SIMPLE TRUTH: Let’s go for it!

Published 1:29 pm Wednesday, September 4, 2013

By Charles Christmas

This is the first of three articles that will relate to an outstanding life of faith exemplified by Caleb. He was a leader in the Tribe of Judah from young adulthood, and was 40 years old at the time of the following events.

God’s plan was that Caleb, Joshua and 10 other tribal representatives spy out the Promised Land of Canaan for 40 days and return with their report about the terrain, the people, the towns and cities, their defenses and the productivity of the soil. They returned to Moses and the people at the end of the 40 days. All 12 reported, “It is surely a land flowing with milk and honey and this huge cluster of grapes, which takes two to carry, is an example.” Yet 10 of the spies said, “But, the people are strong, the cities walled and very great, and we saw giants in the land.” Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “Let’s go for it! Let’s go up at once and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it!” But the other 10 said, “We can’t because they are stronger than we are!” The 10 spread the message of fear, unbelief and discouragement among the Israelites. The frustrated Caleb and Joshua made a final plea. “The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good. If the Lord is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land flowing with milk and honey, and give it to us. Only do not rebel against the Lord. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will swallow them up. Their protection is gone, but the Lord is with us. Do not be afraid of them. Let’s go for it!”

At this time the Glory of the Lord appeared at the Tent of Meeting in view of all the Israelites. God will have the final word! But that is next week’s topic.

Let’s look at some simple truths about the faith of Caleb, who said, “Let’s go for it!” His was not a blind faith. He saw the facts. He was aware of the pluses and the minuses of the Promised Land: the milk and honey, as well as the problems and difficulties, including the giants. But he also remembered Israel’s God of the past who had broken the will of their Egyptian slave masters and had rescued his people on dry ground through the Red Sea. He remembered that God had met with them at Sinai, had given them his commandments and laws and had visibly displayed his power. He remembered that God had met every need of every person up to that very day. Caleb remembered the promises of God. Canaan would become the homeland for Israel. He knew that a conquest of Canaan would be a faith venture that God was initiating. He knew what the will of God was for his life and for his people Israel: to inhabit the land of Canaan. He knew what God would honor and bless and be pleased with: it was obedience and faith, and he desired to “whole-heartedly follow the Lord.” Caleb knew that he and Israel could be sure of the presence and help of God through obedience and faith in action.

Maybe everything is lining up in your life as only one person, like Caleb, and you are ready to say, “I am going for it!” Maybe you are a husband and wife, and everything is lining up for the two of you to say, “Let’s go for it!” Maybe things are lining up for you as a family and you need to step out on faith and say, “Let’s go for it!” Maybe you are part of a larger group: a prayer group, a Bible class, a leadership group, a church staff, a church or a ministry organization. Maybe things are lining up some one or more to step forward and say, “Let’s go for it!”

There may be difficulties and opposition. Ask this: What have I/we seen God do in the past; has God met my/our needs up to this day; what are the promises of God for me/us to depend upon; what would the will and plan of God be for me/us; could I/we be sure of God’s presence with me/us in this venture of faith; is this a step of obedience/faith in action which would please God?

Maybe God is preparing you or me to say, “I’m going for it” or “Let’s go for it!”

—Charles Christmas is a religion columnist for The Clanton Advertiser. His column appears each Thursday.