“I am still as strong today as I was the day Moses sent me out, and I am just as ready to fight now as I was then. So give me the mountain country the LORD promised me that day long ago.” Joshua 14:11–12a (NCV)
By my definition and probably by any reasonable definition, Caleb is a hero. As a younger man, he along with Joshua stood against the fearful report and he proclaimed that “we should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.” Numbers 13:30. And now, here he is, 45 years later, “an old man of 85,” not looking to retire, but looking for his next conquest.
There are a lot of people who are always ready to tell you how things should be done or tell you that they cannot be done, but we should draw our greatest inspiration from those who have accomplished something before and who are ready to do it again. Caleb is such a man. Here are 4 lessons that we can learn from an examination of Caleb’s life.
The first lesson that we can learn from Caleb is to have a passionate heart for God. There are six references in Scripture that indicate to us that Caleb followed the Lord with his whole heart. To be wholeheartedly devoted to God meant that Caleb trusted the Lord completely, without reservation.
When Caleb along with the other spies scouted the land, he saw giants and the other hazards, but he was devoted to the Lord and so completely confident in the God who delivered them from Egypt and sustained them in the wilderness for so many years.
He was confident that God would help them overcome anything that they might encounter in their effort to dwell safely in the Promised Land. “But my servant Caleb—this is a different story. He has a different spirit; he follows me passionately. I’ll bring him into the land that he scouted and his children will inherit it.” Numbers 14:24 (MESSAGE). Let us strive to have the same passionate heart for God that Caleb did.
The second lesson for us to learn from Caleb is that he was able to maintain a positive attitude, even though all of those around him, except for Joshua, failed to give wholehearted devotion to God. It was because of their doubt and unbelief that they were left to wander for many years in the desert. History is lined with examples of those who lost their way because they became embittered when they felt that someone else had let them down or even betrayed them.
Caleb’s life and attitude tells us to, “not give Satan a place to stand.” Satan will gain a place to stand in our lives when we allow disappointment and bitterness to consume us. “Keep a sharp eye out for weeds of bitter discontent. A thistle or two gone to seed can ruin a whole garden in no time.” Hebrews 12:15 (MESSAGE). We must keep our eye on the prize and keep pressing forward regardless of what others may do.
Thirdly, we learn from Caleb that you must claim your inheritance. Caleb did not wait for somebody else to remember that Moses had promised him an inheritance of land. Please note also, that although Caleb was claiming his inheritance, he knew that to fully possess what has been promised to him he would have to work hard to clear the land and to occupy it.
As heirs of the father, we have a great inheritance in Christ Jesus, however, there is much work to be done along the way. “Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps his word.” Hebrews 10:23 (MESSAGE). There is an adversary who will do everything that he can to keep you from your inheritance. Do not let him get away with it, claim your inheritance.
Finally, think offense, not defense. Caleb was at the age when others probably thought that he should just be content with a small plot of land and settle into retirement. Perhaps they thought he should just plant a garden or take up a hobby. But instead, he said to Joshua, “Give Me This Mountain.” What is the mountain that God wants you to have for your inheritance?
Do you have friends and loved ones that do not serve the Lord? Maybe that is your mountain! Has God placed a burden on your heart for the community; perhaps that is your mountain. When God shows you your inheritance or your mountain, do not look at the size of the mountain or the obstacles or giants in the way, but instead look at the power and might of your God.
These are the lessons from the life of Caleb. Have a passionate heart for God and maintain a positive attitude. Do not give Satan a place to stand. Claim your inheritance and remember that God is faithful to keep his promises so therefore we must always keep looking forward. And think about the mountain that he has placed in front of you for you to conquer for his kingdom. Finally, think offense, not defense, and be aggressive and bold because God is with you. Say to God, “Give me this mountain!”