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. (Joshua 14:8-9)
Often in athletic events, when things are on the line and the competition is neck and neck, typically it is the one who “wants it most” that wins. It’s the one who is the “hungriest” who usually comes out on top. It often comes down to a matter of heart as to who will be found victorious.
I was watching a special on the Navy Seals the other day and they interviewed a retired Seal about a particular battle he was in. They gave all the details about the battle and the odds which this team of Seals faced. They were outnumbered seven to one and pinned down by two enemy snipers.The one being interviewed said, “They were either going to shred me into little pieces, or we were going to win”. Being the Seal was retired and being interviewed, I guess we know how it turned out. Often it comes down to heart —where desire and determination dwell, where commitment and courage reside, which makes the difference.
If heart makes a difference in physical struggles and battles, it most certainly makes a difference when it comes to the spiritual struggles and battles. Caleb is a great example of what it meant to be whole heartedly committed spiritually. At 85 years old Caleb demonstrated what it meant to be totally committed to the Lord through both good times and bad.
When others backed off out of fear, he continued to press on through faith. Obstacles which caused others to squirm, spurred him on. Promises he knew God made to His people were to be claimed in full. When it came time for going to battle, Caleb didn’t ask for others to come and assist, but instead only asked for the opportunity to take them on and drive them out from the land promised to them, “just as the Lord said”. When those difficulties arose, Caleb was not resting in the middle or back of the pack, instead he was out front leading his men.
It is often said there are three kinds of people we encounter: Those who make things happen, those who watch things happen and those who ask “What happened?”. We can certainly tell from the above description what kind of man Caleb was.
When it comes to fighting the day to day spiritual battles we face, can a halfhearted person become a wholehearted follower of the Lord. Can a halfhearted person accept the challenge and take the Lord’s promises for what they say? The answer is this: If God is who He says He is, and can do what He has promised to do, then He is worthy of our obedience. It is through our daily loving obedience we become wholehearted followers of the Lord.
Do you believe God is who He says He is? How much of what the Lord says He will do, do you believe wholeheartedly? Do you believe He can do what He said He will do or do you place limits on His abilities?
When the going gets tough, do you stand firm in the Lord’s promises and continue to fight the good fight? May we all be found faithful in being wholehearted followers of the Lord!