There are several things we can see that separated Caleb from the millions of people that died in the wilderness. For those who plan on surviving and thriving during the times of wilderness in their own lives, let’s gain some wisdom from Caleb as this series continues:
Here is Part 1 – Through The Wilderness in case you missed it
The first thing that we see is that Caleb had a word. Here is that word:
Joshua 14:9 So Moses swore [an oath to me] on that day, saying, ‘Be assured that the land on which your foot has walked will be an inheritance to you and to your children always, because you have followed the Lord my God completely.’
This is the word that Caleb was holding onto for 45 years. This word allowed Caleb to stay strong, live, and thrive even while he watched his family, tribe, and everyone of similar age grow weak and die. Can you imagine, father, brothers, comrades, friends, neighbors, fellow soldiers, everyone around that he knew, besides Joshua, dying? Yet, Caleb grew strong and prospered.
Interestingly, the entire nation of Israel had a word and a promise of similar nature. This is why they were traveling to “The Promised Land”. This was the land promised to be given to their forefathers in times past and through the word of Moses in Exodus 33. This word was even spoken directly to them by the voice of God in Deuteronomy 4. So, if everyone that died in the wilderness had a word, the question remains:
What made Caleb different from all the people that died in the wilderness?
Caleb had one specific word that sustained him for over 40 years in the wilderness because it was a powerful promise of God.
What about you? Do you have a word, revelation, promise of things to come? Do you have a foundation that you can place your confidence in?
Let’s look at some words Jesus spoke while He was in the wilderness being tempted to use His power to satisfy His flesh:
Matthew 4:4 But Jesus replied, “It is written and forever remains written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes out of the mouth of God.’”
Jesus knew that even though His physical body was hungry and exhausted after fasting 40 days, physical bread is not what brings true sustaining life. All the people in the wilderness were given manna every day, however, they did not walk in true heavenly provision. The word of God, His promises, are essential to overcoming the temptation to take an easier way in the wilderness.
I believe the Israelites that were in the wilderness never got over their spiritual bondage from Egypt. They may have been free in body, but any time there was trouble or hardship, they were quick to suggest the easy way out. “Let’s go back the way we came.” It was easier to go back into the place of bondage than to press through the wilderness and fight for the promise of God. It is easier to stay still and die in the wilderness or return to bondage than to press through and truly fulfill your God given destiny. This way of thinking had to literally die off before the blessing of what was on the other side of the wilderness could become reality. Bondage is never a blessing no matter how attractive it may seem!
Interestingly, Jesus is quoting from Deuteronomy 8, the words of Moses to the people before they enter The Land of Promise. The Israelites were given physical food from heaven every day so that they would learn to trust and obey God for everything that they needed. This was a physical act to teach a spiritual lesson. I wonder if Caleb began to doubt the word given to him that God used the daily manna from heaven to encourage him that He was continually faithful.
This is the real issue. Every single one of us has not only personal words of revelation and promises spoken to us by God, but we have a whole book of promises written and recorded to draw sustaining life from. Every single one of us has multiple words and promises from Heaven.
If we all have at least one word, the two main questions we struggle with are:
1. Is the word stronger than my situation?
2. Is the word true?
Boil this down into its root and you have some basic questions that need answering.
- Is God able to bring this promise into reality (is He and His Word powerful enough?)
Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and active and full of power [making it operative, energizing, and effective]. It is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating as far as the division of the soul and spirit [the completeness of a person], and of both joints and marrow [the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and judging the very thoughts and intentions of the heart. [AMP]
The very word of God is powerful enough to discern and transform our very being from one state to another. God has called us out of darkness into His glorious light. All of creation was literally called out of nothing into being by the word of God. We know the Word was made flesh and lived among us, Jesus. And Jesus sent His Spirit to live inside of His people. If you are a son or daughter of God, the powerful Word of Life lives and breathes within you as much as you let Him.
- Does God keep His word? (Is He faithful?)
Revelation 19:11 Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war.
At the end of time, Jesus is declared Faithful and True. Every word ever promised, any word spoken from the Throneroom, is perfectly fulfilled. God is not a man who should lie, however, we often do not see the fulfillment of the promise how or when we want. This does not make God less faithful but is an evidence of our own lack of faith.
True faith is described in Hebrews 11:1-
Now faith is the assurance (title deed, confirmation) of things hoped for (divinely guaranteed), and the evidence of things not seen [the conviction of their reality—faith comprehends as fact what cannot be experienced by the physical senses].
Whether you can see it, hear it, taste it, smell it or touch it right now or not, God will fulfill His promises because He is Faithful!
What will cause you to not just survive, but thrive in the wilderness and come out strong, determined, and mature on the other side?
Hold on to The Word knowing that He is faithful and able to fulfill everything He has ever spoken!!!
2 Timothy 4:12 … I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.
Jesus, I believe that You are The Word of God and that You are perfectly faithful. Fill me completely with new levels of faith to be confident in Your promises no matter what I may see or feel at the moment. I know You have spoken, are speaking, and will speak words that my mind does not understand, but I choose to have faith in You. Increase my faith, and help me to be more obedient to walk in what You have already spoken over me.
Here is Part 3 – You Know The Word!!!
Jeremiah, Man on Fire