Understanding Divine Abilities Determines Your Testimony (What is Your Testimony?), by Dr Yomi Sanusi
As our focus and theme for the month of July, we have been studying, contemplating and praying on the topic of Divine Abilities.
In this brief exhortation we consider how the understanding of divine abilities influenced the personal confessions and testimonies of a number of notable individuals from the scriptures. We consider in three scenarios, how their testimonies were told or retold by others.
The testimony of a very experienced, successful and accomplished man.
Job was a perfect man in every way. The first thing recorded about him is that he was a blameless and an upright person, who feared God and shunned evil. A very thoughtful man of unquestionable integrity, he reverenced God, led a life of prayer and work, while abstaining from sin and intentional wrongdoing. He seemed to have taken the advice of Proverbs 3.7- ‘Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil’.
The testimony of his greatest and strongest enemy concerning him was unusual, and very unique. The evil one directly remarked to God in Job 1.10- ‘Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.’ [Amplified version- 10 Have You not put a hedge [of protection] around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands [and conferred prosperity and happiness upon him], and his possessions have increased in the land.]
That claim was accurate, and the reasons were manifest. Job had an unusual understanding of God, and resolutely demonstrated an unusual confidence in God, as it later turned out, even in the face of the most unthinkable of calamities. I believe that calibre of fortitude has not been replicated since. As far as Job was concerned God is the boss. God is always good and right. He might not have been able to prove, explain or even justify all of his thoughts, understanding, perception and convictions about God. He was nevertheless certain that ‘God could do everything, and nothing is hidden from him’. The faith he put to action gave God the calm satisfaction that not only validated God’s boast then, but is an example to everyone who wishes to turn over their talents, capabilities and entire being to the lordship of Christ Jesus.
The Testimony of a group of God worshipping friends resolute to serve and obey God.
Daniel 3.17-18 –‘If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. 18. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.’
Confronted to declare their thoughts openly Shadrack, Meshack and Abednego summarised their thoughts. They openly declared that the God that they served was able to deliver them. And even if he had on that occasion decided not to save them they still would not bow down before the powerful king’s idols, or worship any other God beside Jehovah!
They became the men over whom fire had no power. We today should have an understanding and remember that the help of the same God still applies today- even when we experience and are confronted by various guises of modern fiery situations including religious oppression, racism and other forms of subtle persecution.
In the face of difficulty, they displayed confidence and God responded. Godarose to their rescue, giving them a wonderful testimony. Daniel 3.27-30. God can do the same for us today.
Testimony of a young Job- Seeker
1 Samuel 17.34-37
This was a display of fearlessness, zeal and passion for God’s kingdom and righteousness. Verse 37 clarifies David’s thoughts.‘David said moreover, The LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the LORD be with thee.’
People who have experienced and so have complete confidence and trust in God; and demonstrate this by showing passion for his cause shall be bold and fearless in their exploits, and be triumphant. Proverbs 28.1b-‘..the righteous are bold as a lion’.They may not be able to fully explain their confidence, but regardless trust in the faithfulness and ability of God to keep His promises.Psalm 20.7.
God’s testimony about David is telling in Acts 13.22- And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will.
In conclusion it is a good start to recognise that God is sovereign and unquestionable; and has purposefully endowed each of us with talents, gifts and abilities. He is interested in the testimony of how we put these to action, with his help and encouragement.
With that simple yet perfect faith in God’s infallibility, His genuine interest in defending the resolutely righteous who refuse to deviate from God’s way; like Job we can concentrate on doing what is right in His sight. Putting to work the endowments he has bestowed on us individually. In doing all that is right, we must refuse to bow to the pressure of the in-vogue unrighteousness even in the face of persecution. He our defence will never leave of forsake us. And like the young David, we must recognise what he has done for us and through us, and have confidence that God can continue to work His miracles in our lives. Zechariah 4.6.
We should understand that the promise of restoration of Jacob is available to you now, regardless of what your past has been, your history, your troubles. The heart of God yearns for a beautiful relationship with us his people. Jer 30.22-‘And ye shall be my people, and I will be your God. ‘
First acknowledge who is the boss, who is in charge. Once the relationship between you and the master is assured, you can start to rely on his abilities.
Daniel 11.32- ‘And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.’
2 Kings. 1.10– ‘And Elijah answered and said to the captain of fifty, If I be a man of God, then let fire come down from heaven, and consume thee and thy fifty. And there came down fire from heaven, and consumed him and his fifty.’
What do you think and say of God?What do others say of what you think and say about God?What do your enemies know of your thoughts and declarations about God?
In each of the scenarios we considered everyone that triumphed had to clarify and declare their thoughts about God. To know what your testimonies are, and understand what God wants to do with the abilities He has deposited in you, so must you!
The sermon Understanding Divine Abilities Determines Your Testimony (What is Your Testimony?), by Dr Yomi Sanusi was delivered on July 23, 2017