Amid the pandemic and anxiety, how can we live victoriously? How can we overcome the mountains in our life?
In today’s passage (Joshua 14:10-11), at 85 years old, Caleb turned to Joshua and said I am still as strong today as I was in that day when he was 40 years old (Joshua 14:7). He is not done with conquering the mountains and still wanting to live life to the fullest while many people at his age would have resigned and retired. Caleb is one of those who did not crack under pressure.
But my servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit and has followed me fully, I will bring into the land into which he went, and his descendants shall possess it.
How is Caleb different?
Let us learn from Caleb the 3 qualities needed to conquer the mountain of difficulties.
1. Conviction, not convenience
In Numbers chapters 13 & 14 – the 12 spies were sent to view the land of Canaan. Out of 12, 10 spies gave a bad report. The Israelites were sold into a fear that the enemies were too powerful, and the consensus was that it was too difficult to conquer the land (Numbers 14:3). Caleb and Joshua persuaded them but were outvoted by the majority.
Caleb confessed there were challenges, but his conviction was much stronger. Caleb’s deep-seated conviction came from knowing the Word (Numbers 14:8-9, Exodus 3:8, 17).
8 If the Lord is pleased with us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us—a land which flows with milk and honey. 9 Only do not rebel against the Lord; and do not fear the people of the land, for they will be our prey. Their protection is gone from them, and the Lord is with us; do not fear them.”
There are 3 key phrases in these verses: (1) He will lead us (2) He will give it to us (3) The Lord is with us
To become a man or woman with strong biblical convictions, we must study the Word of God. When we know God and His Word, we will not be easily swayed by opinions of man, and our conviction will become strong (Daniel 11:32, Proverbs 2:11-12).
2. Courage, not comfort
To conquer the mountain, it requires to venture beyond one’s comfort zone. Caleb declared with courage and confidence that they need not fear because the Lord is with them (Numbers 14:9).
Joshua 14:8 shows us the opposite of fear is courage. Caleb’s courage came as a result of his conviction in the Word of God. How did he demonstrate his courage?
(1) He confronted the issues of the giant. We need to take our eyes off our giant situations and instead, take the mountain top view of God to look at the giants.
(2) He contended the mentality of being a grasshopper. The grasshopper mentality thinks we are too small, we can’t do this. It takes courage to point people to God. Romans 8:31.
(3) He refused to let the grey age factor stop him. Age is not a barrier to him.
3. Commitment, not compromise
“I wholly followed the LORD my God” – this similar confession appeared six times in the scriptures (Numbers 14:24; 32:12, Deuteronomy 1:36, Joshua 14:8; 14:9; 14:14).
When he was 40 years old at Kadesh-barnea, Caleb was committed and ready to go in to conquer the land. 45 years later he was still committed to conquering that region. Despite 40 years of ups and downs, he was not shaken. His spiritual commitment was far greater than his physical strength (Joshua 14:10-11).
Caleb is truly a great example of how to live courageously in the mountainous life.
Let us conclude with Psalm 92:12-15:
12 The righteous person will flourish like the palm tree,
He will grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
13 Planted in the house of the Lord,
They will flourish in the courtyards of our God.
14 They will still yield fruit in advanced age;
They will be full of sap and very green,
15 To declare that the Lord is just;
He is my rock, and there is no malice in Him.