There are several things 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:
Part 1 -Through The Wilderness
Part 3 – You Know The Word and
Part 4 – Walking in The Way in case you missed them)
The word of promise is spoken to Caleb and Joshua. They are faithful to speak what God is saying and to partner with His promise to lead them into their land of inheritance. They grab hold of this word and follow the Lord completely in walking it out. The rest of Israel rejects faith and obedience and uses their own wisdom and reason to talk themselves out of the promise. Because of this, the entire nation is led out to wander in the wilderness.
However, this is not the end of the story. The promise of God outlives the people and the circumstances they were in. Caleb and Joshua continually partner with the promise and follow the Lord completely for 45 years. After those who rejected the promise and their ideals of wisdom and reason had passed away, a new generation arose that was given the opportunity to make their own decision. By the hand of God, those who partnered with the promise of the former generation were still around to lead them in The Way. Here are the words of Caleb who followed The Lord completely:
Joshua 14:10-11 And now, look, the Lord has let me live, just as He said, these forty-five years since the Lord spoke this word to Moses, when Israel wandered in the wilderness; and now, look at me, I am eighty-five years old today. I am still as strong today as I was the day Moses sent me; as my strength was then, so is my strength now, for war and for going out and coming in.
Many blessings were realized by Caleb and Joshua for partnering with the promise. After 45 years, they began to see the longevity and more fully understand the eternality of God’s promises and the blessings that come from putting faith in Him and walking in continual obedience. The blessing of life came upon them in a way that was evident to everyone. They were literally the only ones left of the former generation. Faith and obedience prevailed over wisdom of the world and human reason.
Also noteworthy, Caleb speaks of Israel wandering in the wilderness. He never said that He and Joshua wandered in the desert, only the people. While all the people were wandering, Caleb was communing with The Lord and following Him completely. The blessing of security in the midst of the wilderness was upon him. He knew his identity and the promises made to him because he knew The One who gave him both.
What kind of strength and encouragement was received as Caleb walked in The Way?
What kind of intimate conversations did he have?
What destiny and secrets were revealed?
Caleb also brings attention to the blessing of strength that has been upon him the whole time in the wilderness. Those who had joined themselves to “wisdom” and “reason” got weak and died during the 45 years they were wandering in the desert. However, those who partnered with the promise not only were strengthened in the spirit by encouragement, they were supernaturally kept strong in their body. The promise of God enabled them to remain powerful and effective well past the natural timing because they followed The Lord completely.
After all this time in the wilderness being faithful to The Lord and leading the people into understanding the power of walking in the promises of God, Joshua and Caleb had earned some rest. They “had the right” to take some time off so to speak. Here is the mindset of a partner of promise who has walked in the wilderness for 45 years as revealed in his words. Caleb continues with his living testimony before the new generation:
Joshua 14:12 So now, give me the mountains about which the Lord spoke that day, for you heard on that day that the [giant-like] Anakim were there, with great fortified cities; perhaps the Lord will be with me, and I shall drive them out just as the Lord said.”
Caleb is not backing down from the smallest part of the Word from The Lord. He is not willing to give up a minuscule part of his inheritance because of wisdom and reason that he is too old or should take some time off. This man of God was ready and able to fight for what God had promised. He had been waging war in The Spirit against a spirit of doubt and unbelief for 45 years in the desert.
Now, he was ready, willing, and able to return to the giants in their fortified cities in the mountains and take the land The Lord had promised his people. If anyone deserved the easy way, it was Caleb who had been following The Lord completely and walking in The Way for more than 45 years. However, he had held so tightly to the promise, he would accept nothing less than the very best that God had promised. His reasoning seems to be that if God has promised it, it must be the very best so why would I settle for anything less.
Exodus records that Caleb went up and destroyed the giants that lived in the mountains taking a city that was named after the leader of the giants. This city is renamed Hebron which means alliance. Caleb was able to do nothing on his own, and he knew it. He would have died in the wilderness if he had chosen to partner with the wisdom and reason of his generation. However, he allied himself with The Promise and the Lord of The Promise and received the inheritance that God had been speaking to His people for generations.
