“Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it…” Num. 13:30
I grew up with a young man who was somewhat of a basketball phenomenon. There was nothing that he could not do with a basketball. I marveled as he spent hours some days just honing his skills and showing his athletic prowess on and off the court. Alone in conversation one day, I asked him why it was that he had never tried out for any school or intramural teams, as he obviously was light years above everyone else. It just seemed to me a simple, sure thing. His response, however, floored me. He refused to ever try out for a team because, in his own eyes, he wasn’t good enough, tall enough, or confident enough to ever play with other people. I was so aghast that I didn’t speak to him for days! The audacity of God-given talent and an unwillingness to operate in it!
My childhood friend was not at all alone. Since the beginning of time, there have been those who have the goods, have the wisdom, have the grace, have the permission of God, and yet refuse to walk in it. In the words of Sophia from the Golden Girls, “Picture it; Canaan, Old Testament!” The children of Israel have sojourned in the wilderness for decades! The promise of God was over their heads, yet fear, doubt, and insecurity had crept in their hearts. They had reached the pivotal place that God had promised them! Their feet found the promise, yet their hearts were still in the wilderness! Moses sent spies to search out the land. He wanted to see what was in it, but the report that came back was not what was in the land, but rather, what was in their hearts. Immediately, the spies had begun to rehearse what they were not. They had fermented the promise with the perception of their past. And then there was Caleb…
Often times, when I think of Caleb, I see a version of my friend Sedric. Not a loud person, and not really one to seek attention. He is extremely level headed and often times is found by himself in deep introspection. However, if you ever want to make Sedric upset, tell him something that he knows is incorrect! The righteous indignation of God rises up, and he will rebuke the winds and the seas! I see Sedric as Caleb among the spies, merely taking mental notes as Moses asked, and preparing his report when all of a sudden, he hears the lie of emotional insecurity rising up among the brothers. I see him rising up with righteousness and truth to refocus the brothers and remind them of the truth! It wasn’t that Caleb was not aware of the giants currently occupying the land; it is that he knew what God promised the Children of Israel, and he refused to align his thought life with anything contrary to it.
How many times have we positioned ourselves in doubt? How many times have we allowed what we saw to change what God said? How many times have we grown weary in well doing because the result didn’t come in the timing that we wanted it? One of our greatest weapons in a time of shift is a good memory. We can think on the issue, or we can stop and think on the fact that God has never lied and does not change His mind concerning a promise! Maybe COVID has shifted your hope into despair. Maybe the question of “when” has tormented you to a place of forgetfulness. I encourage you to become a Caleb.
Caleb was spiritually stubborn. Caleb knew God and knew the history of His fulfillment of His word, and so Caleb chose to believe nothing but what God said. Caleb didn’t deny the truth of giants, but he knew that he served the Giant Slayer. He didn’t doubt the number of those against them. He just remembered that if God be for them then no one can be against them. Caleb stayed still in his knowledge even in the midst of uncertainty. Caleb was not moved by the company he was in. Caleb knew that even if he had to stand alone, he stood for God, and he would not fail. His report includes a grand suggestion. Instead of waiting until doubt further crept in, Caleb suggested that they go up at once to occupy the land. Sometimes you need not give that worry or doubt another second! Sometimes, like Nike, you need to just do it!
What would my young friend have become had he believed in the gift God gave him? What record would we have of the other spies if they had just saw beyond what they could see? What will your life read? Will you ponder too long in the wilderness of self-loathing and depression? Or will you choose this day to shift your “when” to “why not today”? I charge you, go up at once and walk in the promise that God has called you to! Do it now!