Friday, March 21, 2014
My Strength Is From the Lord
Josh. 14:10 And now, as you see, the LORD has kept me alive, as he said, these forty-five years since the time that the LORD spoke this word to Moses, while Israel was journeying through the wilderness; and here I am today, eighty-five years old.
Josh. 14:11 I am still as strong today as I was on the day that Moses sent me; my strength now is as my strength was then, for war, and for going and coming.
Caleb had been one of the faithful few among the Israelites. He and Joshua had been the spies who had returned convinced that the Lord could help them gain victory over the Canaanites. Unfortunately the people had not agreed and he had wandered in the wilderness, together with them, for forty years. Now, he was a man of eighty-five and throughout all of this time he had remained faithful. The result was that the Lord had given him strength to fulfill the promise to him and his family. Now he was to go out and conquer the land that had been provided for him.
Can you imagine what it must have been like to be Joshua and Caleb? They believed God and they trusted in him and yet they had to suffer the consequences of the faithlessness of the remainder of their community. We are a people who are designed to live out our faith in community and there will be times when we may have to suffer the consequences of the action and/or inaction of that community of faith. The question is whether that happens, will we remain faithful and recognize that it is God who gives us strength and sustains us?
This idea of strength coming from the Lord has to do with our willingness to be dependent upon him. Unfortunately, too often there are times when I want to depend upon myself and my own abilities to think things through or get things done. It is in those times that I am reminded that I am being dependent upon myself and not on the Lord. It is only when we allow the Lord, through the Holy Spirit to infuse our talents and abilities that he is able to really work through them to give us the strength that we require.
Caleb had learned of the sustaining strength of the Lord and that way by abiding in him, even in the wildernesses of life. God had kept his promise to Caleb, as Caleb had kept his promise to God. We must practice dependence upon the Lord day in and day, even when we find ourselves in the wilderness. It is only through this dependence upon him that we will discover the true source of our strength.
Lord, may I be entirely dependent upon you today. Amen.