Thursday, October 06, 2011

Light Switch vs. Dimmer Switch Testmonies

I was asked to give my testimony recently, and the day before I gave it, I ran across the following quote in J.C. Ryle's Expository Thoughts on Mark.

He was commenting on Mark 8:22-26, which tells about Jesus healing a blind man in Bethsaida. The passage says:

Then He came to Bethsaida; and they brought a blind man to Him, and begged Him to touch him. So He took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the town. And when He had spit on his eyes and put His hands on him, He asked him if he saw anything.

And he looked up and said, “I see men like trees, walking.”

Then He put His hands on his eyes again and made him look up. And he was restored and saw everyone clearly. Then He sent him away to his house, saying, “Neither go into the town, nor tell anyone in the town.”

Ryle draws some parallels between this passage and spiritual illumination. He says, “We are all naturally blind and ignorant in the matters which concern our souls. Conversion is an illumination, a change from darkness to light, from blindness to seeing the kingdom of God. Yet few converted people see things distinctly at first.

That last part was especially encouraging to me, because my story of illumination isn’t like a light switch that got instantly turned on. It’s more like a dimmer switch that gradually showed more and more light until I could finally see things clearly. To be honest, that used to bug me. I really wanted to be able to point to that “light switch” moment. But after hearing many testimonies over the years, I think God works in this “dimmer switch” way quite often, and I hope this is an encouragement to any of you who have a similar testimony.

The process of sanctification works in much the same way. It's really a mercy that He doesn't show us our sin all at once. He turns up the "dimmer switch" slowly, only showing us a little at a time. Otherwise, we would be overwhelmed by it. But by His grace, I pray He continues to “turn up that dimmer switch,” show me my sin, and make me more and more like Christ every day.

So what about you? Do you have a light switch testimony or a dimmer switch testimony?


besnini said...

Not sure which one I have...I know without a doubt that I am a child of the King but sometimes I think I'm still in the dimmer switch area :) This made me think of Hope, who recently had to give her testimony. She was practicing with a friend (this was for a class) and at the end she commented that she used to feel like she didn't have much of a testimony until the Lord made her realize that every testimony is a testimony of the miraculous. Even when a church raised kid gets saved it is a miracle. Maybe God gives us all different testimonies so we can encourage someone else.

Baroness Insomniac said...

I used to think I had a "Eureka" testimony aka as a light switch. =) The longer I know the Lord, the more glimpses I see of the means which He used to draw me to Himself tbroughout my life. You know, I don't even have a date for when I was regenerated. I know it was sometime in late Sept/Oct about 5 years ago but I just remember the amazement, thankfulness and sweetness of it all.

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