No claims of absolute originality are made for this material. As one man said, "I milk a lot of cows, but I churn my own butter." Please use these sermons as the Lord leads, but nothing on this site may be used for profit without my expressed, written permission!
GIVE ME MY MOUNTAIN
Intro: By the time you reach Joshua 14, Israel has been involved in the business of claiming the Promised Land for quite some time. They have been engaging the enemy in battle, and they have won some very decisive victories. Now, the time has come for them to divide the land and to give each tribe its inheritance. When the tribe of Judah comes forward, there is a gray-haired, 85-year-old man in the midst of them. A man named Caleb steps forward to claim his inheritance. Caleb is a picture of the child of God who is not satisfied with the ordinary, but who wants all that God can give him.
God saves us, and promises us that we can have a life of victory and intense spiritual joy, but rather than claim what is rightfully ours, we choose to live in a spiritual wilderness, defeated and depressed. As a result, we miss out on things like peace, joy, fellowship, power, and the glory of God.
Many Christians are guilty of spiritual window-shopping. Now there is nothing wrong with window-shopping! Some folks like it and some dont.
III. A fellow said to his wife, Why do you call it shopping? You never buy anything.
She replied, Well, why do you call it fishing? You never catch anything!
As believers, we need to do more than window-shop with God's promises. We need to appropriate those promises and claim them in our lives. From this passage, I want to show you what it was that enabled this 85-year-old man to possess everything God had promised him.
Caleb pictures the Christian who is willing to pay any price, fight any battles in order to win the victories that God has waiting for him. In these verses, we are shown how we can claim our little part of Canaan and walk in victory day by day! In verse 12 of this text, Caleb walked up to Joshua and said, Now, therefore, give me this mountain... I want to take this text and point out some of the characteristics in Calebs life that enable him to say Give Me My Mountain. It we want to be able to claim all that the Lord has for us, these same characteristics need to be true in our lives as well.
I. V. 8, 9, 14 CALEB WAS COMMITTED
A. The first key to Caleb success was that God had all of Caleb that there was! Note the repeated phrase Wholly followed the Lord. This is said about Caleb at least five times in the Old Testament. It is a phrase that means To close the gap. It is a phrase used by hunters to refer to closing the gap between themselves and their prey. It refers to the fact that Caleb was committed to keeping the distance between him self and the Lord at a minimum.
The word wholly literally means to fill. It carries the idea of filling a sail with air. It is the picture of sails filled to capacity with all the available air so that the ship can move across the water with maximum speed.
Every inch, every ounce, every nerve, every fiber of Caleb belonged to God. You may think that because you are not a preacher or deacon or Sunday School teacher or whatever, God doesn't expect to have all of you. That is wrong thinking! God deserves your all. If you're holding back on the Lord you should to be ashamed of yourself! If you are saved, you are all His anyway; you belong to Him - 1 Cor. 6:19-20!
To their amazement, they saw every ship in which they had crossed the channel engulfed in flames. Caesar had deliberately cut off any possibility of retreat! Now that his soldiers were unable to return to the continent, there was nothing left for them to do but to advance and conquer! And that is exactly what they did.
Too many Christians leave themselves an escape hatch back into their old lives of sin. We need to burn every bridge that leads back to the old life and set our minds to the task of following the Lord, conquering our Canaan, and being the Christians God saved us to be.
One said, My father is a doctor, and he practices medicine.
Another said, My dad's an attorney, and he practices law.
The third said, My father is a Christian, but he doesn't practice any more.
That describes far too many people in our churches today!
B. Half-hearted Christians are faint-hearted Christians and they never learn to conquer the giants in their lives.
III. The story is told of a man who rode in his car as it was being towed to be repaired. When they arrived at the repair shop, the tow truck driver told him, I didn't think I was going to make it up that big hill.
The man replied, I didn't either. That's why I kept the brakes on.
To live without total dedication to Christ is the same as trying to go forward and to hold back at the same time.
The Gurkhas didn't clearly understand what was involved, but they bravely said they would do it, asking only that the planes fly slowly over a swampy area and no higher than 100 feet. When they were told that the parachutes would not have time to open at that height, the Gurkhas replied, Oh, you didn't mention parachutes before!
Jesus calls us to follow Him with a similar kind of commitment and courage, willing to risk all for His sake.
Perhaps one of the most eloquent expressions of all, however, came from the lips of a soldier who had been shot in the chest. As the surgeon was attempting to remove the bullet, the suffering man was heard to whisper, If you go much deeper, Doctor, you'll come to the Emperor!
If a man as notorious as Napoleon could be the object of such undying devotion, how much more Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord!
C. The man who kneels before God can stand before anybody or anything.
D.L. Moody said, By God's grace I will be that man!
He was an uncultured, uneducated, untrained shoe salesman but God used him to move two continents for Christ. Why? - He was committed! Are you totally sold out to Jesus Christ and Him alone?
Our commitment to Christ affects all our other relationships. The more devoted we are to Jesus, the more faithful we will be to our churches, families, and friends.
D. All Jesus wants from you is your total commitment. Anything less will keep you from reaching your Canaan victory.
The farmer shook his head and said, I don't know, but she's an honest old cow, and she'll give you all the milk she has! God's people need to be like that old cow. We need to give everything we have for Him.
All this comes down to one truth. If you, like Caleb, will close the gap between yourself and Him; if you will pursue God with every fiber of your being, you will find yourself closer to HIm than you could have ever imagined - Ill. James 4:8.
