Tapping into the Power of the Testimony: Launching into Greater Destiny

by Jennifer A. Miskov, Ph.D.

“This is what the LORD says: ‘Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.’” Jeremiah 6:16 (NIV)

What is the Power of the Testimony?

Testimony is a critical part of partnering with God to fulfill all that He has called us to do and to become; it is essential for stepping into our fullest destiny in Him. Testimony is recounting or re-telling a story of how God moved in one’s life. In releasing and remembering the history of God, faith is released in the atmosphere. Testimony comes from root word that means “to do again.” Bill Johnson talks about how releasing a testimony creates an atmosphere for the miracle to be duplicated; testimony is about wanting God to do it again. He states that “Testimony is the Spirit of Prophecy.” If prophecy causes change in present events, then releasing a testimony is like prophesying into the future.[1]

The Israelites’ biggest mistake was in forgetting the testimonies of the things God had done on their behalf. Disregarding God’s faithfulness caused one whole generation to miss out on their destiny. This forgetfulness was where they first went wrong when they got themselves into trouble. God wanted them to remember what He had done on their behalf because He knew that it would be strength to help propel them into a new and greater season.

Surfing: Tapping into the Currents of Testimony [2]

The Power of the Testimony is like surfing. The place where I grew up bodyboarding and surfing is in Newport Beach, California. At this beach there are jetties, or rock piles, spaced along the beach every 4 blocks. If surfers do not know this surf spot, they might paddle out in the middle of the 2 jetties. Because they are unaware of the landscape and the currents, it will take that person much longer to paddle out to get to the big waves. They will hopefully still make it out to the big waves, however, they will be more exhausted and it will take them twice as long to get there. They will also likely receive a greater pounding on their paddle out and have to overcome more resistance. On the contrary, the locals know that the best place to paddle out is right next to the jetty/rock pile because there is a current there. They know that this current will take them out to the big waves with minimal paddling and duck diving (going under oncoming waves). This choice may look dangerous to the onlooker because it is so near the rocks. However, because the locals know the currents, they will make it out to the big waves using half the energy and in half the time. They have learned the art of tapping into the specific currents that will get them to the big waves.

This is the beauty of the power of the testimony. It is simply tapping into the faith currents of those who have come before to launch us out even further into the big waves of what God is doing in our generation. We can pull not only from Scripture and prophetic words but also from testimonies of those who have come before us. We can ride their faith stream to deeper breakthrough and destiny. When we discover the currents of those who have come before us, we won’t have to paddle so hard. Tapping into these faith streams can take us farther than we could go on our own. They can take us deeper in God than we’ve ever know. They can make us brave.

Healing Revivalist Carrie Judd Montgomery (1848-1956) and Destiny House [3]

It was in part from tapping into Carrie Judd Montgomery’s testimony that increased my own faith in stepping out to establish Destiny House. Even though Carrie Judd Montgomery had only enough money for the first few months rent, she was not afraid to step out in faith to establish one of the earliest healing homes in the country in the 1880s. By one decision of responding to the leading of the Holy Spirit against all odds while in her early 20s, Carrie’s healing homes have outlasted her and continue on to this day, over 100 years later. The Home of Peace in Oakland, California was founded by Carrie in 1893 and became a place for people to experience healing. It also became a meeting place for prominent leaders to encounter God together and be baptized with the Holy Spirit. This historic revival center is still open today. If you are ever in the area, I highly suggest a visit.[4]

During a time when I had no car, no job, and was desperate to find the right place to live, I pulled from Carrie’s testimony and followed in her footsteps. I felt the Lord was leading me to a certain house but did not yet know why. I held tightly to Carrie’s testimony as I stepped out in faith towards this impossibility. I hoped I was not making the biggest mistake of my life although at that time I couldn’t be certain. It would either be the biggest mistake of my life or my biggest breakthrough. With fear and trembling, I chose to believe that if God could do something powerful and long lasting through Carrie Judd Montgomery’s act of faith, He could do the same through mine. I decided to take out all the money I had towards the first month’s rent and deposit of the house. From that one decision in February 2012, standing on Carrie’s testimony and Scriptures of old (Ephesians 3:20, Matthew 6:33, Philippians 1:6), God came through to establish the beginning foundations for what would later be called Destiny House.

