Anytime we make a bold and public confession about our deliverance, we must brace ourselves, because the enemy will always attempt to make a fool out of us by tempting us with the very thing that we just testified about being delivered from. It used to happen to me all the time, earlier in my walk, when I began to confess deliverance from bisexuality, pornography and masturbation–among other habits. I would be free from my vices for months, then I would openly and gratefully testify about my deliverance. Then out of nowhere, I would get bombarded with temptation left and right, and oftentimes, I would end up giving into the trap–yet again. Then, I would stop testifying, evangelizing and preaching to others all together, fall into depression, guilt and shame, and go hide in my shell until I got over my self-condemnation. It was a constant cycle.
It felt as if Satan was saying, “Ha! You aren’t delivered for real! You’re a fake! You’re a hypocrite! I knew it wouldn’t be long before I could snatch your testimony away from you, and shut your mouth up from testifying, and from giving hope, and setting others free!”
I was afraid of testifying because every time I did, it always followed with temptation. But temptation shouldn’t always be looked at as a negative thing, though. And temptation doesn’t always have to bring our testimony to ruin. If we were to rely solely on the Holy Spirit instead of on our own strength when facing the temptation, then we would come out victorious every time. And when we get to the place where we are constantly overcoming the temptation and not giving into it, the temptation would then serve as proof, or as a confirmation to our deliverance, instead of as a hindrance or enemy to our deliverance.
Testimonies are powerful. But if you keep backslidding after you testify, perhaps it just means that you’re testifying prematurely. If you need time to grow stronger in your deliverance before you start testifying openly about it, then by all means lay low and mature in your deliverance, and build up a consistency of resistance to the temptation. Once you feel as if you’re strong enough in your freedom, then perhaps you can start being more public with your story and ministering it to others again. But you can’t testify to someone about something that you don’t have. Attain freedom. Then share freedom.