I’ve been married to my wife Ruth for 52 years. We are the parents of five children, seven grandchildren and one great-grand child.
Shortly after I was born-again, there was a word which lingered within me. The word was ministry. I distinctly recall saying to the Lord, “Lord, I don’t know what this means or where it will take us, but I am willing to give myself to your purpose for our lives.” I graduated from Rhema Bible Training Center in 1980 and we pioneered a church in North Dakota. From there, we went to Russia where we also pioneered a work. We have pastored our current church in Wisconsin, Victory Christian Church, for the past 18 years.
Several years ago, I and another pastor were doing a conference on bearing fruit. In John 15 Jesus spoke of fruit: bearing fruit, bearing much fruit, bearing lasting fruit. I concluded that His intention for His body was to be effective. While doing that conference I was very supernaturally given an emphasis—or application—from each of the nine letters in the word EFFECTIVE. When I got this revelation, I spent nine weeks teaching and ministering it to our church. Even though this is in the English, the concepts can be applied in any language. On one trip to Russia we taught this. It proved to be profitable for them even though it was not in the English language. Here are the nine concepts.
E – Expectancy
Another word is hope.
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for.
Jairus came to Jesus on behalf of his 12 year old daughter. He said (take note of his expectancy), “Come and lay Your hands on her, that she may be healed, and she will live.” Years ago, in one of our outreaches, there was high school girl who was a good athlete. A serious heart problem developed which meant all athletic events were over. She came one night to the outreach and stated, “Tonight is my night for healing,” and she was totally healed of that heart problem and has lived a normal life since. She came to that meeting with expectancy. “Expect great things from God, attempt great things for God” (William Carey).
F – Faith
We earlier looked at Hebrews 11:1. Hope needs substance. The substance is the Word of God. David made this amazing statement, David said, “The LORD, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine” (1 Samuel 17:37). We see a combination of where David’s faith was placed and his expectancy placed in the Lord. Jesus told both the woman with the issue of blood (Mark 5) and Bartimaeus (Mark 10), “Your faith has made you well.” Referring to the beggar in Acts 3, we read, “So he (the lame man) gave them (Peter and John) his attention, expecting to receive something from them.” One thing I like about this account is that God did exceedingly abundantly above all he could ask or think.
F – Forgetting
Forgetting can go all the way from the ugly and the bad, to even the good. Paul stated, “forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead . . .” We certainly know to not allow the negative and undesirable past to dictate our future; however, one can live in the wonderful experiences of the past which can be a hindrance to press ahead.
E – Enthusiasm
I discovered the root of the word enthusiasm is theos, in other words, “God.” “Fires can’t be made with dead embers, nor can enthusiasm be stirred by spiritless men. Enthusiasm in our daily work lightens effort and turns even labor into pleasant tasks” (Stanley Baldwin). “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm” (Ralph Waldo Emerson).
Numbers 13:30 (NKJV)
Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.”
I clearly see enthusiasm, faith, and expectancy in Caleb. The very next verses are opposite in that there was no faith and certainly no enthusiasm.
Numbers 13:31-33 (NKJV)
But the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we.” And they gave the children of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying, “The land through which we have gone as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great stature. There we saw the giants (the descendants of Anak came from the giants); and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.”
Enthusiastic Caleb along with Joshua entered the promised land.
C – Christ
The center, or fulcrum, of effectiveness or fruit-bearing is Christ; the anointing that’s available to all people of God.
T – Thankfulness
There were several issues which prevented the first generation to in fact enter the promised land – lust, idolatry, sexual immorality, tempting Christ. Included in that list is murmuring or complaining. Murmuring does not allow thankfulness to be evident.
I – In Him
Knowing who we are in Him is of such vital importance. There are some 135 references, primarily in the New Testament epistles, which tell us the in Him truths.
V – Victory
We can confidently say everyone desires victory—desires to overcome. These first six truths or applications will ultimately open the door to victory. I find what Dwight D. Eisenhower said to be very true, “There are no victories at bargain prices.”
E – Excitement/Momentum
So many attempt to begin at victory—or with excitement—when in reality, there are applications and insights which lead up to this. I certainly do not want to quell excitement, yet that is often not the starting point but is often a result. When I was a student at Rhema, we, like many others, had significant challenges. In our case, a significant challenge was financial. I got a significant revelation from Psalm 138:8 (NKJV) “The LORD will perfect that which concerns me. . . “That was not necessarily “exciting” at the moment, but that truth revealed to our hearts resulted in a momentum which we’ve lived in for some 37 years.
Every member of the Body of Christ is called to be—and can be—effective! Know you must expect. Add faith to expectancy. At times we must do some forgetting. Allow the Spirit of God to keep your enthusiasm stirred at all times. Never forget that Christ is the origin of effectiveness. Maintain a thankful heart. Frequently review who you are in Him. From this victory will come a reality from which excitement and momentum will be evident!