Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Caleb’s Relevant Spirit
"Because you have followed the Lord my God WHOLEHEARTEDLY" (9)
Caleb’s life story may not initially seem applicable to all our readers. The concept of an 85 year old man receiving an inheritance which was promised to him forty years prior may not relate to all segments of our churches, but I strongly feel Caleb’s life should be a blueprint for how each of us should live.
The passage above tells of Caleb approaching Joshua and reminding him how he had followed God WHOLEHEARTEDLY. At the age of 40, he along with Joshua and 10 others were sent to spy on the land and to gauge whether they would be able to conquer it. He and Joshua were the only two who had faith and trust in God and believed WHOLEHEARTEDLY that the land could be conquered. The other ten saw it as an impossible mission and even wanted to kill Caleb because of what he said. The younger members and leaders of our churches, if needed, must be willing and prepared to be in the minority for the fulfillment of God’s will. Just like Caleb, they must be completely dependent on God. They should not have any fear of repercussions because, just as Caleb, we are to serve the Lord WHOLEHEARTEDLY and with no hesitation. Caleb did not insult the other ten; instead he simply made his convictions known to Moses. Caleb was an example to the other ten spies. When Caleb returned from spying, he could have easily gone along with the crowd and backed off his beliefs. Instead he said, "If the Lord delight in us, then he will bring us into this land and give it us” (Numbers 14:8).
Forty five years later, Caleb reminds Joshua of the promise Moses had made to him. The land he walked on was to be his inheritance (v.9). At the age of 85, Caleb is still as strong and vigorous as he was when he was sent as a spy. He had continued his journey of faith, WHOLEHEARTEDLY, depending on the Lord for all his decisions. The courage with which he lived his life was based on his confidence in God's will and purpose for him. Caleb remained relevant after all those years, but that was because of his pure and sincere dedication to God. That was evident in his life and the decisions he made. Numbers 14:24 describes Caleb having a “different spirit”. It was this spirit that maintained his relevance and integrity as a leader.
As leaders, we must be guided by that “different spirit”. It’s that spirit which allowed Caleb to be relevant forty five years later. It’s that same spirit that will keep each of us relevant many years later. We are at a very unique point in the history of the Mar Thoma Church within the North American and European Diocese. The church’s beginnings can be traced back to the commitment and resiliency of the initial pioneers of the church. Naturally there is a transition necessary, but throughout this process the next generation of leaders is seeking those pioneers who were guided by the same spirit Caleb was guided by. We look to these forerunners to share their wisdom and serve as elders to the new generation. We yearn to be led and guided by such leaders. Our inheritance is not simply land as was Caleb’s. We are blessed to be left with our parishes as inheritances for the next generation.
Prayer: Dear God, give us the “different spirit” to establish a track record which will maintain our relevance for the generations that follow. Amen
Thought for the Day: Serve God WHOLEHEARTEDLY from our early years until our last days.
Dr. Ron Jacob, Long Island MTC, NY