming out of “having a form of godliness but denying its power” (2 Timothy 3:5). Jesus is coming back and we as believers must share our testimony honestly and openly.
Jesus emphasised two commandments, in Mark 12:29-31. Firstly, that every single one of us must love the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. Only when we do this can we fulfil the second of loving our neighbour as our self. It is very difficult to fulfil the second without making a radical commitment to the first.
Authenticity based on love, not criticism
Kerry and I have such a heart for upcoming generations. To see them have experiential faith and know the supernatural power of the Word of God. So they can walk in God’s love. Due to my work in media I often see Christians critiquing other ministries that are so fruitful, yet they don’t like the way they are doing things. Yet as the Apostle Paul said, “the important thing is that Christ is preached.”
We’re all human, which is why we need to address the plank in our own eye before we look at the speck in our brother or sister’s eye. Consider the difference between a speck and a plank. What Jesus is saying is we must develop a testimony of faith that is not based on criticism but on love.
So, we need to redress these imbalances in the Church. However we know the author of life Jesus, we have hope in the eternal when we die. We may not always like what we go through as we go through it, but we have a hope. I had a remarkable 2021 despite all the challenges we have been through. We received a prophetic word in January 2020 that sustained us as a business. It was an awesome confirmation that the Lord was with us, so I am very strong on personal prophecy. This is a natural follow on from being in close relationship with other believers.
God bless you in 2022 and beyond
Kerry and I are part of the Church of the Nations family of Churches which brings thousands of believers together. Their emphasis is on forming strong relationships, from house groups to large congregations. So I encourage you to get into fellowship this year. We need to listen to what God is saying to His Body collectively as well as individually.
God wants to establish His Kingdom through you, through your vocation, experience and journey of faith. What He does in us on the journey has a greater eternal value than even what He does through us. Our faith is designed to change us on the inside. So like Jesus, we can hear and see more accurately more clearly. So may 2022 be a time where we know the Father as the most trustworthy authority. Jesus wants to manifest in you. He does nothing other than what He sees His Father doing. May we do the same this year as we develop an exciting, powerful authentic testimony of faith.