Experiencing the testimony of Christmas

Cabin1I’ve spent the last few days away at a friend’s cabin in the woods. It was such a blessing to find a quiet place and focus on writing my book.

As you will see from the pictures, the cabin isn’t exactly rustic. But it was very secluded and really helped me get unstuck in some areas in my writing adventure.

Cabin2I had been working on sections, basic outlines on and off for several month, but just couldn’t seem to get the body of the book itself going. But by the time I had left my cabin adventure I had the rough draft of three complete chapters, along with almost 20,000 words in the mix for the other chapters. So I thought the trip was a big success, to say the least.

My book is basically about my personal journey in finding my life in the Father’s embrace and how this has completely upgraded my worship experience and turned my whole Christian worldview and understanding of the Bible upside-down (or should I say, right-side up).

Of course, this blog is centered around this paradigm shift.

Cabin4For several days, I took walks, typed away on my laptop while enjoying coffee on a comfy couch and generally had a wonderful time relaxing in the arms of Papa God.

On that note, one serendipitous blessing from my time there was when I was recalling some of the encounters I’ve had with Jesus and the Father’s love. As I was thinking about them and writing, it was like I was being transported back into the experience again! I found myself laughing and crying with tears of joy, much like when I first experienced them.

I am reminded of what the angel told John in Revelation…

“For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” (Rev.19:10c NKJV)

I have known for some time that when you share a testimony or experience you’ve had with God (either verbally or written), you often enter into the same experience again. The same is true the other way, with other people’s testimony or prophecy. If it touches your heart, it belongs to you too!

This is why keeping testimonies are so important.

Cabin5One easy way to do this is to close your eyes and recall a positive memory or encounter you’ve had with the Lord (If you don’t think you’ve had a direct encounter, just think of a positive experience in general).

Recall as much detail as you can about the encounter.

What did you see, sense, hear, what emotions were you feeling? Where did you feel it in your body?

After this memory is clear to you, express aloud to the Lord your appreciation for the experience. Next, while still connected, bring it into the present by asking the Lord if there is any more He would like to share with you. Be ready to receive a heavenly download! If you lose the connection, just start over. It’s worth the effort!

It’s critically important that you express verbally what you’re feeling or sensing (either with someone if in a small group, or write it down if you’re by yourself). The encounter becomes more real when you verbalize it.

Cabin8You may not think God is speaking to you but He is. His voice sounds like your inner voice and He uses the same “inner screen” you use for your inner thoughts. Of course, God isn’t the only one who uses these senses. You are using them with your own thoughts and the enemy can also access them in order bring confusion, condemnation and shame.

How do you know it’s from God? Of course, it takes having faith that God is speaking to you. Your confidence will grow with practice for this is how you become mature, by having these spiritual senses exercised (Heb.5:14).

Here are three practical ways you can confirm it’s from God:

  • Do you feel affirmed, loved, healed?
  • Is it biblical, not contradicting what God says about you?
  • By confirmation from others who have experience hearing from God.

The point is, God’s people should hear His voice and they will not follow another (John 10:4-5).

There is a great resource for connecting with God like this called the “Immanuel Approach.” It can also be used to heal deep emotional wounds. They have lots of free resources to help you connect with God and learn how to understand and minister healing to others this way. It’s best done is small groups of 2-3 people.

As we approach Christmas, remember that our Savior didn’t just come to forgive our sins. As important as that is, it only scratches the surface of our great salvation. He came to set us free from every bondage and make us whole, body soul and spirit, and to bring us into the same fellowship with the Father He has enjoyed since before the world ever was (Luke 4:18; John 17:3; 21-26; 1 John 1:3-4).  Jesus’ ministry on the earth demonstrated this good news. And now Good News lives in us and works mightily through us.

May you have a very blessed Christmas, filled of His joy and peace, experiencing the testimony of Jesus in you, overflowing in the Father’s love and held in His embrace!

