When I was in middle school, I went on my very first mission trip to Mexico. Part of the preparation for that trip was writing out our testimonies: one paragraph with a life verse about why we follow Jesus. The kicker was that the purpose of this short testimony was that we would end up sharing it in front of the little church we would be serving in Mexico. I was 12 years old, terrified of public speaking, and had only taken Spanish 1 in middle school.
Even though it was only a paragraph, even though I loved Jesus, and even though I knew my life verse, it was still a difficult task. I had lived no life yet. I had no burning bush God encounter, or miraculous healing I could talk about. I just knew Jesus, I knew he was with me, and I knew that he was in control. I struggled with figuring out how to say that. I struggled with not being good enough. I struggled with the fact that I didn’t think anyone would care or be affected by what I had to say. At 12 years old, I thought my words and thoughts about Jesus didn’t matter, and sometimes I still think that today.
No matter how many times I post a blog post, I still wonder if any of the words I am writing will do anything for anybody. And no matter how many times I send a text to a friend because I am thinking of them, I still waffle over pressing send. And no matter how many times someone tells me thank you, or says that my words helped them, I’m still stuck and unsure, and insecure. It’s not just 12 year old me, or 34 year old me, it’s me all the time. I am consistently stuck with the feeling that my words will do nothing, or they won’t do enough. And then one day, I stumbled across this verse, in Revelation of all places.
“They triumphed over him by the blood of the lamb and by the word of their testimony…” Revelation 12:11
The bible spelled it out for me. Christ + my words= Satan defeated; Jesus Christ plus the words of my story will defeat Satan. If our testimonies will have a hand in defeating the enemy, how could we not shout it from the rooftops or at the very least send it in a text message? When life is hard for someone, and Satan is desperately trying to get in and wreak havoc, the last thing he wants is an encouraging word from God via a friend or loved one. He wants control, he wants people at their weakest, he wants to discourage any good thought. Our words, our testimonies of God’s goodness are what will pull people out of that mess.
And if you don’t think you have a good story to tell, tell one of God’s. Look at his word. There are hundreds of stories of God’s faithfulness: old and new testament. They are a living, breathing testimony of God’s goodness, faithfulness, and victory. We can stand on anything in the Bible as our testimony, and it will defeat Satan. But in order for there to be victory over the enemy in the lives of our friends, in the lives of our communities, we have to say the words. We have to use our testimonies to defeat him.
“Encourage one another daily as long as it is called ‘today,’ so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness…” Hebrews 3:13
We can be hardened so easily by the sins in our lives, especially in our thoughts. We can be hardened by our circumstances, by hopelessness, by the present days troubles. And I know for me if I get into a negative headspace, it seeps into all areas of my life. And when I’m in that space, the best way to get out is to talk to a friend. It takes a Marco Polo from my girls, or a silly text from my friend across the country, and I’m back on my feet again. And they may never know that I’m hurting or having a rough day, but their words mean the world to me.
Maybe you’re thinking “but my words? Are you sure my own words will help to defeat the enemy?” Yes, a hundred times, yes. You may see a fancy well-worded post on Instagram, or a Christian celebrity saying just the right thing to their 2.5 million followers, but a personal word from a friend is worth way more than any of that. Jesus in community, in personal relationships, is what brings transformation. Pastors, Christian writers, public speakers can say a lot of things and encourage a lot of people, but nothing pierces the heart like a personal message from someone who dearly knows you and loves you.
These days I can’t just go to church, or bible study, or on a run with a friend to hold off the enemy. I have to be intentional. I have to type words, or dial a phone number, or start a Marco Polo. Nothing in our lives right now is hardwired for community, we have to seek it ourselves. We have to get in the word, and then we have to share it with a friend. We have to type out an encouraging text to someone we haven’t seen in awhile. We have to send the Facebook message, comment on the photo, whatever it takes. We have to encourage others as long as it is today.
My days can get full, and I can get busy, but in this COVID season I have made it a point to text at least one person everyday. It may sound silly or shallow to have texting be my mode of communication, but I’m a mother of three; it’s just life. Sometimes it’s just a “hey what’s up,” but other times I send a quick verse from my quiet time, or a screen shot of a silly meme; it all matters. Those little connections could be the difference between someones impossible day, and someones good day. My text could help them stay grounded for a moment in God’s grace and God’s power, instead of being overwhelmed by their circumstances and our sinful world.
Whether you are 12 or 34 or 85, your words matter. Your words change lives. Your words quiet damaging thoughts. Jesus plus our words equals victory over Satan. How can you use the Jesus in you to speak life into someone today? Send the text, make the call, write the note: use your words to defeat the enemy.