The account of Caleb’s life in the Promised Land is found in Joshua 14:6-15 and there are four lessons from his life as we begin this New Year. “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)
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)
The second lesson for us concerning Caleb is that he was able to maintain a positive attitude and devotion to God, even though all of those around him, with the exception of Joshua, failed to give wholehearted devotion to God. In fact, it was because of their doubt and unbelief that they went so many years, wandering 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. I believe that Caleb would tell us, “don't 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)
The third lesson from Caleb's life is 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. In the same way, 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)
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." Is there a 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. Don't 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. Be aggressive and bold because God is with you. Say to God, “Give me this mountain!”