When I see him, he is an 85-year-old man looking to the prize set before him. He is standing looking off in the distance and asking for the prize, he was promised 45 years earlier. He says he is as strong now as he was 45 years ago, and I would not test him one bit. His speech is domineering and sincere; he has waited for this day. He has fought battles, wars and people to get here and now he wants what is his.
On this Earth, I will never meet my favorite veteran. He has long since passed, but the words of his life become a beacon for mine. He had a desire so bold and so powerful, he lived up to one of the meanings of his name, “bulldog.” His words bring motivation centuries later; we just need to read them.
His name is the same as my son. In fact, I was insistent that my son have the same name. So, what is his name – Caleb!
Caleb should not just be remembered as the one with Joshua telling the people they could take the land, he should also be remembered as one who obtained his inheritance!
Then the people of Judah came to Joshua at Gilgal. And Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite said to him,
“You know what the LORD said to Moses the man of God in Kadesh-barnea concerning you and me. I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the LORD sent me from Kadesh-barnea to spy out the land, and I brought him word again as it was in my heart. But my brothers who went up with me made the heart of the people melt; yet I wholly followed the LORD my God.
And Moses swore on that day, saying, ‘Surely the land on which your foot has trodden shall be an inheritance for you and your children forever, because you have wholly followed the LORD my God.’ And now, behold, the LORD has kept me alive, just as he said, these forty-five years since the time that the LORD spoke this word to Moses, while Israel walked in the wilderness.
And now, behold, I am this day eighty-five years old. I am still as strong today as I was in the day that Moses sent me; my strength now is as my strength was then, for war and for going and coming. So now give me this hill country of which the LORD spoke on that day, for you heard on that day how the Anakim were there, with great fortified cities. It may be that the LORD will be with me, and I shall drive them out just as the LORD said.”
Then Joshua blessed him, and he gave Hebron to Caleb the son of Jephunneh for an inheritance.
(Joshua 14:6-13; ESV)
Caleb knew what he wanted, but he knew he must be a man of action. Over 40 years he waited. He walked the wilderness with those who kept him out of the promise land and everyday he waited for his inheritance.
Even while in his elderly age, Caleb wanted the gift, even though he would have to drive out the inhabitants of the land. His faith in God was working each day knowing the promise was ahead. Do you and I have the convictions of Caleb to press on to the prize which is ahead?
Let us remember the words of Paul,
“Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3.12-14; ESV)
Also, remember the words of the Hebrews writer,
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12.1-2; ESV)
Notice the Hebrews writer makes two distinct points: (1) there are weights (things that slow us down) and (2) there are sins. Normally, our focus is on avoiding sins, but what about those things that slow us down? Are there things, circumstances, situations, or choices that are hindering you in your spiritual life?
What will you get out of your life today?
What steps will you take to fill the void left? (Note: if you do not fill the void, something else will fill it for you.)
Just some thoughts,