Maintaining Vigor

“Then the people of Judah came to Joshua at Gilgal. And Caleb said to him, ‘You know what the Lord said to Moses the man of God in Kadesh-barnea concerning you and me. I was forty years old when Moses… sent me from Kadesh-barnea to spy out the land, and I brought him word again as it was in my heart. But my brothers who went up with me made the heart of the people melt; yet I wholly followed the Lord my God. And Moses swore on that day, saying, “Surely the land on which your foot has trodden shall be an inheritance for you and your children forever, because you have wholly followed the Lord my God.”  The Lord has kept me alive, just as he said,.. I am this day eighty-five years old. 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. So now give me this hill country of which the Lord spoke on that day…’

“Then Joshua blessed him, and he gave Hebron to Caleb the son of Jephunneh for an inheritance… because he wholly followed the Lord, the God of Israel.” Joshua 14:6-14

From his first arrival on the Bible scene, Caleb stands out as a man of vigorous faith and action. He and Joshua alone, of all the spies sent into Canaan, saw the land of promise as just that, secured by God’s good word and power, and urged Israel to take it. His life was surrendered to his Lord’s will and ways, and he seized opportunities wholeheartedly. His belief in what God had promised must have fueled him through the frustration of forty years of wandering as a consequence of his nation’s lack of faith. He consistently chose to run for the prize over tripping on trouble. (Numbers 13:1-3,6,16-33; Philippians 3:14)

Maybe we’ve had to wait longer than hoped for God to fulfill His promises. Maybe we’ve had to slog through the fallout of others’ sin and grown resentful or felt like giving up. Keeping our sights on our heavenly Captain and sticking to His course keeps us centered and focused on God’s call and purposes that are woven through every warp and woof.

What will it take to keep my eyes fixed on God’s promises and provision when the going gets tough? What threats and difficulties do I allow to block my spiritual progress and debilitate my faith in God’s strength over my own? Where have I given in to the passage of years and grown lazy in stewardship, yielding to indulgences and self-pampering because ‘I’ve done my time,’ rather than maintaining appropriate, healthy readiness for what the Lord has next?

While certainly we cannot control every aspect of our physical health, we can do much to feed and maintain our spiritual health. God calls us to specific work and we are accountable as stewards of the grace and gifts He’s entrusted to us. (Romans 12:3-4; 1 Timothy 4:7-8)

Lord, may I rise every day eager to get up and go up to take advantage of every opportunity You give, serving You with wholehearted vigor and joy, to Your honor and praise. (Numbers 13:30; Colossians 3:23)

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