I have two ambitions in life: to warn the body of Christ about activities that are being embraced in our culture that are proven to provoke God’s judgment, and to see the body of Christ experience dramatically more fruit. Everything I do revolves around this two-fold mission . . . and I love it!
However, to help the body of Christ experience dramatically more fruit, I realize that I must see increasingly greater fruit in my life. As many have said, “You cannot impart what you do not possess.” So, since starting Forerunners of America, my wife and I have believed God to make us dramatically more fruitful.
The importance of a dramatically more fruitful ministry is only highlighted when we consider the relatively stable days we are experiencing as a nation right now. Paul said that these are the kind of days we should pray for because they are pleasing to God who wants everyone to come to faith (1 Tim. 2:1-4). Yes, there is bitter division over immigration, racism, abortion rights, transgenderism, globalism, and many other issues that could, as some have suggested, lead us to civil war. But we are not in a civil war right now. Last week, most people enjoyed a relaxing Thanksgiving holiday with family, friends, food, football, and possibly some Black Friday shopping. And with the employment rate at all-time highs, especially for African-Americans and Hispanics, Paul is admonishing us not to coast, but to take advantage of the present favorable conditions to expand God’s kingdom.
Due to God’s work in us and through us, recently Renae and I have seen the gospel go out in power, ministered to marriages experiencing demonic oppression, and have observed God’s healing touch related to physical and emotional conditions. These three areas—the Word of God going out in power, people finding freedom from the enemy, and healing—were the primary aspects of Jesus’ ministry on Earth (Acts 10:38). Because Jesus modeled this kind of ministry, we might conclude that these three areas should be at the heart of kingdom ministry today.
What has happened to us to move into this increasingly fruitful ministry? A game-changer has been to actively step out in faith to look for people to whom God wants us to minister in all three of these ways. It is one thing to agree with what the Bible teaches about witnessing. It’s entirely something else to step out in faith to talk to someone, see God intervene, and watch him or her come to faith. It’s one thing to believe that someone, somewhere might be harassed by the demonic. It’s entirely something else to believe God to lead you to that person and to see that person freed from the enemy. It’s one thing to believe that God can do a miracle. It’s entirely something else to pray in faith for someone who goes to the doctor only to surprise the physician with his or her sudden improvement.
For Renae and me, believing God for dramatically more fruit began by simply reading the Bible and taking God at His Word. Specifically, we were challenged over and over not only to be like Jesus and Paul in our character—although character is foundational—but to take the next step and become like them in ministry. Of course, this required a fundamental shift from how so much of ministry had been modeled for us over the years. In summary, it required that we move into a ministry focused on God’s kingdom and His power (1 Cor. 4:20). Also, it was vital to understand that God is not looking for extraordinary people, but is looking for ordinary people who choose to follow an extraordinary God.
Last, too many times we communicate by our actions (more than our words) that our nation’s real hope is in the realm of politics. Although government is important with its many potential blessings or problems, as Jesus followers, we don’t have to wait for the next election cycle to make a profound difference. We can make our greatest contribution right now by being God’s agents who help expand His kingdom. Let’s step out in faith to see God’s kingdom leaven work throughout the entire lump of dough (Matt. 13:33). After all, if this is God’s will—and Jesus said it is—this is a great day for you, myself, and the whole body of Christ to be part of God’s kingdom expansion initiative.
(For a free Bible study that lays the theological foundation of God’s kingdom expanding through us today, click here to download Insurgence: The Revolutionary Nature of the Kingdom of God.)