By: Jim Kaseman
Matthew 5:41 “And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two.”
If you want enduring success as a Christian, and really, if you want to obey the words of Jesus, the quality of going the extra mile will be an essential part of your character. The path to doom is mediocrity and
complacency, just doing enough to get by. The way to success in every area of life is to be an extra miler.
EL SHADDAI — THE GOD OF MORE THAN ENOUGH
God never asks us to do something that He hasn’t done Himself. He is El Shaddai, the God of more than enough. His streets are paved with gold; the gate of Heaven is beautiful beyond understanding; and He’d like to meet our needs not so we can just get by, but according to His riches!! (Philippians 4:19) That’s going the extra mile!
Romans 5:8 says that “…God demonstrates His own love toward us in that while we were YET SINNERS, Christ died for us. “When Adam sinned, God could have said, “Well, I warned him. He blew it. That’s the end of that. He’ll spend eternity separated from Me. I’ll just go somewhere else and start over.” But instead He sent His only begotten Son, Jesus, the spotless Lamb, the innocent One. He went the extra mile. And aren’t we GLAD!!
THE PEOPLE OF MORE THAN ENOUGH
In Exodus 35 and 36 Moses asks the children of Israel to give offerings for the building of the Tabernacle. “Take from among you an offering for the Lord, whoever is of a willing heart, that’s when it does good.
God is always looking inside to see what the heart is like. (I Samuel 16:7)
Exodus 36:5 tells us that the people brought much MORE THAN ENOUGH for the building of the Tabernacle. In fact, Moses had to tell them to stop giving!! They were the people of MORE THAN ENOUGH…They went the extra mile.
The Apostle Paul tells us in II Corinthians 11:23 what hardships he suffered in the ministry. “…stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft…” Five different times he endured 39 stripes,
three times beaten with rods, once stoned, three times shipwrecked…Now that takes someone who is willing to go the extra mile. He could have thrown up his hands and said “FORGET IT!!! I don’t have to go through all this!” None of us would have blamed him. He had done enough. But he didn’t quit. He went the extra mile, doing more than just enough.”
And I’m so glad he did because not a day goes by that I don’t spend some time meditating in the Epistles written by the Apostle Paul. Thank God he didn’t quit.
Well, what about you and me? I Corinthians 15:58 tells us to “…be ye steadfast, unmovable always ABOUNDING in the work of the Lord…” God didn’t say, “…always doing just enough to get by…” NO…
ABOUNDING…going the extra mile. God expects us to have a generous attitude in our work, in our homes, at church, in every relationship. The believer who goes the extra mile will always be looking for ways to
give more, never looking for ways to cut corners. “Extra” means more than enough, over and above, abundance.
ADVANTAGES OF GOING THE EXTRA MILE
The generous soul will be made rich.” (Proverbs 1:25) That’s talking about someone who gives liberally. And whenever the scripture talks about being rich or prosperity, it’s not only talking about money. It
also means rich in body, divine health, and rich in soul, sound mind. The generous soul will not only be giving money. The generous soul will also be giving time, encouraging people, sharing answers from the Word, praying with people, generous with himself.
Going the extra mile in your relationships will give you favor with people.
Proverbs 18:16 says that your gift will make way for you. On the other hand, there are people who are praying for favor, but the sad truth is that their reputation has gone before them, hindering them from having favor with people.
Late paying their bills, a bad attitude towards their creditors, and doing only enough to just barely get by and earn their paycheck at work. And they want FAVOR?? Their stinginess makes it hard for God to
move on their behalf. The nature of God within them is hidden and the gift inside will never manifest. But we are called on to be faith people, and faith works by love, right? Love always goes the extra mile. Love is giving, expecting nothing in return from that person or that company, giving whether or not those we give to ever reciprocate. We go the extra mile because Jesus taught us to.
We become indispensable in our relationships if we go the extra mile. Your wife will hate to see you leave town, your children will miss you. If the economy cranks down and your company has to lay people off;
guess who will be the last to go? The one that goes the extra mile, who has developed an alert imagination, always looking for new and better ways of doing things.
Going the extra mile requires deciding to do that little bit on top of what is expected. It does not come naturally to the flesh, but your spirit-man loves to be stretched that way. It builds godly character in
us like no other habit can.
DON’T BE WEARY IN GOING THE EXTRA MILE
It is impossible for someone with a servant’s heart to render service and not receive an appropriate reward. II Corinthians 9:6 lets us know that there is a bountiful harvest-time for one who sows bountifully. The law of sowing and reaping always works. The reward may come in many forms and from many different sources, but IT WILL COME.
Galatians 6:6 says “God is not mocked, whatever a man sows, that shall he also reap.” And verse 9, “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season, we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” In other words, don’t give up!
Ralph Waldo Emerson said in his essay on Compensation that if we serve an ungrateful master, we should serve him all the more. He said that we can actually put God in our debt, because every bit of work will be
repaid. The longer the payment is withheld, the better. God pays compound interest on compound interest. And He always pays His debts!!
When Kathi and I went to Minnesota to pastor, we made God our source. I’ve never gone anywhere for money and I’ve always been willing to pay my own way. That’s opened a lot of doors of ministry for me…hospitals, prisons, small, new churches. I was going seven days a week at the beginning, doing all the meetings that were available.
I was doing one charismatic meeting once a month on a Saturday night. I would go to this meeting sometimes with only fumes in my gas tank, driving one hundred miles to get there. But I really believe that if you are walking by faith, you don’t drop hints. That’s a con game, playing on people’s emotions. Well this group of people were giving me a $100 check for each meeting, not enough to live on, but I was happy.
This went on for about a year, and then we got a letter from someone that had been in the meetings, asking if we had received the $500 check that had been designated for us. My wife said “They’re stealing from
you!!” We could tell that they were building up their treasure for themselves. But I told her, “No, they can’t because God’s my source. They aren’t stealing from me.” I went back to those meetings, and to this day I’ve never said anything to them about it. My attitude was “Father, forgive them. They don’t know what they’re doing. And, Lord, I know that You opened this door for me to teach Your Word to people who need to hear it.” I just kept going.
In July of 1977, we were facing a real need in the ministry. I was headed out of town to a meeting, but stopped for the mail. In the box that day were two pieces of mail. One envelope had a $100 check in it
with a nice note. Hallelujah! I opened the second envelope…no note, no letter, nothing except a check made out to the ministry from a man we had met in that group in Minnesota. The amount on the check was
$7,000, no questions asked! Shortly after that, the charismatic group stopped meeting. But years later, when we were working on the first phase of the Russian Book Project, we received a check from another person from the group for $100,000. Through the years, from that group, we have received over $300,000 for the ministry! That’s compound interest on compound interest.
In addition to the money the ministry has received from our going the extra mile, the experience we got was invaluable. I should have paid them!! I was practicing on them!! The experiences that we went through
from 1975 to 1981 gave us skills, abilities and maturity that we could have gained no other way. The lessons that I learned in Minnesota were worth their weight in gold when I landed in Finland the first time.
Without them, I would never have been ready. Be grateful for the experience you gain when you go the extra mile.
The only certain means of a fruitful life is to render more and better service than is expected of you, no matter what your calling in life may be. Let’s operate in abundance, do the over and above, GO THE EXTRA MILE…….
(The above material is the April 1992 issue of the Jim Kaseman Ministries Publication.)
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