Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Push Away the Rocking Chairs & Face Your Giants Wholeheartedly!

Do you have any "giants" in your life? Situations which leave you not knowing what you are going to do? Those circumstances which discourage or frighten you and leave you thinking at your age, rather than face them, you might prefer to stay in your rocking chair?

Do you know who Caleb was in the Bible? As you may know, Caleb was one of the 12 spies Moses sent to spy out the Promised Land. He returned with Joshua bringing a positive report of what they found there. We read of this in Numbers 13:26-30 - "And they came to Moses and Aaron and to all the congregation of the people of Israel in the wilderness of Paran, at Kadesh. They brought back word to them and to all the congregation, and showed them the fruit of the land. And they told him, 'We came to the land to which you sent us. It flows with milk and honey, and this is its fruit. However, the people who dwell in the land are strong, and the cities are fortified and very large. And besides, we saw the descendants of Anak there. The Amalekites dwell in the land of the Negeb. The Hittites, the Jebusites, and the Amorites dwell in the hill country. And the Canaanites dwell by the sea, and along the Jordan.' But Caleb quieted the people before Moses and said, 'Let us go up at once and occupy it, for we are well able to overcome it.'"

Ten of the spies were too afraid of the giants in the land to do as God wanted them to do - they wanted to run away, but Caleb (and Joshua) were ready to trust God and obey . . . even though there were giants in the land.

God was very unhappy with the people who listened to the ten spies and sent His people to wander in the wilderness for 40 years - all the adults except for Caleb and Joshua died in those 40 years.

When Joshua and the people returned at the end of the 40 years to take the Promised Land for their homes, they trusted and obeyed God. They fought battles and were eventually able to make their home in the land God gave them.

In Joshua 14 we read about how Joshua gave the land to the 12 Tribes. Caleb - who was 85 years old had this to say in Joshua 14:7-14 - "I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the Lord sent me from Kadesh-barnea to spy out the land, and I brought him word again as it was in my heart. But my brothers who went up with me made the heart of the people melt; yet I wholly followed the Lord my God. And Moses swore on that day, saying, ‘Surely the land on which your foot has trodden shall be an inheritance for you and your children forever, because you have wholly followed the Lord my God.’ And now, behold, the Lord has kept me alive, just as he said, these forty-five years since the time that the Lord spoke this word to Moses, while Israel walked in the wilderness. And now, behold, I am this day eighty-five years old. I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I’m just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then. Now give me this hill country that the Lord promised me that day. You yourself heard then that the Anakites were there and their cities were large and fortified, but, the Lord helping me, I will drive them out just as he said. Then Joshua blessed Caleb son of Jephunneh and gave him Hebron as his inheritance. So Hebron has belonged to Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite ever since, because he followed the Lord, the God of Israel, wholeheartedly."

Caleb was 85 years old - he could have decided he had worked hard enough and was ready to just take it easy in his rocking chair, but no! He had giants - real giants in his land and he chose to follow God wholeheartedly and go face those giants!

You are not likely to have to face any real giants, but you may have giant concerns - passing faith to your grandchildren in a world which draws them away from God, building a relationship with children and grandchildren when the relationship has been broken, grandparenting on your own, or any other number of giant concerns. But, our "answer" to our "giants" needs to be the same as Caleb's was - "With God's help, I'll face my giants and drive them out! I'll follow God and trust Him with all my heart!" He didn't think he had already "done his part"; he was not ready to "retire" to his "rocking chair". He was ready and willing to go out and face giants . . . at the age of 85!

What "giant" concerns are you facing? Push the rocking chairs aside, trust God and follow Him wholeheartedly!

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