How To Have Courage At Any Age

Let’s reflect on what we learned this past Sunday one more time (as we so often do in this writing). You will recall that Caleb (our cool old guy) had been one of the twelve spies to survey Canaan when he was young. God instructed Moses to send twelve spies into the land “which I give unto you.” One man from each tribe was chosen. Caleb was the one from the tribe of Judah (also the tribe of Christ). They spent forty days searching the land and then they all reported. They agreed that it was a rich land with strong people and walled cities. They disagreed as to whether they should move forward and enter this land. Caleb, along with Joshua, believed they could take the land. After all, it is The Promised Land! They said, “Let us go at once and take it for we are well able to overcome it.” However, the other spies (ten altogether) said the people are too strong and “we are like grasshoppers in their sight.” So the minority report said, “Go!” But the majority report was “No!” As I said on Sunday, the majority won out and they all lost out! It cost them forty years of wandering because of their lack of faith.

What caused such a separation of opinion between these two groups of spies? The difference is that Caleb, along with Joshua, measured the difficulty in relation to the greatness of God. The majority only measured the difficulty in comparison to their own size and strength. They only saw great giants. Caleb and Joshua saw a great God! Learn this: Never measure a difficulty in your life without first considering the goodness and greatness of your God. Always assess a difficulty in the light of God’s ability or it may very well cost you a life changing victory.

How can we have this focus and courage in the face of challenging situations? Caleb explained how he had such a faith that separated him from the pack: “My brothers who went with me (10 spies) made the hearts of the people (of Israel) melt with fear. I, however, followed the Lord wholeheartedly” (Joshua 14:8).

Caleb followed the Lord confidently because he followed the Lord completely! This is the secret to his spiritual success! We must choose to follow the Lord daily and devotedly. We must stay close to Him in all that we do, in all that we say, and in all that we are! Completely! We must accept this challenge willingly. For me personally: It demands my heart to love Him, my will to obey Him, my mind to think of Him, my voice to worship Him, my feet to walk with Him, my hands to work for Him, and my lips to speak of Him. I must yield all that I am to Him!

You may be thinking: Who among us can follow the Lord wholeheartedly? But I would remind you that Caleb did. So just how did he do it? The answer is found in Numbers 14:24 where it says Caleb followed wholeheartedly because he had a “different spirit” with him. Yes, that is the secret! The strength and power to follow the Lord wholeheartedly is not found in ourselves, but it is in the Holy Spirit! Only as we trust daily and dependently on the Holy Spirit within us (as believers) are we able to claim God’s promises and climb great mountains. Only then can we say with Paul “I can do everything through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). I want that mountain! How about you?

Devotedly yours,
Pastor Ron

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