Summary: Caleb, the wholehearted follower, trust in the unseen God, cling to His promise, and crave for His blessings. Nothing is really 'lost' for those who honors God.
[RECAP last week sermon - John 6:60-69]
Peter: "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God." (6:68-69)
We FOLLOW Jesus for WHO He is, more than for WHAT He can give us.
• It is a blessing to receive from Him and we know He is a generous God.
• But if we only seek Him for what we can get out of Him, that’s very shallow faith. Many are easily discouraged today because they did not get what they want from Him.
• We follow Him because Jesus is GOD and in Him we have the truth of eternal life.
We have been thinking about being FOLLOWERS of Christ, and I came across this passage last Sunday, so I thought I would share it today.
• What does this person looks like – someone who follows the Lord wholeheartedly.
• Joshua 14:6-15 tells us of a man who has “followed the Lord wholeheartedly”. It was a phrase used in this passage 3 times. [READ passage]
Caleb followed the Lord his God wholeheartedly.
• He and his family inherited the land God has promised him BECAUSE (v.14 says) he followed the Lord, the God of Israel, wholeheartedly.
• What stands out for such a man? I want to share with you these 3 characteristics:
(1) TRUST IN THE UNSEEN GOD - He Does Not Believe Everything He Sees
45 years ago he was among 12 spies who went to explore the Promised Land (Num 13).
• They saw giants in the land and 10 of them persuaded the rest to give up.
• They sees the giants and then they sees themselves as dwarfs, grasshoppers (Num 13:33). Caleb sees the same giants and he next sees God, and he was convicted.
Josh 14:47 “And I brought back a report according to my convictions”, Caleb said.
• He was confident of victory because he sees God in it. The other 10 spies see only themselves in the picture; God was absent.
• The key to victory is to see God in the circumstances and affairs of our lives.
• Put God into the picture. Where is God in all of these?
The problem is not with the problem because they all saw the same giants.
• But they reacted differently. It is an issue of PERSPECTIVE. Caleb saw God in it.
• In 2 Kings 6 Elisha and his servant saw the same problem – surrounded by enemy troops - but both responded differently. One saw God’s army; the servant saw only himself.
Caleb did not lie about what he saw nor did not minimize the problem.
• He simply magnified God. God is bigger than that. God is greater; he tried to convince the people (cf. Deut 1).
• Magnify God in the midst of your troubles, because He is more than enough.
George Mueller has this wonderful testimony. He is a great man of faith.
The elderly Mueller was onboard a ship heading for a speaking engagement. They were caught in a thick fog. The ship was moving very slowly. He approached the Captain: “Captain, I have come to tell you that I must be in Quebec on Saturday afternoon." (It was then Wednesday).
The Captain said, "Impossible."
"You must," Mueller insisted, "I have never broken a speaking engagement in 57 years."
Lifting his hands in despair, the Captain replied, "I would help if I could - but I am helpless. Look!" (Pointing to the thick fog)
Mueller suggested, "Let's go down to the chart room and pray."
The Captain raised his eyebrows in utter disbelief. "Do you know how dense the fog is?" he demanded.
Mueller said, "No, my eye is not on the thickness of the fog but on the living God who controls every circumstance of my life."
Reluctantly the Captain accompanied him into the chart room and kneeled with him in prayer. Mueller prayed, in simple words: "O Lord, if it is consistent with Your will, please remove this fog in five minutes. You know the engagement You did make for me in Quebec on Saturday. I believe it is Your will."
The Captain thought he needed to ‘play along’ and say something. He started, but before he could say more, he felt a tap on his shoulder. Mueller said, "Don't pray, because you do not believe; anyway, as I believe God has already answered, there is no need for you to pray."
The Captain's mouth dropped open. Mueller said: "Get up, Captain, let us go. Open the door. The fog will be gone." By the time they reached the deck, the fog had disappeared.
Captain later testified that this encounter with Mueller changed his life completely. He had seen with his own eyes that Mueller’s God is the true and living God.