Since acquiring the first floor, less than 6 months later we were able to also rent the bottom floor. Two years later, the top floor was released for us to rent. This meant that the whole home and community who lived there was now set aside for one thing, to worship Jesus and give Him praise in the context of family for the next 100 years straight. Influenced by Carrie’s Home of Peace and building on those testimonies, we believe that as God’s presence is cultivated in that space over time, people will walk by or walk in and instantly be healed because of the saturated measure of God’s presence flowing from a unified soil. Standing on and pulling from Carrie’s testimony played a crucial role in this breakthrough. Riding on Carrie’s faith stream, I was able to break deeper into my destiny.

4 Streams of the Testimony

There are 4 streams of the testimony that I regularly tap into to be launched into a greater measure of my destiny.

  1. Scripture and stories of old
  2. Revivalists and people of faith from the past
  3. Present day testimonies of God working through people today
  4. Your personal God history

In the earlier days of my Christian walk, I tapped into the stream of feasting on testimonies of old found in the Bible. After this, I discovered another stream found in revival history. I became inspired by the great faith of those who have come before. I have also been able to tap into the stream of testimonies of present day heroes of the faith. As my journey with the Lord has grown, I have developed my own history with Him. In addition to tapping into the faith of those who have come before, I can now pull from my own testimonies to launch me even deeper into my destiny. Discovering the value of the power of the testimony has been a process. Now, it is life to my soul. Tapping into these streams of testimony have helped launch me from California to England with no money in my pocket, establish Destiny House, and release healing, courage, and faith to many.

Miracle Flying [5]

In one crazy breakthrough that happened not long after we acquired all three floors of Destiny House, I was able to integrate all 4 of the testimony streams. I felt led of the Spirit to go to England for my friend’s wedding May 30, 2014. However, the necessary funds never came in. In fact, the opposite happened when I got hit with unexpected taxes about a month before. It was impossible for me to buy the $1600 plane ticket to England. Even with these set backs just a week before the wedding, I still felt that God was sending me to England for such a time as this.

In this situation, I integrated all 4 aspects of tapping into the testimony to move toward my stepping into the impossible. I feasted on Isaiah 43:16-19 which says, “This is what the Lord says – he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters…Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.” I reminded myself of Moses standing before the impossibility of the Red Sea and I asked God to do the same thing again in my situation.

I also feasted on testimonies of those from the past. I remembered the story of a Welsh man named Rees Howells who stepped out in faith to get in line to buy a train ticket even though he didn’t have the funds. By the time he got into the front of the line, someone had pulled him aside and had given him the money to cover the ticket. I also remembered the story of when John G. Lake was led of the Spirit to sail to South Africa with his wife and 7 children even though he had only $1.50 to his name. This was not nearly enough to cover the $125 immigration tax he would need to pay to get off the boat once they landed. When they arrived in South Africa, he got in line trusting the Lord. When he got near the front, someone tapped him on the shoulder and gave him $200. Further, once they got off the boat, they had enough to board a train from Cape Town to Johannesburg. They had no idea where they were going to stay that night. The whole family prayed in the train for God to break through. At their arrival, a lady they had never met before came up to them gave them a furnished cottage she felt led of the Lord to give them.[6] Recounting Howells’ and Lake’s testimonies increased my own faith and courage. I saw that it was only after they stepped out in faith that God then backed them up and made a way.

I also sought present day heroes who I knew had experienced a similar breakthrough of the one I was contending for. I asked Heidi Baker to share a similar testimony so I could build my own faith. She shared her story of how she felt led to go to New York from Los Angeles but all she had was $100. She showed up at the airport by faith believing that if God called her somewhere, then He would get her there. While there, right before her eyes a special sale came up for a flight from L.A. to New York for only $99.

