Dripping With Devotion to God.
“Nevertheless my brethren who went up with me made the heart of the people melt with fear; but I followed the LORD my God fully.” – Joshua 14:8 NASB
Remember Caleb? He was the one, who along with Joshua, went in to spy out the land more than 40 years earlier. Twelve men were sent by Moses to check out the condition of the Promised Land prior to them taking possession of it. But ten of the spies came back with a bad report. They said there were giants in the land. Their report scared the people so badly, that they refused to go in. “Where can we go up? Our brethren have made our hearts melt, saying, ‘The people are bigger and taller than we; the cities are large and fortified to heaven. And besides, we saw the sons of the Anakim there'” (Deuteronomy 1:28 NASB). The result was that God condemned them to wandering in the wilderness until that generation died off. Caleb and Joshua were the only two spies who recommended that the people obey God and enter the land – in spite of the presence of the Anakim or giants. These two men trusted God and now, more than four decades later, Caleb is coming to Joshua to claim his inheritance. God had said, “Caleb the son of Jephunneh; he shall see it, and to him and to his sons I will give the land on which he has set foot, because he has followed the LORD fully” (Deuteronomy 1:36 NASB).
The amazing thing is that Caleb is now 85 years old! But his faith and determination have not weakened over the years. In fact, he claim, “I am as strong now as I was when Moses sent me on that journey, and I can still travel and fight as well as I could then” (Joshua 14:11 NLT). Not only does he want to inherit the land God had promised, he wants to occupy the land of the Anakim – the giants whose presence scared off the first generation 40 years earlier. At 85 years of age, Caleb is ready to take on the Anakim and their fortified cities. He says to Joshua, “So I’m asking you to give me the hill country that the LORD promised me. You will remember that as scouts we found the Anakites living there in great, walled cities. But if the LORD is with me, I will drive them out of the land, just as the LORD said” (Joshua 14:12 NLT).
Caleb got his wish. He was given the city of Hebron and the hill country surrounding it as his inheritance. But he still had to go out and conquer and occupy it. Which he did. Then after all that, Caleb would willingly give the city he fought and won to the Levites as a city of refuge. He would then live in the pasture lands surrounding it (Joshua 21:12).
What a picture of devotion to God. Caleb is the epitome of what we should look like when it comes to our love and devotion to God. He followed the Lord FULLY. That word is rich in meaning. It conveys the idea that he was wholehearted in his devotion to God. He gave himself totally to God. In other words, he loved God with all his heart, soul, mind, and strength. His was not a wishy-washy relationship with God, but a totally sold-out, lay-it-all-on-the-line kind of relationship that flowed from every pore of his body. His devotion to God didn’t diminish with age, it got stronger. Years of wandering and waiting in the wilderness didn’t staunch his passion, it increased it. One of the possible meanings of the word “fully” is that Caleb was literally “dripping with” devotion to God. He was soaked through and through. He was brimming over with his commitment to and love for God. Nothing would stand in his way when it came to following after God. And that’s exactly the kind of mindset we need today. God is looking for more Calebs – men and women who are His fully devoted followers – sold out and dripping with devotion to Him. Age, income, education, upbringing, talent – none of it matters. Nothing stands in the way of someone who is willing to follow God FULLY. Their devotion to God is full, drenched, running over, complete, wholehearted, and overflowing. Does that describe you?
Father, I have to admit or confess that my devotion to You is far from full. I am not dripping with devotion to You. I find that it is sometimes in short supply. Circumstances, time, and the cares of this life take their toll. I find myself devoted to a lot of other things, including my own agenda or my own comfort and convenience. But I want to be a Caleb. I want to follow You fully, not half-heartedly. I want to be defeating the giants in the land when I’m in my 80s, not resting in some retirement home or driving golf balls into the high grass in an attempt to wile away the waning days of my life. Give me the heart and passion of Caleb so that I might give all that I have to You. Amen
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men