Two of my favorite texts in the entire Bible are Acts 1:8 and Isaiah 43:10.
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” Acts 1:8 NASB (emphasis mine)
“’You are My witnesses,’ declares the Lord, And My servant whom I have chosen, So that you may know and believe Me And understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, And there will be none after Me.’” Isaiah 43:10 NASB (emphasis mine)
There is no doubt that God wants His people to be His witnesses. We see it here in the Old Covenant and in the New Covenant so it is a consistent Biblical truth. Webster’s Dictionary defines a witness as: attestation of a fact or event, one that gives evidence; specifically: one who testifies in a cause or before a judicial tribunal, one who has personal knowledge of something.
A good witness in a trial or court case is one that is credible, and has first-hand intimate knowledge. There are some witnesses in court cases that are referred to as false witnesses, which would be those that are not credible and have no first-hand knowledge, but can only testify to hearsay. In these two verses we see four things that will help us be credible witnesses…beside the obvious of only giving witness to what we have first-hand knowledge of. (This means you can’t be a witness of Grandma’s or Mamma’s faith…only your own)
Number 1, in Acts 1:8, the first thing that enables us to be a witness is the power of the Holy Spirit. Notice Jesus did not say, ‘you will go witnessing’, He said, ‘you shall be My witnesses.’ There is a difference between going witnessing and being a witness that I really don’t have time to get into here, but we are told that we would receive power after the Holy Spirit has come upon us, and because of that power, we would be witnesses.
You really can’t be an effective witness for Him apart from receiving the power of the Holy Spirit in your life first. To try and do so in your own power or ability is ludicrous. In fact Scripture clearly states: “Then he said to me, ‘This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel’ saying, ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord of hosts.’” Zechariah 4:6 NASB
Number 2, in Isaiah 43:10, we are told that we should KNOW HIM. Until you know God…you can’t be a witness for God. Now I am not talking about getting Born Again when I speak of knowing God. Being Born Again is just getting introduced to God, all that means is that you met Him; it does not mean that you know Him. You could be introduced to the President of the United States, but that would not mean that you know him, it would merely mean that you met him.
The only way you get to really KNOW somebody is to spend time with them, and God is no different. We spend time with Him in His Word, in Prayer and in Praise & Worship. As we do these things we get to KNOW Him. We learn what He likes and what He dislikes. We learn how He thinks and we learn what moves His heart. I have a great relationship with my earthly Father. We have invested all 51 years of my life developing it. But because we have spent so much time together…I Know him…that is the way it needs to be with our Heavenly Father. This enables us to be a witness.
Number 3, in Isaiah 43:10, we are told that we should BELIEVE HIM. Let me submit to you that these things in Isaiah 43:10 are progressive. You have a hard time Believing God when you don’t Know God. But when you KNOW God, you have NO ISSUE BELIEVING GOD! Once you have the spent the time with Him so that you know what He thinks, what He likes and what He feels, it makes it very easy for you to Believe what He says.
Let me go back to my relationship with my earthly Father. Because I know him, if he tells me Mike next Tuesday I am going to give you $500.00 for your birthday…I might just as well take it to the bank. Why? Because I know him and I know his word is good. Well when we get to the same place with God that we know Him so well that we know His Word, we will believe Him. This enables us to be a witness.
Number 4, in Isaiah 43:10, we are told that we should UNDERSTAND HIM. Notice the progression…Know Him…Believe Him…Understand Him. Until you know Him you can’t believe Him, and until you believe Him you can’t understand Him But when you know Him you can believe Him, and when you believe Him you can understand Him.
I go back again to my relationship with my earthly Father. Because I know him so well, I understand why he does what he does, why he thinks the way he thinks and why he acts the way he acts. I know what makes him tick…I get it when it comes to him. So it is with our heavenly Father, because we know Him and believe Him, it makes it easy for us to understand Him. We should understand why God thinks the way He thinks…what makes Him tick. This enables us to be a witness.
If we want to be His effective Witnesses…we must realize these simple truths. God wants us to be His witnesses. He has provided the Power of the Holy Spirit to enable us to be His witnesses. He has made it available to us that through spending time with him through His Word, Prayer and Praise & Worship we could Know Him, Believe Him and Understand Him, enabling us to be His witness.