June 13, 2017
THE GEORGIA CAPITOL DEVOTIONAL - 13 June 2016
He was forty years old when he began his service career: as a spy. When his fellow spies demonstrated nothing except fear and pessimism, he manifested the godly perspective and quickly learned how character is developed in response to criticism. Caleb followed the Lord his God wholeheartedly (Josh 14:6-8).
He also experienced service as a survivor (vv. 6-11), along with the only other spy, Joshua, who gave a positive report in contrast to everyone else. Only two people – Caleb and Joshua – of the original two and one-half million were still living. Caleb saw everything: slavery in Egypt, the Red Sea crossing, the golden calf idolatry, God’s provision of manna, the death of Moses, and the conquest of the promised land. Caleb patiently waited forty-five years for God to fulfill his promise that Moses swore to him. He proves that the believer never retires from service unto God, and there is no recounting disappointments or problems.
Caleb believed in the reliability of God’s word despite the process by which time passed. God is faithful regardless of the fact that a promise made forty-five years earlier was not fulfilled, and certainly the Lord did not forget or rescind his pledge. Caleb believed, “‘God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent” (Numb 23:19a). God does not promise and then not act based upon his word, nor does the Lord give assurance and fail to accomplish.
Caleb is an example of outstanding human leadership because he did not proceed with the majority for his personal convictions guided his actions and decisions. The fact that everyone else was agreed concerning an issue did not mean that Caleb had to follow their actions (Josh 14:8). He “brought word” and acted upon biblical principles (v. 7). When others distinguished problems, Caleb perceived opportunities. When the majority said, “This is impossible,” Caleb said, “With God all things are possible” (Matt 19:26) and he acted upon his belief. Even as the other tribes were eagerly anticipating their land allotment, Caleb desired something different that was more consistent with his convictions. Consequently, he asked, “Give me this hill country about which the Lord spoke” (Josh 14:12).
Caleb was not going to receive anything less than exactly what God promised him. Moses swore to him, ‘Surely the land on which your foot has trodden will be an inheritance to you and your children forever, because you have followed the Lord my God fully” (v. 9). Caleb desired nothing more and nothing less than what God promised him through Moses; it was unthinkable to receive anything less than his specific apportionment. He was cognizant that the good is always the rival of the best, and that what is readily available is always a hindrance to the possible.
. . . one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (Phil 3:13b-14).
In view of the Lord’s promise, Caleb exhibited discontent with the ordinary. He challenges us to persevere – in God’s strength – “toward the goal” (cf. Phil 3:14). Caleb maintained his focus upon God in wholehearted devotion. His ambition in life was to know God’s will and to accomplish it. His life hallmark was patient dependence upon God, and his legacy was a model of fortitude. For those who are called to serve, remember that faithfulness, not renown, is what truly matters (cf. 1 Cor 4:2).
In this case, moreover, it is required of stewards that one be found trustworthy (1 Cor 4:2).
Your Capitol Missionary-Pastor,
Ron J. Bigalke, Ph.D.
Capitol Commission Georgia
Capitol Commission is prepared to encourage and enable local churches to participate in reaching our capitol communities for Christ (1 Tim 2:1-4). We only need to hear from you, if you have not already contacted us. We also seek to enlist individuals, businesses, and churches to become strategic partners with us in this ministry (2 Cor 8:3-6). Our success as a ministry is based upon God blessing all facets of the ministry, which certainly includes partners in this ministry. We earnestly desire to engage those who desire to participate in the ministry by offering their time and talents (Matt 25:20). If you have not already done so, join us and experience the joy of bringing hope, light, transformation, and truth to those who constitute our capitol communities.