Think on These Things: Positive thoughts in a negative world…

We all know the story of Joshua and Caleb. When the Israelites reached the edge of the land God

promised them, Moses was instructed to send twelve men to spy out the land and report on what they saw. All twelve men saw the same thing. The land was indeed lovely and bountiful, but the cities were fortified and the inhabitants huge and powerful.

Ten spies gave discouraging reports and said it was too difficult to take the land. However, Joshua and Caleb knew it could be done. Why? Because they kept God in the picture! Odds can be against us and obstacles insurmountable, but with God, all things are possible.

Did you know that Caleb’s name actually means faithful, devoted, and wholehearted? Following God wholeheartedly does have its benefits. The disbelieving Israelites would not be able to enter the Promised Land but Caleb and Joshua would. God said that Caleb “had a different spirit in him and has followed Me wholeheartedly” (Numbers 14:24 NIV).

Only Joshua and Caleb would enter because they “wholeheartedly followed the Lord” (Numbers 32:11-12 NIV; Deuteronomy 1:36 NIV). Not only would Caleb enter the Promised Land, but at age 85 he was able to drive out the Anakins and receive a rich inheritance because he “wholeheartedly followed the Lord” (Joshua 14:8-14 NIV).

I wonder what it means to wholeheartedly follow God. What did Caleb and Joshua have that others didn’t? Personally, I think it was unwavering faith in a mighty God. This is not the same as blind faith which is faith for no apparent reason. Caleb and Joshua had seen the miracles God had performed and internalized them. They didn’t have to rely on their abilities because they were confident God would do what He promised. So if God said, “Take the land,” then they should take the land. Their God was bigger than any obstacle in their pathway.

It reminds me of David. David was a flawed individual and made lots of mistakes. Yet he’s called a man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14). What did David have that others didn’t? Unabashed faith in a mighty God!

When just a shepherd boy, he defeated Goliath. He remembered how God had delivered him from a lion and a bear to protect the sheep under his care (1 Samuel 17:37). So when soldiers cowered away from Goliath he said, “Who is this Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?” (1 Samuel 17:26). David warned Goliath that he had no idea who he was messing with. To defy the living God is a dangerous thing. David didn’t need a sword or spear to defeat Goliath because this battle belonged to the Lord (1 Samuel 17:45-47).    

WOW! That’s how I want to think of God. Great! Mighty! Powerful! Bigger than any problem I face. Fully capable of handling any situation! I want a spirit in me that believes and follows God wholeheartedly.


Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” ~Philippians 4:8 (KJV)

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