“Now therefore give me this mountain, whereof the LORD spake in that day; for thou heardest in that day how the Anakims were there, and that the cities were great and fenced: if so be the LORD will be with me, then I shall be able to drive them out, as the LORD said” (Joshua 14:12)
Nobody likes to suffer. Hardly anyone ever chooses a difficult path. Few there be who take the road less traveled. Obstacles are to be avoided at all cost. When we have a decision to make in life, we often choose what seems to be the easiest route and “whitewash” it with the statement, “I believe this is God’s will for me.”
But is it really? How often in your life has it been God’s will for you to choose the lower paying job over the one with more prestige? How often did you decide to move into a bad neighborhood in order to be a witness? (Jonah didn’t want to go to Nineveh – a bad neighborhood, so to speak – but look what happened when he chose the “easy” route.)
How often have you chosen to put yourself in a position to take a stand against sin even if it meant ridicule and rejection, maybe even persecution? How many times have you prayed, “Your will be done in this situation”; but you really meant “Please, oh please! Anything but that”? How often have you, like Moses, chosen “…rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season” (Hebrews 11:25)? (Read Hebrews 11:24-27.)
Caleb was different. When Israel first came to the Promised Land, Moses sent out spies into the land (Numbers 13 and 14). The spies came back with a report that yes, the land was green and plentiful, but it also was full of giants. They were terrified and said basically, “Surely God doesn’t want us to actually go in and fight those guys! We could be killed!” All the spies said this except for Joshua and Caleb; they had another spirit and thus they were fearless. God had told them the land was theirs; so they said, in essence, “Come on, let’s do this; we can beat these guys, the victory is already ours!”
But the people of Israel refused to go up into the land. They decided rather to try to go around the mountain and around their obstacles. Because of their unbelief, they wandered around for 40 years, instead of simply going in with God and taking what was already theirs.
After all their wandering, Caleb had grown old and was ready to receive his inheritance. He came to Joshua and said, “Yes, I’m old. Yes, there are still giants in that mountain. But I can fight just as well now as I could then, and I say “give me this mountain“! “If God be with me, then I’ll be able to drive out those giants!”
Imagine if Christians had this same confidence, this same boldness, today. Instead of cowering in the faces of our giants, we would defeat them and drive them out. Instead of avoiding suffering, we would take it as a badge of honor, to be counted worthy to suffer the sufferings of Christ. Instead of compromising with sin and the world, we would shine as lights against it, casting out all darkness. Imagine a world full of Christians who shout with Caleb, “Give me this mountain!” Because we have confidence that “…greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world” (1 John 4:4). Christians who know that “…If God be for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31). Christians who are assured that “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13).
If Caleb, at the age of 85, was bold enough in the Lord to take his mountain head on, then surely we indwelt saints can do the same and more. There is no problem greater than God; no mountain too high, no valley too low. God is able.
When problems arise, we should not tremble with fear, or turn back, or even try to get around them. We should say to ourselves that there is nothing too great for our God. “Give me this mountain…I shall be able to drive them out…”
“But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57)