January 28, 2024
Anything you do, if you can stretch and do a little more, you can find a sense of power from the breakthrough to go a little farther. The athlete that does all the repetitions the coach prescribed, but despite feeling spent goes after one more, finds a new personal best. The writer who has been spending hours on a manuscript makes the decision to go just a little longer and finds the angle for which he/she had been looking. The point is simple – going the distance or doing the prescribed work is one thing, but adding just a little more effort can make a big difference.
We find the “just one more” principle in the Bible as Gideon sought confirmation from God, as God told Moses that Pharoah would receive one more plague, and in the parable that Jesus told of the farmer giving the fig tree one more year to produce.
When God called Gideon to deliver Israel from the hand of the Midianites, he couldn’t believe it.
Judges 6:11–16 (ESV) — 11 Now the angel of the Lord came and sat under the terebinth at Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, while his son Gideon was beating out wheat in the winepress to hide it from the Midianites. 12 And the angel of the Lord appeared to him and said to him, “The Lord is with you, O mighty man of valor.” 13 And Gideon said to him, “Please, my lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all his wonderful deeds that our fathers recounted to us, saying, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the Lord has forsaken us and given us into the hand of Midian.” 14 And the Lord turned to him and said, “Go in this might of yours and save Israel from the hand of Midian; do not I send you?” 15 And he said to him, “Please, Lord, how can I save Israel? Behold, my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.” 16 And the Lord said to him, “But I will be with you, and you shall strike the Midianites as one man.”
Later when Gideon was about to go into battle, He asked God for an indication or sign that God would be with him, specifically if he placed the fleece out on the ground overnight so that in the morning the fleece would be wet but the ground dry. And so it was!
Judges 6:39 (ESV) — 39 Then Gideon said to God, “Let not your anger burn against me; let me speak just once more. Please let me test just once more with the fleece. Please let it be dry on the fleece only, and on all the ground let there be dew.”
What mercy God showed to Gideon. His little faith needed one more piece of evidence and God graciously blessed him. What power there was in the “one more” given to Gideon to help him go forward. The result was Gideon and his army of 300 men went to battle and won. Gideon, helped by the one more sign, is found in the “hall of faith” in Hebrews 11.
Hebrews 11:32–34 (ESV) — 32 And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets— 33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight.
Too many times we get bogged down by wanting one more, then another, then another sign of what God would have us to do, instead of paying attention to what He has given us clearly in His word.
Another “one more” is the way God moved upon Pharaoh with the plagues that demonstrated God’s power. As Pharoah’s heart was hardened, he resisted the demonstration of God’s power time after time so God let Moses know that there would be “one more” plague to come, the plague of death on the firstborn.
Exodus 11:1 (ESV) — 1 The Lord said to Moses, “Yet one plague more I will bring upon Pharaoh and upon Egypt. Afterward he will let you go from here. When he lets you go, he will drive you away completely.
Pharaoh turned from all the other plagues, but when God demonstrated His power “one more time” Pharoah was glad to see the Israelites leave. Have you ever stopped to think how often we do not get what God is doing or the discipline He is allowing in our lives, but He continues to give us “one more” to get our attention and respond to Him.
There’s another account of “one more” in the Parable that Jesus told, depicting the gracious way that God treats His people.
Luke 13:6–9 (ESV) — 6 And he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. 7 And he said to the vinedresser, ‘Look, for three years now I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and I find none. Cut it down. Why should it use up the ground?’ 8 And he answered him, ‘Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and put on manure. 9 Then if it should bear fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.’ ”
God, the master gardener is looking for fruit from all of us. So many times He looks and finds none. Aren’t you thankful that our Lord Jesus Christ, depicted as the vinedresser in this parable, steps up for us and we get another opportunity.
As we can see from the biblical accounts above, “one more” is really a way that God deals with us. May we take notice of the “one mores” that He allows us to have to take us to the next level, but may we also be as the athlete or disciplined writer that does what is necessary and then some by adding one more to whatever we do in life, never being satisfied with just getting by but adding a little more, thereby finding the power of His grace in all we do as we reflect Him and His blessing us with “one more.”
Bob Brubaker, Pastor