God-Stories–A Powerful Weapon Against Satan

How About A New Story?

My teenage friends and I rolled our eyes as the elderly gentleman rose from his accustomed side front pew. As usual, he half turned to face the congregation, leaned his left hand on the back of the pew in front of him, as he always did, and began his testimony . . . again. We had all heard his conversion story from sixty years ago so many Sundays, we could have recited it for him.

I wanted to ask him, “Hasn’t God done anything for you recently?” but I had been a Christian only a few years, and now, I was learning how to be a well-behaved member of our small evangelical church.

True, some members of the congregation did stand and tell of recent answers to prayer, but for the most part, “giving your testimony” meant telling the story of how you came to repent of your sin and turn to God for forgiveness for the first time.

We do need to tell the story of our spiritual rebirth, but we need to realize that this birth starts a whole new life, filled with other God-stories—answers to prayers, amazing coincidences, needs He met, healings and special guidance. Our lives as believers should be overflowing with stories that bear witness to others of God’s work in and through us.

People Listen and so do Spirits
But not just to people. Spiritual beings are also listening. Angels give praise to God along with us as we tell our God-stories. The “other side” is listening too. Satan and his evil spirits hate hearing about God’s power in our lives. When we tell what God has done for us, Satan will do anything to shut us up. Why? Because our God-stories are weapons: powerful Satan defeating weapons.

How They Overcame Satan
Check out the scene in Revelation 12:11 which describes a large number of Jesus-followers who overcame Satan. How did they do this? By telling everyone about what God had done for them, through the atoning death of Jesus Christ. They were powerful witnesses against Satan and for God. They made God look so good, and Satan look so bad that he killed them. Yes, they were martyrs. That is why the word “martyr” comes from the Greek word that means “witness.”

Our testimonies, our God-stories of God’s actions in our lives are powerful Satan conquering weapons. What a pity that we don’t hear them regularly in church! No, not the same old story every Sunday, but new God-honouring, Satan crushing stories.

We who are followers of Jesus need to tell our God-stories to each other for encouragement, and to those who are not yet believers to let them know God can and does act in people’s lives.

A Fifteen-Year-Old Photo

Six of our Grandkds Telling Stories Over a Cup of Tea

Six of our Grandkids Telling Stories Over Cups of Tea

Fifteen years ago they were little kids telling stories. Now they are telling even more stories. Our youngest grandson is now seventeen; the five granddaughters range in age from nineteen to twenty-two years old. Each of them can tell a dozen stories of what they experienced while overseas on mission service trips. They have all been to Mexico and Brazil. Some have been to Guatemala, some to Pakistan, Thailand, and Zimbabwe. Some have lived for months in Australia. One worked on a Mercy ship for three months serving countries on Africa’s east coast—God-stories galore. And they have many more stories of God’s dealings in their everyday lives

Whenever I speak in public, I tell plenty of personal God-stories—what God has done for me, through me, or sometimes in spite of me. As I greet people at the door afterward, they often say, “Thank you for telling those stories. Isn’t God wonderful?” I smile and imagine Satan’s groan of pain.

What has God done in your life this past week? Have you told anyone yet? The angels are waiting to compose a song of praise about it. Satan hopes you’ll just keep quiet.

Leaving a Legacy of God-Stories: The Why & How

This is a follow-up post to last week’s God’s Story about Cheryl: How I Blew It As a Dad. Many of you wrote to tell me you also have some guilt feelings for not remembering and telling your children about what God has done for you and your families.

Feeling guilty is one thing—doing something about it is something else. So here is quickie overview of the “something else.”

Why We Need to Leave a Legacy of God-Stories to Future Generations

  • Deut 4:9-10. Do not forget the things your eyes have seen, or let them slip from your heart. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.
  • Deut. 32:7. Remember the days of old, consider the generations long past. Ask your father and he will tell you, your elders and they will explain to you.
  • Psalm 90:16. May your deeds be shown to your servants, your splendour to their children.
  • Psalm 77: 11-12. Our Lord, I will remember the things you have done, your miracles of long ago. I will think about each one of your mighty deeds.
  • Psalm 102:18 Let this be written for a future generation, that a people not yet created may praise the Lord. (This command precedes a list of things God did for Israel.)

References to “remembering” and “not forgetting” occur, on the average, every fifth page throughout the Bible. Obviously God wants His people to notice and remember what He did for them and to tell these God-stories to their children, and even to write them down so their children and grandchildren can read them and praise Him.

God-Stories

  • A God-story is not an autobiography, which is the story of our whole life.
  • A God-story is not a memoir, which is the story about a certain period of our life.
  • A God-story is the story about an event or incident in our lives, and our family’s life, where God acted to answer prayer, to protect, to heal, or to guide. It is about conversion, God’s provision, a divine coincidence, etc. Each God-story a testimony of how we, or our families, have experienced acts of God in our lives.
  • When we write these stories, they will live on and increase in value, bringing praise to God, long after we are gone.

