When you hear the word witness, you probably will think about a person who has witnessed a crime, or someone who has witnessed the signing of legal documents. These kinds of witnesses agree to be called on when needed to give statements about the events. If you have been one of these witnesses, then you know that you were expected to the tell the truth especially if you did not want to be accused of perjury. In these instances, witnesses can provide substantial information that can bring justice to a victim or validate an agreement among legal parties.
A Test of Loyalty
The role of a witness is not always easy. You must commit yourself to being loyal to a person you may or may not know when it’s time to testify. Some witnesses risk their lives if they want justice served despite death threats they may receive. There are plenty of stories about incidents involving the demise of those who were scheduled to testify, and the defendant arranged their death from prison or another way. Some individuals have also gone into witness protection. It’s very sad when these situations occur especially when innocent victims have already been killed or assaulted.
When Jesus was facing trial, he had very few loyal witnesses. Peter was grasped with fear and denied knowing Jesus three times. Jesus however, did not rely on Peter’s loyalty because he had already prophesied that he would deny him before the cock crowed. Peter denied that he would deny Jesus because he loved him. Unfortunately, Peter did not know what he would do in future circumstances which required his loyalty and honesty.
It’s easy to read the Bible and judge Peter because he was one of Jesus’ closest disciple. While the other disciple that is mentioned in John 18:15 stay closed to Jesus during his interrogation, Peter stayed at a distance and preferred to keep himself warm (see Mark 14:54). Since he showed his loyalty by cutting off one of the high priest’s servant’s ear as depicted in John 18:10, witnesses expected him to show the same level of loyalty when Jesus really needed it (see John 18:17).
Have you ever denied or remained silent when one of your friends needed you to speak up for him or her? What held you back? Was it fear that you were going to lose your reputation despite knowing that your friend was innocent?
Peter reflected this reservation because of the uncertainty of his future especially when his spiritual mentor was being tried before Pontus Pilate, the governor of Judea. However, Jesus had already prayed for him that his faith would not fail him, and when he was converted, he would strengthen his brethren (see Luke 22:31-32). This is an encouraging passage of scripture because it lets us know that despite our failures or weaknesses in the midst of being expected to do right, we have a high priest that can relate to our temptations as stated in Hebrews 4, and he is still willing to accept our requests for help. As a result, you are eligible to be used as a witness like Peter was after he was converted (see Acts 5:15).
Your Testimony is Valuable
You may not have lived the best life prior to being saved, while being saved, or perhaps you’re not saved yet. Whatever your salvation status is, God needs you as a witness. There may be times when you feel insignificant because of your past especially if others who have also sinned (see Romans 3:23) constantly remind you of your faults and failures. I want to encourage you that your voice is important. Just as a legal witness’ testimony is valuable, your testimony can be used in spiritual court against Satan.
You can testify that God delivered you out of the enemy’s hand as stated in Psalm 107:2. You must not think that being a spiritual witness is reserved only for those who have lived spotless lives and are proficient in memorizing scripture passages. You can testify of his goodness regarding how He healed you mentally, spiritually, financially, emotionally, and physically. You can give accounts of how he has helped your family. You can also be a silent witness by living a better life.
Despite the threats and accusations Satan brings against you in spiritual court (see Revelation 12:10), you can overcome doubtful thoughts about your worth (see Revelation 12:11).
Your testimony does not have to remain limited to church services. You can encourage people at work, the grocery store, your neighborhood, and anywhere you think someone needs help (i.e, distributing food, giving to charities, providing transportation, being a mentor, or fulfilling other supportive roles).
God is expecting a witness status report because the salvation claim deadline is approaching quickly (see Matthew 25:13 and II Corinthians 15:52). Will he find you feeling sorry for yourself, wasting his resources like the steward depicted in Luke 16, or fulfilling the commission he gave to the disciples as urged in Matthew 28:19-20?
What will your report reveal? (see Luke 16:2, Romans 14:12, I Peter 4:5, and Revelation 20:12-13).
Time is running out. Be courageous and start sharing your testimony today.