In addition to these faith stories, I also recounted personal testimonies of how God moved similarly on my behalf to get me to where He was leading me. I remembered my trip from England to Minnesota for an academic conference where I first released the paper that would later be published as Spirit Flood: Rebirth of Spirit Baptism for the 21st Century. It was after I had already stepped out in faith, that upon my return, scholarship money was released to help cover my trip. I remembered my trip to Toronto for the 20th anniversary celebration of the Toronto Blessing with Randy Clark where I ended up getting a plane ticket for only $66 from the airline. It was also only while I was there, that God then made a way for me to get into the conference. I also only had enough money for about 3 night’s stay out of the 7 in a hotel room but He sent a friend to join me there to split the costs for part of the time. Then when I didn’t have anywhere to stay for the last 2 nights, God provided a free hotel room to share from some of the Iris Ministries family there. These testimonies helped build my faith for the impossible adventure I was about to embark on.

Along with my carry on suitcase and some prayers, I packed these testimonies as I headed to the San Francisco Airport by faith believing that God was sending me to England for such a time as this. All I had at that point was a full tank of gas. When I stopped at Carrie Judd Montgomery’s Home of Peace in Oakland on the way down, beginning signs of breakthrough emerged. As soon as I arrived, someone pulled me aside and gave me a check of $500 towards my journey. I received this as confirmation of the promise that God was sending me to the U.K. for such a time as this.

The next day I knew I had to get on a flight out of San Francisco Airport by that evening if I was going to be able to make the wedding. That morning, I recounted God’s faithfulness in my own life and community by wearing a necklace that reminding me of a testimony of God’s pleasure, faithfulness, and doing exceedingly abundantly above all I could ask, hope, dream, or imagine. I needed another Ephesians 3:20 moment to happen that day so I strategically placed this sign of a previous testimony around my neck as a stone of remembrance of His faithfulness.[7]

Then before heading to the San Francisco Airport, we went and soaked in worship and in God’s presence in the chapel at the Home of Peace. There was no striving, just resting in the promises of God, feasting on the testimonies of old, meditating on Isaiah 43, and enjoying Him. At noon, it was time to go. While at the airport and in the last hours, God broke through miraculously through the Body of Christ and favor from on high to get me to where I needed to be. The next day after my journey, I had the privilege and honor of celebrating my friend’s wedding in England. God turned water to wine on my behalf because of family. I never would have gotten that far if it wasn’t for the testimonies of those who had done similar things and paved the way for me in the past. Another side note, while in the UK, I also had the opportunity to visit Rees Howells’ Bible school which kind of brought things full circle since it was in part by pulling from his faith that I had enough courage to step out myself. This is just one example of the many testimonies and miracles that have happened simply by walking in the leading of the Holy Spirit and recounting the testimonies of old.

Stewarding the Testimony to Release Impartation

Carrie Judd Montgomery wrote an account of her healing testimony in a little book called The Prayer of Faith in 1880 that spread around the world and released healing to many. Many people who read her book back then and even people who have read it today have experienced healing as a result. So just as Carrie Judd regularly did in freely giving away what she had freely received (Matthew 10:8), so you can do the same. If you have been healed, release that testimony to others so that they can experience hope and healing. If you have received a breakthrough in one area and you know of someone else who needs breakthrough in that area, share your story. Stewarding your own testimony to release breakthrough and impartation to others is a powerful way to advance and accelerate the kingdom of God in and through your life.

Stewarding the Testimony to Launch into Your Destiny

Not only is stewarding the testimony powerful for imparting unto others, it can also be a source of catalytic power within your own life to launch you into a greater measure of your destiny. In addition to my Miracle UK Flight, another time God used this in my life happened in late 2011. After my 4 years in England, I positioned myself to move from Southern California to what I believed would become the land of my dreams in Redding, California. I had a feeling that I would have to walk through the fire to remain. In preparation for this journey in following my heart towards what I hoped was the Lord, I decided to write a testimony of what God had done in my life in a booklet called Water to Wine: Experiencing God in the Canary Islands. I wrote this selfishly and mainly for me to have a record of what God had recently done. I had a feeling I would need this testimony to get me through what I was about to face.

