Summary: God wants you to have a happy productive life.
In the book Refresh, Renew, Revive H.B London Jr. of Focus on the Family, writes a chapter entitled 10 questions to focus your time for the rest of our lives. One of those questions is: If I could do only three things in my lifetime, what would they be?
I don’t think there is a more important question in any person’s life. Adults let me ask you today have you accomplished your goals and dreams for your life.
When someone quits believing they’ll ever accomplish their dream it’s like life itself loses it’s meaning. What happened to them? Life? Life makes us bitter or better depending on our perspective.
My favorite TV show; Criminal Minds had a hero named Jason Gideon. When he left the show he took off because the bad guys seemed to be winning. He said in a letter, “I have to go find what I lost. My belief in Happy endings.”
I still believe the good guy wins even though he’s not perfect. He still saves the day and yes gets the girl. I still believe in happy endings.
Do you? Has life made you bitter or better? Our text introduces a man who could have give up and quit. He could have cashed in his dream. Instead he held on to his faith and finished well.
In our text today we see an 85 yr. old warrior, a man by the name of Caleb. Caleb and Joshua and 10 other spies were sent out 45 yrs. earlier to scout the Promised Land. They spent 40 days in the Promised Land making maps, counting troop strength, drawing topography reports and making agricultural discoveries. Moses had sent those 12 men as the representatives of 2 million people. 12 men all had the same information and yet only 2 stood for God.
All had walked across on dry ground at the parting of the Red Sea. All had seen the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night. All had witnessed the giving of the 10 commandments. But only 2 really finished well.
How did Caleb at 85 still hold on to the dream of his life? How did he get the desire of his heart and why did God grant it?
By believing. The Bible is full of examples of believing with all your heart. Jesus said, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him that believes.” (Mark 9:23)
Notice what Caleb believed in.
I. Believe in the Lord--3 times in this passage the Bible says Caleb Wholly followed the Lord. That word wholly means to consecrate, be full of--be fenced. I look at that as have a wall around our hearts and minds and saying everything I am is full of the Lord. What is outside is of no use--my mind, body and soul is to be filled with the Holy Spirit.
The Bible says--he wholly followed. Notice Caleb and who he followed:
A. Follow Your Heart—(v.7b) I believe we must have goals in our lives. I also believe that God’s will is determined as we
follow God and submit, we then can trust our own heart. Remember the Bible says in Psalm 37:4 “Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.
I once listened to a motivational tape series entitled “You can do it.” It’s by Dr. Jay Strack a Godly evangelist and Bob Weisland. Bob Weisland is nick-named “Mr. Inspiration.” He fought in the Vietnam War, lost both his legs, just above the knee trying to rescue a wounded soldier.
Bob broke the record for the bench press in his weight class. He rode a bicycle across America twice, peddling with his arms. But I think his greatest triumph, is he spent 3 yrs 8 mos. and 6 days walking across America on his hands.
He said he got to Missouri, and he had a conviction in his heart to go north. The man helping him said “we still have 1600 miles east to go, and you want to go north? Yep….
Why? When you follow God you can trust your heart!
What else about following
B. Don’t follow the crowd—(v.8) 10 spies told Moses we can’t do it. We can’t conquer those giants in the Promised Land. 2 spies Joshua and Caleb said--yes we can because God will fight for us. Let me ask you something today; are you going to spend your life following the crowd or following God? Young people how about it--do you want to be cool and popular with the world or a hero for God?
Do you want to follow a path already gone down before or blaze a trail in life? Your choice and God is looking for people who want to blaze a trail for Him.