Hebron later becomes a city given to the Levitical priests as their inheritance and a sanctuary city. This city that was overtaken by the greatest of God’s enemies, when possessed by Him, becomes a city of righteousness and justice for ages to come. This was the inheritance that Caleb fought and won in the spirit long before he was able to overcome the giants in the physical.
As Caleb is taking back his inheritance, he gives the next generation a chance to begin partnering with the promise.
Joshua 15:14-17 So Caleb drove out from there the three sons of Anak: Sheshai and Ahiman and Talmai, the children of Anak. 15 Then he went up from there against the people of Debir; Debir was formerly named Kiriath-sepher. 16 Caleb said, “I will give Achsah my daughter as wife to the man who attacks Kiriath-sepher and captures it.” 17 And Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s brother, captured it;
Othniel had watched as God was faithful to fulfill his promises to his uncle and decides to take up the promise for himself. As he does, he goes into the mountains, defeats the giants in their fortified city, and gains hold of an inheritance for himself. Later, Othniel becomes the first judge and leads the people of Israel into freedom and peace for 40 years. I believe he saw his uncle following the Lord God completely, and this encouraged him to walk in the way himself.
How much influence did Caleb have on Othniel?
How are your actions affecting those around you?
As you partner with the promise of God and walk in His way, one evidence of the blessing of life coming upon you is that successive generations will be able to see, follow, and surpass the way you walked in the way. Caleb endured 40 years in the wilderness preserving the promise of God. I believe that he so exuded his partnership with the God of Promise that his nephew and daughter were able to pick up where he left off. Because of this, they were able to step into the next level of the promise which was leading the nation in 40 years of peace and rest in the land of inheritance.
How are you partnered with the promise?
What do others see when they look at your relationship with Jesus?
What blessings are coming from your faith and obedience?
Right now, no matter if you are walking in a wilderness desert or living in the promised reward of generations past, you have a decision to make:
Will you walk in partnership with The Promise?
Will you live in faith and obedience to the One who has spoken the promises?
You and I desire to walk in fullness and complete power of The Spirit that we have been promised. We desire to see the signs, wonders, salvations, and miracles that we read about in The Word. However, we are not always willing to walk out our daily life in faith and obedience to the words we have been given for today. It is difficult to walk through the darkness and drudgery of this world with strength, life, and joy. Remember this, God is with you! He has never left you to walk alone, and has already given you everything you need to overcome every obstacle you will face:
2 Peter 1:3-4, 8 Everything we could ever need for life and complete devotion to God has already been deposited in us by His divine power. For all this was lavished upon us through the rich experience of knowing Him who has called us by name and invited us to come to Him through a glorious manifestation of His goodness. 4 As a result of this, He has given you magnificent promises that are beyond all price, so that through the power of these tremendous promises you can experience partnership with the divine nature, by which you have escaped the corrupt desires that are of the world…
8 Since these virtues are already planted deep within, and you possess them in abundant supply, they will keep you from being inactive or fruitless in your pursuit of knowing Jesus Christ more intimately.
Knowing Jesus fully is your greatest and highest reward! Every blessing of heaven flows through knowing Him. The promise of life with Him has been given to you if you will believe and walk in it today. Your choice today will affect your tomorrow for the greatest good if you will partner with Jesus The Promised One, and walk in Jesus, The Way with faith and obedience!
Jesus, thank You for desiring a relationship with me and making the way for me to come to know You. Thank You for being faithful to every one of the promises You have spoken to me. Help me to follow You completely in The Way, walk with You in the promise, and come to know You more every single day. I desire to partner with You in the greatest way possible. Help me to hear Your promises more clearly than I ever have before. Help me to walk in faith and obedience and partner with the power of the promise because I know You are Faithful and True! Walk with me today even as I walk with You in Jesus’ name!
Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!