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  • Writer's pictureMichael Gott

MUCH MORE BEYOND

The Spanish Empire was controlled for many decades by a common motto, “ne plus ultra”, or in English, “no more beyond.” Many churches, without admitting it, operate their ministry with that as the thought that controls them. It goes like this: “We have grown to 400 in worship; there is no more beyond that number. We are big enough—nothing beyond.”


Only a spiritual Columbus can get a congregation to sincerely believe there is a world, much more beyond. We see the same thing in the days of Joshua. Jericho fell, and some of the land they claimed because of the promise God gave them; but they came to a certain point and just suddenly stopped. In fact, seven tribes had not yet claimed any of the land given by God. So, at Shiloh Joshua boldly stood to ask them, “How long are you going to wait before clearing out the … land which the Lord your God has given to you?” (Joshua 18:3)


Yes, they had started out with a spirit of conquest, but after some conquest they grew tired and said, “These victories and a few conquests are enough—it’s time to take a break.” They said to each other, “This is good enough, we can stay where we are and simply peacefully coexist with all these pagan neighbors who hate us.” Each one of us can come to a place of saying, “I’ve done my part, this is enough,” and soon we are living with the motto from the Spanish Empire controlling us—“no more beyond.”


Earlier there was a courageous Caleb who believed that to stalemate and stop short was a human error and a spiritual tragedy. He raised his voice and gave them reassurance, “Let us go up at once and possess it” (Numbers 13:30).


I ask each of us, are we satisfied with less than all God has promised to give us? Are we fishers of men who have stopped fishing? I know skilled fishermen that one day just stopped fishing. Are we like that spiritually? We find that “let’s go on” spirit first in Caleb and then in Joshua. It’s called “another spirit,” a holy restlessness. It possessed them. They are not satisfied to settle for less than all God has for them. How are we like they? To any and all I ask—are there any exciting new frontiers for you? Are you now at the point of saying, “This is enough,” there is “nothing beyond”? It is settling for less than God’s best! We are pilgrims moving on!


Caleb is a very good example for us because he was at retirement age and even beyond—yet he fully followed the Lord his God. Please grasp this personally. Even at 85 he was out to win a greater prize for His Lord, saying, “I want that mountain!” (Joshua 14:2) Let’s see it clearly—Joshua and before him Caleb saw an opportunity in every difficulty—most of us see a difficulty in every opportunity.


Again I ask you, have you heard some good people in your church say, “It’s over, I’ve had my day. Now it’s time to step aside, with common sense, and let young people continue from here on out. As for me, I’ll just reminisce about those good old days”? Please! Do not conclude that there are no more people to reach, no more victories to enjoy—no more missions to attempt.


What should you ask for? Simply this: ask boldly for all God intends for you to have, and here are some good examples:


  • Like Hezekiah ask for an extension of time. (II Kings 20:1-6)

  • Like Jabez ask for an enlargement of coasts. (II Chronicles 4:10)

  • Like Elisha ask for an enduement of power. (II Kings 2:9)


Do we forget that God likes to show Himself strong, mighty, and powerful through ordinary people like we? God likes to make people’s heads shake with amazement as they see ordinary people used in extraordinary ways!


It’s not a mark of humility to retire. It’s not an indication of graciousness to resign. It’s not indication of success to be content to reminisce. Cannot our victories of the past be a bugle call for the future?


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