The wars of Canaan were, for the most part, over. Israel had found temporary rest in the Promised Land even though there was much land that was yet to be possessed. The enemy had not totally been eradicated. Chapters 13 and 14 of Joshua deal with the distribution of the land to the various tribes. And as we read in the fourteenth chapter, we find a familiar name, Caleb. Caleb was a part of Israel when they left Egypt. He was there when God divided the waters of the Red Sea. As a matter of fact, he was one of the 12 spies who had gone in to survey the land. More than that, he and Joshua were the only two of them who believed God and recommended that they press forward. But, as a whole, Israel chose not to believe God and as a result wandered in the wilderness for 40 years. Here's a great picture of the Christian life. God saves us, and promises us that we can have a life of victory and spiritual joy, but rather than claim what is rightfully ours - things like peace, joy, fellowship, power, and the glory of God, many choose to live in a spiritual wilderness, defeated and depressed. Now Caleb is 85-years old. But he hasn't forgotten the promises that God had made to him. Caleb pictures the Christian who is willing to pay the price, fight the battles and win the victory that God has waiting for him. One word describes Caleb…wholehearted! Read: v6-15
I. Wholehearted Commitment
A. Now the first key to Caleb success was that God had all of Caleb that there was!
1. Note the repeated phrase "Wholly followed the Lord."
2. This is said about Caleb 6 times in the Old Testament.
3. It is a phrase that means "To close the gap."
4. It is a phrase used by hunters to refer to their closing the gap between themselves and their prey.
5. It refers to the fact that Caleb was committed to keeping the distance between him self and the Lord at a minimum.
6. In that he is an example to each of us tonight… God deserves our all, because we belong to Him.
1Co 6:19-20 "What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."
B. Caleb's commitment to God was based upon his confidence in the Word of God.
1. He remembered what God has said to him through his servant Moses. V9-10
2. He had cherished that promise through the 40 years of wandering, and now during the years of battle.
3. Through it all, he hadn't forgotten what God had promised!
4. Now he was ready to receive the blessings of God.
C. Our commitment.
1. Needs to be wholehearted as well.
2. We need to give ourselves totally to God and be wholehearted in our commitment.
3. Trusting only in His promises!
Tit 1:2 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;
II. Wholehearted Confidence
A. What was it that gave 85-year-old Caleb the idea he could be a giant killer?
B. His faith…
1. Faith is not positive thinking.
2. Faith is not optimism.
3. Faith is not looking on the bright side.
Heb 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
4. Faith is more than saying that we believe; it is acting on what we believe.
5. Faith is simply taking God at His Word and acting upon what God says.
6. Faith is never a blind leap, but a deep settled conviction that God will do what He has promised!
De 1:35-36 Surely there shall not one of these men of this evil generation see that good land, which I sware to give unto your fathers, Save Caleb the son of Jephunneh; he shall see it, and to him will I give the land that he hath trodden upon, and to his children, because he hath wholly followed the LORD.
C. His faith had not wavered!
1. He had seen the Promised Land first hand.
2. For 45 years that vision had burned in his heart as he wandered through the wilderness!
3. While others complained, Caleb looked forward to the time he would take the mountain.
4. He was able to see beyond his circumstances into the promises of the Lord.
5. We need some people who have been cut from that same cloth!
6. It takes wholehearted faith to win the spiritual victory.
III. Wholehearted Courage
Commitment led to confidence and confidence led to courage. Caleb had to scale 3 great obstacles in his quest for his Canaan.
A. He Had To Overcome Grasshoppers
2. You say, "Pastor I think you have that wrong."
3. No I don't…
Nu 13:33 And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.
4. There are always those around us who are convinced that we cannot win the victory.
5. To live for God will often mean that we will stand in the minority!
6. Remember only Joshua and Caleb were ready to trust God and enter in to conquer the land in the power of God.
7. We also must overcome the 'grasshoppers' that will try to convince us that we cannot live victoriously for Him.
B. He Had To Overcome Giants
1. Giants are simply a matter of perspective.
2. In high school I was the giant who rode the school bus…and I am just over 6ft tall!
3. Goliath was 9 ½ feet tall, Og, king of Bashan, had to have a bed that was 13 ½ feet long, and Arba is said to have been 'great among the Anakims'.
4. All of us have giants in our lives.
5. We can't defeat them ourselves, so we have two options.
a. We can say look how small we are compared to those giants. This is the outlook of fear!
b. Or look how small those giants are compared to God! This is the uplook of faith!
C. He Had To Overcome Gray Hairs. Cf v10-11
1. What does this tell us?
2. When God makes a promise, he will give us the strength to see its fulfillment!
3. Never count God, or yourself out.
4. True faith looks beyond the present circumstance and sees the provision of God!
IV. Wholehearted Conquest cf. v14-15
A. Caleb experienced what God had promised!
B. He climbed the mountains and he defeated the giants - he claimed his possession.
1. The name of the place Caleb inherited used to be called Kirjatharba (city of the four giants).
2. Now it was named Hebron (seat of association or fellowship).
3. Caleb refused to quit until he had obtained everything the Lord had for him!
4. He refused to stop until he had obtained that place of fellowship with God.
Where are we in our personal walk with the Lord this evening? Have we entered into our victory, or are we still wandering around in the wilderness struggling day to day?
God has a place of peace and power for us, but we must be willing to claim our possession. It will take the spirit of Caleb…a wholehearted spirit!
There is a huge difference between a promise and a possession! God promised Israel the land, but they had to possess it before it became theirs. God has victory for His children; that is His promise! However, that promise must be actively pursued and possessed before it will ever become a reality in our lives.