Summary: An encouragement from the life of Caleb to "wholly follow the Lord." I have just given you an "outline skeleton." I pray that God can use this in your ministry and you can add your own "meat" to the structure.
[FCF] Wholly following the Lord has great rewards, but the rewards only come at great expense to the flesh.
[Proposition] Wholly following the Lord may have great expense to the flesh, but the outcome is worth whatever the price.
[Main Point #1] Wholly following the Lord means that you will not be distracted by popular opinion (vv. 6-8)
[Sub-Point #1] Popular opinion is usually in opposition to God’s will
[Illustration] There is a story involving Yogi Berra, the well-known catcher for the New York Yankees, and Hank Aaron, who at that time was the chief power hitter for the Milwaukee Braves. The teams were playing in the World Series, and as usual Yogi was keeping up his ceaseless chatter, intended to pep up his teammates on the one hand, and distract the Milwaukee batters on the other. As Aaron came to the plate, Yogi tried to distract him by saying, "Henry, you’re holding the bat wrong. You’re supposed to hold it so you can read the trademark." Aaron didn’t say anything, but when the next pitch came he hit it into the left-field bleachers. After rounding the bases and tagging up at home plate, Aaron looked at Yogi Berra and said, "I didn’t come up here to read."
[Application] If we are going to wholly follow the Lord we’re going to have to determine that we’re not going to be distracted by popular opinion. Hank Aaron didn’t allow Yogi Berra to distract him and we can let the crowds distract us!
What’s popular usually isn’t right and what’s right usually isn’t popular! But as Christians our focus should be on pleasing ONE! Pleasing Him who gave His life for us! God never asks us to partially follow Him, He never asks us to be luke warm, He never admonishes us to trust Him with a little bit of our heart! No we need to be ALL OUT FOR GOD! Don’t get distracted by the CROWD!
[Main Point #2] Wholly following the Lord means that you will not disregard God’s promises (vv. 9, 12)
[Sub-Point #1] Caleb did not forget God’s promises (v. 9)
[Sub-Point #2] Caleb took hold of the promises by faith (v. 12)
[Illustration] Personal illustration regarding not disregarding God’s promises and the importance of faith.
[Main Point #3] Wholly following the Lord means that you will not be discouraged by postponements (vv. 10-11)
[Sub-Point #1] The fulfillment of God’s promise to Caleb was delayed for 45 years! (v. 10)
[Sub-Point #2] He understands that God’s delays do not affect God’s promises!
[Illustration] Even this week I allowed a delay to discourage me. I was frustrated and aggravated. However, the next day I found out that the Lord was looking out for my ignorance. What I thought was a delay ended up being a blessing!
[Application] Don’t be discouraged by POSTPONEMENTS!
[Main Point #4] Wholly following the Lord means that you will be delighted by God’s provisions (vv. 12-15)