The Straight Testimony - A Loving Message
Can you imagine how painful it would be to send a message of love to a dear one, only to have it be interpreted as a hateful message? To see your love, offered at great sacrifice, spurned and rejected would be a crushing blow. Imagine how Jesus feels when many in His beloved church resist and reject His loving entreaty. Oh, may we not rise up against the Straight Testimony!
The straight testimony is a compelling, urgent, earnest, message from the heart of God, filled with eager desire for intimate communion with us.
Because of our ignorance regarding our deplorable condition, and our desperate need, this message contains a vigorous warning, designed to alarm us, and arouse us from our lethargy and smugness. God desires to get our undivided attention. This is not soft-pedaled or watered down; it is undiluted, powerful, so that it will reach to the depths of our heart, cutting away all excuses, all self-sufficiency and prideful self-exaltation.
This message grips us, so that we cry out in abject terror: Woe is me, for I am undone! Lord, be merciful to me, a sinner! Lord, save me, I perish! As we sense our desperate need, our deep spiritual poverty, we find ourselves at the foot of the cross, beholding our crucified Lord and Savior, who bore our sins. Intense grief and remorse rips through our hearts and we recognize our vileness, and see that it was our sins that broke His heart of love. As we hear Him cry, My God, My God, why has Thou forsaken Me, our hearts our utterly broken as we sense His intense sacrifice for us. Love wells up in our hearts, a love that consumes us, and purges out our carnal self.
This is how we buy gold tried in the fire, from the heavenly merchant. The fire is that which consumes self as we yield our wills in complete surrender to God. Divine love fills our soul, blending with saving faith, as in trusting acceptance we grasp hold of the merits of our Lord. The blood of Jesus Christ covers our sinful past. We are justified by faith as we enter into a surrendered, trusting communion with Him. Not only are our past sins purged by the blood, but Jesus covers us with His robe of righteousness, the white raiment, which is His very life, His character, His thoughts and feelings. We receive the mind of Christ. He gives us a new heart, in which is inscribed the principles of His government, His holy law. We now are empowered to live His life.
And more than this, we are imbued with the Holy Spirit, who anoints our eyes with heavenly eye salve, so we may discern between right and wrong, and see what is true holiness and godliness. As we experience the living faith, the compelling love, the transforming, covering white raiment, the revealing wisdom of divine eye salve, we find ourselves encompassed by the glory of God, holding tightly to His Hand as we are enabled to walk in the light of His enabling grace. We have opened the door of our hearts in response to His loving appeal, and invited Him to take up residence there, We are dining with Him, partaking of His spiritual flesh and blood. His very life is now our life. Self is deactivated, so that we now respond to His slightest whisper of His Spirit.
Now, our hearts are tuned to His will. We give Him permission to manage every area of our lives. He reigns supreme, as every conflicting idol is cast down, and every thought is taken into captive to the divine mind. All our desires are refocused, so that our deepest desire is to reflect Him fully. We are captivated with His love, enamored, and praising His name becomes our highest delight. We treasure the intimacy with God we have discovered, and are jealous to guard this relationship. Nothing is allow to enter that will undermine our spiritual connection with Him.
We eagerly commit our lives to His keeping, and our greatest quest is for an ever deepening connection. At every opportunity, we strengthen our grip and built our spiritual muscles by communion of prayer and Bible study, through which we receive new light and strength. We treasure the Testimonies of the Spirit of Prophecy as a precious guide, which lovingly keeps us in the narrow way.
As we accept every conviction of the Spirit, we become mighty in His strength to overcome. The carnal mind, self, loses it power over us, the deceptive enticements of the world lose their appeal, and the evil temptations of the devil diminish. Christ becomes our life. Heaven is our goal. Serving and blessing others is our purpose in living. We become heart to heart with Jesus, seeking His lost sheep. To commune with Jesus is our highest delight. He is the joy and rejoicing of our hearts, the Word of life to our souls. Our lives increasingly reflect His character, and manifest all the fruits of the Spirit.
Every day we go to the cross, allowing self to be purged, so we may receive His grace. As we accept the straight testimony, our lips sing out, O how I love thy testimonies! Praise God for His Word and the Spirit of Prophecy. Praise God for the straight testimony of Jesus!
This is the purpose and effect of the straight testimony, which includes all the loving entreaties and inspired counsel. It's taste is sweet in our mouths, more to be desired than gold, sweeter than the honeycomb. It is a beautiful and glorious message. It is God's love, touching and transforming our hearts, bringing a response that purges us of sin. The straight testimony works ultimate self-eradication, not tolerating one speck of self to remain. It is the remedy for our sin-sick souls. It is a blessed gift, beautiful, loving, gracious.
The blessing of the straight testimony can only be experienced by a regenerated heart, and it requires total dependence upon and connection with God. It does not allow any self-congratulations for good works.
Our prayer should be, Speak Your loving straight testimony to my heart today, Lord. Tune my heart to listen to your blessed testimony. Make me attentive to every word, so that the smallest details of my life are a reflection of your glory. Grow me up into your likeness so that I may fully reflect the character of Christ. Only then will I be prepared to see You in glory. Thank you, Jesus!
The straight testimony is such a blessed, joyous message to the renewed heart, it is hard for such a one to comprehend why it is resisted, rejected and despised by those who profess to love the Lord Jesus. But an unconverted heart finds the straight testimony most distasteful, because it continually conflicts with self-will.
To try to follow the inspired counsels without a connection with Jesus is a burdensome, arduous task, bereft of joy. This is why many rise up against it. They have a divided heart, and self has not been crucified. Cherished sins lurk in the darkness, and when the light shines on them, it causes pain and distress. The lukewarm professor prides himself in his good behavior, his church attendance, his Bible reading and devotional exercises, his witnessing, his chosen reforms. She may be doing the "right" things outwardly, but the heart motivation is missing.
Instead, these good deeds only serve to increase her self-righteousness, and lessen her sense of need. He doesn't know that he is still a blind, wretched pervert, wallowing in the mire of sin. He pats himself on the back for his attainments. But when the straight testimony comes to him, he rises up against it. This should be a warning sign, a major alarm system that all is not well in the soul. There is a need of falling on the Rock, and being broken.
May God help us all to go to the cross, and receive a new heart, a spiritual revival to awaken us from the death of worldly complacency. Only then will the straight testimony be pleasant to our ears, and find an eager response in our hearts.
Go to Purpose of the Testimonies