This is partially a summary of a great book by Bill Johnson, called “Release the Power of Jesus” but it’s far more than that. We’ve been stressing the importance of testimonies at the Aroma and I think it’s important that I outline in writing why.
God says “Testimonies are the Spirit of Prophecy” (Revelation 19:10).
This means that when you hear a testimony, you need to understand that’s what God wants to do again. He set a precedent. He did it once, and he’ll do it again.
My greatest takeaway: Jesus has given us far more than we know, and we need to be constantly seeing, hearing and remembering what He’s done in order to have Hope, Faith and Love that it will happen again. Press in!
Johnson’s book spells out the importance of Testimonies. Here’s a quick outline of chapters
- Truth Empowers: Johnson recalls when he first encountered Revelation 19:10, and how the truth of remembering has effected the last 25 years of his life. He says, “Our capacity to remember what god has said and done in our lives and throughout history–the testimony–is one of the primary things that determine our success or failure in sustaining a Kingdom lifestyle of power for miracles” (Johnson 26).
- Spending our Inheritance: We have unlimited resources at our disposal because of the inheritance promised to us in the context of our commission. Psalm 119:11 says “I have inherited Your testimonies forever, for they are the joy of my heart.” Spoken and written records of what God has done are our inheritance. Testimonies reveal God and show us our heavenly resources. Our original purpose was to be fruitful, multiply, fill the Earth, and subdue it (Genesis 1:28). Jesus restored this and empowered our destiny, “from Glory to Glory” (2 Corinthians 3:18).
- Encountering His Mercy: We need Scripture and His Works to know him (John 5:31-40, 14:10), so Scripture is intended to lead us to an encounter with Him. The breadth of the chapter explains Old Testament perspectives on the ark, covenant, going after God’s heart, and Testimony.
- Keeping the Testimony: Deuteronomy 6:6-9 explains that God’s word should be the substance of education, the primary topic of conversation, and the content of what’s posted around us. We are to steward and remember the testimony. “In unveiling the power of the testimony, God is not just giving us access to a principle of His Kingdom that works. He is really giving us access to the knowledge of Himself. Remember, in every story of what God has done, there is an unveiling of His nature and invitation to know Him experientially in the same way” (Johnson 83).
- Memories that Give Life: “Jesus led His disciples into continuous experiences with the miraculous. Every occasion was designed to equip them for the next unexpected challenge they were to face and teach them the ways of His world…Testimonies must become the lens through which we see all reality” (Johnson 99-100). Mark 6 shares two miracles: 1) multiplying food, and 2) calming a storm. Mark 6:52 says that because the disciples hearts were hardened, they didn’t understand the fullness of the first miracle. Thus, they were ill-equipped to conquer the next miracle – calming the storm – themselves. There are at least three forms of spiritual perception in order of clarity: 1) seeing, 2) hearing, and 3) remembering.
- Courage to Leave a Legacy: “Christ commissioned us to go into our promised territory–all the world–and make disciples of the nations, displacing the influence of the kingdom of darkness and releasing the reality of the Kingdom of Heaven” (Johnson 111). The mandate for courage (Joshua 1:5-9) is empowered by “a growing awareness of God’s presence among us” (Johnson 113). The breadth of this chapter is focused on stepping out in courage because of meditation on the testimony and presence of God. There is also an important section on living “un-offended,” that is building a case for what God has done rather than building a case against Him for what he hasn’t done.
- Living Under the Influence: We must remain continually exposed to miracles.
- The Power of Transformation: We are called to be kings and priests (Revelation 1:5) who “re-present the King and His Kingdom in order to put Earth into alignment with Heaven” (Johnson 158). As we seek His wisdom like Solomon, we discover that “we are carriers of the answers to every problem in the world” (Johnson 159, Ephesians 3:8-12). Generational agreement (wherein Psalm 78 outlines four generations) is a key to unlocking a 100 year revival. Redding, CA (where Johnson pastors a church) is seeing economic revival because of the wisdom of God and the power of testimony being released (Johnson 164).
- Releasing the Presence of God: “our great responsibility is to know God and make God known” (Johnson 167). Obedience releases His presence, power and glory (Johnson 168). we can release the presence of God, which contains the Kingdom of God through five activities: 1) laying on of hands, 2) proximity to anointing, 3) acts of faith, 4) prophetic acts, and 5) declaration. Heavenly mandates include: 1) love, 2) purity, 3) power, and 4) glory. Near the end of the book, Johnson quotes Spurgeon, “I think I may push it a little further and say what he has done once, is a prophecy of what he intends to do again…Whatever God has sone…is to be looked upon as a precedent” (Johnson 182, quoting Spurgeon).