I was so thankful that God led me to steward the testimony and write the book because it became an anchor of hope for me. During one of the hardest and most stretching times of my life, I feasted on that testimony and reminded myself of how God had turned “water to wine” in my own life. It was my hope that He could do it again even though my circumstances revealed the opposite. Just having received a PhD and then been ordained by Heidi Baker with Iris Global, I found myself supposedly in the land of my dreams but living on a blow up air mattress on the floor in a friend’s house without a car or a job. This did not feel like what I had dreamed of. It was a humbling experience. All throughout that time I read and re-read Water to Wine. I knew I must remember God’s faithfulness and the breakthroughs He did on my account in the past. I knew I must meditate on His promises for me. This surf trip testimony where I experienced the love of the Father more than ever before in my entire life kept hope alive in me when circumstances could have easily shattered it. I was thankful I stewarded my own testimony in that season, for it was the very thing that God used as a pillar to give me strength to break into a greater measure of my destiny in Him. Stewarding my own testimony was used in part to break me into my destiny of establishing Destiny House.

I encourage you to remember to tap into your own testimonies as you step out in faith towards deeper waters of the things of God. Stewarding the testimony is not only beneficial to release impartation for God to do those same miracles again in the lives of others around us; it is also a source of strength to launch us even deeper into our own destinies.

Activating the Testimony

You have heard some of my stories of how God used the power of the testimony to stir up my faith and give me greater courage to step out into my destiny and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit even into impossible situations. Now I want you encourage you to think of 3 times in your own journey where God has come through for you. When did you experience God’s faithfulness or love in a special way? When did He heal you or someone through your prayers? When did God breakthrough for you when you were in a financial crunch? When did He provide friends when you needed them the most or the perfect place to live at just the right time? Spend some time with the Holy Spirit and listen to what emerges when you seek to remember God’s faithfulness in your own life.

Then write out 3 testimonies that came to mind on separate 3x5 cards along with a Bible verse that ties into that breakthrough. For example, maybe a story of a financial breakthrough came to mind. Write down a brief summary of the testimony and then pair it with promises from God like Philippians 4:19. Feel free to also add any prophetic words in relation to this theme.

Once you accumulate more and more of these 3x5 testimony cards, these will be like ammo of hope for you during stretching times. If you are struggling with health issues, remember when God has healed you in the past. If you are struggling to recognize God’s faithfulness in your own life, pull from the testimony of Carrie Judd Montgomery and others. As you continue on your journey in Christ and stay aware of what God is doing, more and more personal testimonies will fill your life.

Feel free to be creative beyond 3x5 cards and paint these stories, print pictures of these breakthrough moments and have them framed and up in your house, wear them as icons of hope in a necklace. Have these testimonies surrounding you so that when you face a similar challenge or struggle, you can cling to these promises and testimonies to encourage your spirit with hope, promise, and abundant life. These symbols can be like stones of remembrance surrounding you to help you to remember and celebrate what God has done in the past. This will help you continue to move forward into even greater measures of your destiny.

May you remain intimate with God in the secret place and knit together with community always. I declare hope over you and release courage to take steps of faith towards the impossibilities the Holy Spirit is leading you to. As you tap into the faith currents of those who have come before, I pray you be propelled into a greater measure of your destiny beyond what you could hope, dream, or imagine.

To learn more about this topic see

 

 

[1] Bill Johnson Video on The Power of the Testimony http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JdYMSGEXY2s . He also says, “Power is when you catch a wave. Authority is when you start the wave.”

[2] See video where Jennifer A. Miskov shares about the power of the testimony and legacy of Carrie Judd Montgomery at Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry for the whole of the 1st year class on April 9, 2014 http://youtu.be/fyzBs8Q7Q5Q

[3] See http://silvertogold.com/destinyhouse-history/

[4] https://homeofpeace.com/

[5] See Jennifer A. Miskov, “Step into the Impossible: Miracle Flight to England,” at http://silvertogold.com/blog/2014/6/2/miracles-come-when-you-have-no-other-options

[6]See Defining Moments by Bill Johnson with Jennifer A. Miskov. Also, Roberts Liardon, “John G. Lake: A Man of Healing” in God’s Generals: Why They Succeeded and Why Some Failed, (New Kensington, PA: Whitaker House, 1996), 179 and John G. Lake, compiled by Gordon Lindsay, John G. Lake: Apostle to Africa (Dallas, Texas: Christ for the Nations, 1981), 22-24.

[7] See Jennifer A. Miskov, “Signs, Synery, and Family,” at http://silvertogold.com/destiny-house-testimonies/2014/9/17/signs-synergy-and-family