Cabin3

 

About Mel Wild

God's favorite (and so are you), a son and a father, happily married to the same beautiful woman for 41 years. We have three incredible adult children. My passion is pursuing the Father's heart in Christ and giving it away to others. My favorite pastime is being iconoclastic and trailblazing the depths of God's grace. I'm also senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in Wisconsin.
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7 Responses to Experiencing the testimony of Christmas

  1. Cindy Powell says:

    Wow, what a sweet provision from the Lord 🙂 Sounds like a fruitful time too! And amen on the thoughts about testimony – so powerful! I used to be reluctant to share some of the encounters I had with Him (partly because some of it is so sweet and personal, but mostly because of a lot wrong teaching!) but fortunately He is patient and kept coaxing me along. I love how He knits our stories together when we share them. Looking forward to reading even more of yours! May you know even MORE of the reality of His peace and presence this Christmas and always! Merry Christmas to you and yours ~

    • Mel Wild says:

      Yes, it was a great blessing to me in many different ways. Awesome place.
      What you said about bad teaching on testimonies, unfortunately, is too true. Many have been taught false humility and, therefore, miss out on what happens when they share them.
      Testimonies are critically important. Traditionally, people think our testimony is the day we met Jesus, but that’s only the first day of a whole life! We share testimonies every week at our church. Sometimes there’s a couple, sometimes it takes the whole service! God told Israel one reason they went into bondage was because they had failed to keep the testimonies of God’s power and love among them.
      Thanks, and you have an awesome Christmas too!

  2. paulfg says:

    Mel – your words reminded me of a time when I wrote down memories of childhood for my mum and dad. Absorbed and entranced – transported back into those times and memories as though within a time capsule – they became real. And spawned so many more memories – connections begetting connections. And the oddest thing? I found they themselves did not figure highly in so many memories. But they “allowed” me to be. Even though as I was growing up I felt quite constricted – they allowed me to be. It was a very special journey. So thank you for prompting the power of that connection.

    One thing – allow me one small thought – stood out with some warning lights were your words: “It’s critically important that you express verbally what you’re feeling or sensing (either with someone if in a small group, or write it down if you’re by yourself). The encounter becomes more real when you verbalize it.”

    Whilst that is certainly true for you – and for me – it may not necessarily be a universal truth. Your writing has such power, my concern was drawn to those reading this piece (and others) with a different connection. Who may feel they are “doing it wrong”. Papa God is infinite – including the ways He locks us to Him. There is no right or wrong way to connect. There is no right or wrong way to relationship. Or else we are back to rules and ritual and ring fencing Papa God in someone else’s relationship. The more I read your writing, the more I relax in my own relationship with GSHJ – and my connection with you. Your words have power.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Thanks Paul. You’re right about no right way or wrong way, and perhaps about absolutely needing to verbalize out loud. We certainly don’t want to fence God in. There are people who process externally and those who process internally. I happen to be an external processor. In other words, I’ll tell you what I think about something in the process of talking about it. My wife is an internal processor. She has perfectly thought-out ideas before she expresses them. 🙂
      What is usually recommended by those who know what they’re doing with this type of ministry, and what I have found (in groups), is that verbalizing, recalling, usually makes it more real to the person. But, as I mentioned in the post, writing it down works too. When I’m by myself I generally verbalize under my breath or just write it down. The more senses involved the better. But, again, you’re right in that we all experience these connections differently. So I would suggest people try different ways of expressing and see what works best for them.
      And thanks for your encouraging comments about my writing. Blessings to you, brother, and Merry Christmas!

  3. Mel, what a beautifully enriching time, filled with the Spirit.
    I look forward at the end of every year to my own little tradition on New Year’s Eve/Day: reading through my journals the prior year. I see my testimonies in writing, answered prayers, thanks and praises, and reminders and God is with me every day through the good times and the struggles. (Can you tell I’m an introvert?) I’m particularly excited about this year because there have been so many ups and downs, so many changes, so much to be thankful for.
    May God continue to bless you and enrich all who read and hear your words, Mel. Thank you again for participating in Hope. Christmas blessings to you and your family. ❤

    • Mel Wild says:

      That’s a great way to end a year, Susan. One thing I’ve learned, as I mentioned here, is to ask the Lord if He wants to tell me anything new while connected in the memory. He usually does, which not only adds so much to the past experience but also helps me connect with Him in a fresh way. And many times the fresh “word” is not about what I originally experienced but something He wants me to know about Him and/or about myself in Him from the encounter.
      You’re very welcome on my participation in your Hope series and, again, thanks for having me on. It was an honor and my pleasure to be a part. Many, many blessings this Christmas to you too!

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