I am still as strong today as I was in the day that Moses sent me; my strength now is as my strength was then, for war and for going and coming. Joshua 14:11
I love Caleb’s declaration, as he stands before the generation that has crossed over into the promised land, and now are all dividing the land before them. “Give me the mountain” is the Spirit I want to hold at 80 years of age.
How do you maintain a strength of Spirit when you know that you are destined to wander for forty years in the wilderness? How do you keep from being offended with people who have created the circumstances your must now endure? How do you keep from being mad at God for making you suffer with everyone else?
I am still as strong today (at 80 years of age) as I was the day that Moses sent me; my strength now is as my strength was then. I’m sure Caleb was talking about his physical ability but I want to talk to you about maintaining a spiritual strength, and not just maintaining but allowing the Lord to increase our strength; going from a place of strength to greater strength. A spiritual place where we are truly strong in the Lord, doing exploits in His name, taking mountains in our young age, middle age and our old age. Spiritual strength isn’t about natural age. It’s about condition of heart.
We know that man does not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God and the knowledge that every word He speaks must be believed before it can be received is seen over and over again through the examples in the bible. Being strengthened with might by His spirit in the inner man, from Paul’s prayer in Colossians chapter one, is about endurance. It’s about patience with joy. It’s about standing and waiting and not caving in, not quitting, not changing minds about what God has promised.
Joshua and Caleb, spying out the land, saw the giants, saw the abundant provision and made a choice to believe God. The children of Israel saw the giants, saw the provision and saw themselves as grasshoppers and chose to not believe God. The letter to the Hebrews tells us Israel could not enter in because of their evil heart of unbelief.
After 40 years in the wilderness, Joshua was still able to lead a generation into the promised land and Caleb was still willing and able to take the mountain.
We ask how, and the answer would be by guarding our heart. Making sure that our heart is firmly attached to the Lord and our trust is in Him and His word. Our eyes are on Him and not man. This is a daily determination. Think about it. 40 years wandering with a bunch of whiners, doubters, disobeyers who had seen the works of God and choose to dis.believe.
Where we stop resisting the lies of the devil, we begin to adapt to the circumstances. Physically, when you age, you begin to lose muscle tone and strength. Spiritually when you break fellowship with the Father and His word you lose strength. We need strength to perform and endure. We aren’t always going to be in the pristine circumstances that encourage faith and confidence while living on this earth with other people. We can’t live in isolation just so nobody messes with us. In the midst of life, we must learn to stay engaged with the Father on a daily basis.
I’m encouraging you this morning, as we watch the day approach, to keep yourself strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.