1-Kaleden Camping July 2012 (2)How to Remember Your God-Stories

  • Sit down, preferably during family gatherings, and pray for God’s help to recall some incidents that showed His action in your life.
  • Ask yourself, “What events have happened to me, that, if they had happened to my grandparents, I wish they had written the story for me to read?”
  • As you begin to share incidents, it will stimulate others to remember a similar happening.
  • Jot down the key words or phrases of each event at the top of a separate sheet of paper to help you remember it.
  • Once you have a half dozen or more events jotted down, answer the following questions for each incident:
    • Who was involved?
    • When did this happen?
    • Where did it happen?
    • What happened? What was the problem? How was it solved? What was said? What were my feelings? What was the result? These and other What? and How? questions will lead to the basic story.
    • Why did this happen?

You now have the basic facts of your God-stories.

From there on just rethink the event and tell it, either by writing it out, or by recording it in audio. Just do what you can to get the story down on paper, or on the computer screen, or on the recorder. It is more important that you let your emotions, your excitement and your wonder show than that you write it out in impeccable prose.

No matter how your God-stories are preserved, you will know that you have pleased God Who will continue to receive praise and thanks from readers or listeners for generations to come.

And no more feeling guilty!

Our Celestial Mechanic

I love to remember and write up family “Godstories” recounting how God helped to get us through difficult times, answered prayer, and in other ways showed He was there. This is such a story. Plus I have a bonus announcement at the end. Enjoy!

Our Celestial Mechanic

“BAM! PRRRRRR!” Now what? I thought.

“What’s that?” my wife asked, looking as worried as I felt. I stopped our severely overloaded 15-year-old Dodge at the side of the road, opened the hood, and asked Jo to step on the gas.

$300, 15-year-old Dodge Polara, before packing it full

PRRRRRR!! Aha! The fan. As the car limped along the shoulder of the road, I explained the problem to Jo, and our daughters Valorie and Leanne whom we were taking back to Biola University.

“The specially fitted bolts that hold the motor tight on the motor mounts on the left side have broken off. Each time I accelerate, the engine revs up and tilts, pushing the fan into the radiator housing.”

We needed help, so we quoted two lines from Psalm 121:1-2 “Where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord.” We also reminded God that although He had provided that car for only $300 at the start of our year’s furlough and we had already put 30,000 kilometres on it, we still had over 1,600 kilometres to go, much of it over mountains which would need the engine to run at high revolutions, “So, God, please help us get this fixed.”

At the next town, I stopped in front of a small car repair shop. The mechanic shook his head when he saw the broken bolts. “I’d have to go to a junk yard to find them. I don’t have time to do that. I’m sorry.”

I didn’t have time to do that either. I reviewed the two basic techniques of home and auto repair.

1) If it’s stuck, use WD 40 to loosen it.

2) If it’s loose, use duct tape to hold it.

Hmm, not duct tape, but what about a piece of chain? Aha! Plan B.

Right across the street was a small hardware store. After spending ten minutes and three dollars, I slipped the end link of a three-foot long chain onto a large bolt holding a bracket at the top of the engine, tightening it with a borrowed wrench. I looped the rest of the chain around the frame below the motor mount, then tightening a bolt through the links to increase the tension on the chain.

Jo started the engine and revved it up. No movement. No rattle. No problem.

When I returned the wrench, the mechanic came out to have a look. He saw the piece of shiny chain securely holding the engine in place, shook his head again and mumbled, “Hmm, I learned something.”

So did we. My family and I learned, again, that we can turn to God to help us solve problems, even automotive ones. We thanked Him for giving me the chain idea and for having us stop exactly there – a hardware store right across the street from a mechanic who loaned me his wrench.

We drove on to Los Angeles and delivered our girls to Biola. We then drove 4,000 kilometres across the continent visiting friends in Dallas, arriving in Miami to catch our flight back to Brazil. A week later a missionary friend from Brazil going on a mini-furlough drove that same Dodge from Miami to Dallas and back to Los Angeles, returning it to Valorie and Leanne who drove it all during the school year.

No rattling fan.

When God works with us to solve a problem, it stays solved.

Now for the bonus:

A Tickle in the Funny Bone – Ebook

I just published my first ebook! It is called A Tickle in the Funny Bone and is a collection of many of the funny blog posts of the past few years. It has all the April Fool’s ones including the often comical responses from readers who had been caught. Check it out on this site https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/258000  and follow the directions to set up an account with Smashwords and then buy and download it in any format you need so you can read it on your computer, or your phone, or ereader, or Kindle, or whatever you have.

There is even an option to buy it for a friend for Christmas—a lot of laughs for only $3.99.