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Following FULLY

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Caleb is one of the heroes of Biblical history. He is not mentioned much, but what we know of him challenges us to live life in full surrender to God. The secret of his life and influence is wrapped up in one phrase, repeated three times in Joshua, Chapter 14.

“Nevertheless, my brethren who went up with me made the heart of the people melt with fear; but I followed the Lord my God fully.

So Moses swore on that day, saying, ‘Surely the land on which your foot has trodden will be an inheritance to you and to your children forever, because you have followed the Lord my God fully.’

“Now behold, the Lord has let me live, just as He spoke, these forty-five years, from the time that the Lord spoke this word to Moses, when Israel walked in the wilderness; and now behold, I am eighty-five years old today. I am still as strong today as I was in the day Moses sent me; as my strength was then, so my strength is now, for war and for going out and coming in.

“Now then, give me this hill country about which the Lord spoke on that day, for you heard on that day that Anakim were there, with great fortified cities; perhaps the Lord will be with me, and I will drive them out as the Lord has spoken.”

So Joshua blessed him and gave Hebron to Caleb the son of Jephunneh for an inheritance. Therefore, Hebron became the inheritance of Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite until this day, because he followed the Lord God of Israel fully.

STANDING STRONG

You remember the story, as Moses sent 12 spies into the Promised Land. Caleb, along with his friend, Joshua, were the only two who brought God's faith-filled report back to the Israelites. 

Following fully meant standing in faith, even when an entire nation stood in doubt and opposition. It meant going against the crowd. It meant believing. It meant spiritual conviction, regardless of the outcome. It meant the prospect of ridicule and loss of relationship with lesser men.

If Caleb had wavered in doubt, like the other ten spies, we would never know his name.

Other men such as Stephen, Peter and Paul, Huss, Luther, Whitefield, Count Von Zinzendorf, Edwards, Evan Roberts, Jim Elliott and thousands of unnamed believers, (who will lead us in heaven); all of these followed Caleb in spiritual convictions. His life fueled the faith of every courageous man and woman who followed. We are spurred on by his convictions and the results of a life of courage.

FINISHING WELL

When you hear Caleb now, at 85 with full physical and spiritual vigor, you realize that this man lived with no remorse because of one spiritual decision made at one critical time. And, he was rewarded by God for his faith, just as men like this always are. To the end, he is still following fully, ready to take on a mountain filled with giants. His faith has done nothing but grow through the years ... and he is finishing well.

We are all faced with such moments. Moments when we will decide if we will believe God or run in humanistic fear. But we must remember that these are the moments that make men of God. For those who “follow the Lord fully” their lives will be filled with confidence, their usefulness is assured, and their future is rewarded. 

God, make me a man like Caleb! Help me to stand, even when others doubt, and move by “every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord.” Let me see giants as mere “bread” when you are with me. Give me spiritual courage and conviction. Help me to see that one full-faith decision made at a critical time can shape my life and determine my destiny. And help me finish strong!

Posted by Bill Elliff
in Faith

PREPARING FOR THE WONDER

Then Joshua said to the people, "Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you." (Joshua 3:5)

If we are genuinely walking with God, He is always doing things that are beyond the natural. This is simple to understand, for God IS supernatural! When He intervenes, things happen which "eye has not seen, ear has not heard: all that God has prepared for those who love Him" (1 Corinthians 2:9). We should expect the supernatural when He is in the equation.

PREPARED

God knew that the people would not be ready for this unless they were prepared. "Consecrate yourselves" was his instruction.  The word means to "be holy, removed from common things." If we are to see God work, we need "eyes to see" that are not clouded by the world. This takes intentionality and preparation on our part. We will miss the wonder if we are not spiritually sensitive.

THE NEXT FAITH STEP

Along with this consecration is the willingness to follow. God instructed Joshua to instruct the priests to take up the ark of the covenant (which represented God's presence) and "Stand still in the Jordan." 

This was no simple, natural step. The Jordan was large and raging at this time of the year. To step in and expect some type of miracle took extraordinary faith. They could have rebelled, as their parents did 40 years before. Gratefully, they believed God enough to, like Peter, put their feet in the water.

When they believed and obeyed, the waters were cut off and stood up in a heap on either side of them, to the left and to the right. This is a miracle in itself, but if you don’t know the geography you will miss the massiveness of this miracle. The distance from the city of Adam to the Salt Sea (Dead Sea) was 30 miles! This allowed the whole nation of Israel to walk right across the Jordan and enter into the Promised Land on dry ground.

OUR JORDAN

... may seem huge and raging. There are places we know God wants us and those around us to go, but we may be fearful or wondering how it is at all possible. We must prepare through holiness to see God and then we must take the next step in believing obedience.

We must do this in obedience to God, but we must also realize that our children are behind us and many, many others. They need to see God’s wonder and be able to walk in it, made possible by our holy obedient faith. If we will “stand still in the Jordan” as God instructs, we will help them enter the Promised Land also. Our faith is not just about us.

If we will consecrate ourselves, believe in His wonder and obey, we will discover that God is the same God, with the same wonder. He is waiting to display it to us and to thousands behind us, if we will cooperate with Him!

Posted by Bill Elliff

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