I. Caleb Was Committed
II. V. 12 CALEB WAS CONFIDENT
A. What was it that gave 85-year-old Caleb the idea he could be a giant killer? Caleb's confidence was in God's word, v. 10, 12.
Way back in Deut. 1:34-36 God made this promise to Caleb, And the LORD heard the voice of your words, and was wroth, and sware, saying, Surely there shall not one of these men of this evil generation see that good land, which I sware to give unto your fathers, Save Caleb the son of Jephunneh; he shall see it, and to him will I give the land that he hath trodden upon, and to his children, because he hath wholly followed the LORD.
I can see Caleb now climbing that mountain with a sword in one hand and a deed in the other while singing to the top of his lungs, Give me my mountain! Caleb knew God had given it to him so he claimed it. Faith is not positive thinking. Faith is not name it and claim it. Faith is not optimism. Faith is not looking on the bright side. Faith is simply acting on what God says. Faith is simply taking God at His Word and believing that He will do everything He has promised to do!
Captain, said Mueller, I must be in Quebec on Saturday afternoon.
That's impossible! replied the captain. I'm helpless!
Mueller suggested, Let's go down to the chart room and pray.
The captain thought he had a lunatic on board. Do you know how dense the fog is? he asked.
No, came the reply, my eye is not on the density of the fog, but on the living God who controls every circumstance of my life.
Once in the chart room, Mueller got down on his knees and prayed, 0 Lord, if it is consistent with Thy will, please remove this fog in 5 minutes. Thou knowest the engagement Thou didst make for me in Quebec for Saturday. I believe it is Thy will.
After Mueller prayed, the Captain started to pray. Mueller stopped him and said, There's no use for you to pray, God has already answered my prayer. The fog is gone.
And, when they came out of that room, it was!
Faith is more than saying that you believe what God says; faith is acting on what God says, III. Heb. 11:1.
B. It takes faith to win the spiritual victory. In fact, only faith can give us the victory - Heb. 11:6; Rom. 14:23!
By the way, Faith is never a blind leap, but a deep settled conviction that God will do what He has promised!
I. Caleb Was Committed
II. Caleb Was Confident
III. CALEB WAS COURAGEOUS
In Calebs life, commitment led to confidence, and confidence to courage. Caleb had to overcome three great obstacles in his quest for his Canaan.
A. He Had To Overcome Grasshoppers - Ill. Num. 13:33 - For Caleb to claim what God had promised he had to go against the majority. III. Jesus - He was usually alone in everything He did! III. There will always be someone saying that it can't be done, it's never been done like that before, we can't afford it, etc. III. The Disciples and their reaction in John 6. Sometimes you will stand alone, but if you are standing on the Word of God in the will of God, then you were never in better company!
B. He Had To Overcome Giants - Ill. Num. 14:8-9 - All of us have giants in our lives. Giants of discouragement, finances, sickness, family, distress, doubt and the truth is, we can't defeat them ourselves. We have two options.
1. We can look at how small we are compared to our giants. This is the outlook of fear! III. 2 Tim. 1:7
2. We can look at how small our giants are compared to God! This is the uplook of faith! III. Phil. 4:13; Eph. 3:20; Matt. 28:18)
By the way, fighting giants is good for you! III. Num. 14:9
However, even with such tenacity it was apparent that there was simply no way he could finish the race. Just as he was about to fall again, a man came out of the stands, put his arm around the injured runner, and assisted him all the way across the finish line. The stadium roared with approval as Derek Redmond completed his race.
The scene was a moving one, made even more significant by the realization that the one who came alongside Derek was his own father. Together, linked arm in arm, father and son crossed the finish line, as one.
When we are facing life's giants and are in danger of falling, the Heavenly Father comes alongside of us to help us carry on for His glory.
C. He Had To Overcome Gray Hairs - Josh. 14:10-11 - What does this tell us? When God makes a promise, he will give us the strength to see its fulfillment! (III. Never count God, or yourself out. True faith looks beyond the present circumstance and sees the provision of the Almighty!)
Uncle Versie had a problem. There was his best mule down at the bottom of that cistern and no way he could get the mule out of there. He didn't want her to stay down there and starve to death, so he decided he would get a shovel and cover her up. It would be cruel, but it wouldn't be as cruel and inhumane as to let Della starve to death in the bottom of that deep cistern. Uncle Versie took a shovelful of dirt and threw it down into the cistern and every time a shovelful of dirt hit old Della, she'd shake the dirt off and stomp it.
It wasn't long before Della had shaken off enough dirt and stomped it so that she was high enough to jump out of the cistern.
We're like that mule--either our problems will bury us or we shake them off and stomp them down until we rise above them.
D. When you boil all the fat away, courage can be defined in three letter: Y E S! All real Christian courage really is, is the willingness to say Yes! to what God is doing in your life.
I. Caleb Was Committed
II. Caleb Was Confident
III. Caleb Was Courageous
IV. 14:13-14; 15:13-14 CALEB WAS A CONQUEROR
A. Caleb experienced what God had promised!
B. He climbed the mountains and he defeated the giants - he claimed his possession.
The name of the place Caleb inherited was named Hebron. This means Fellowship. Caleb refused to quit until he had obtained everything the Lord has for him! He refused to stop until he had obtained that place of fellowship with God.
That needs to be our battle cry today! We must refuse to give up, back up, or shut up or be held up, until we have stood up, lined up, read up, prayed up, confessed up, stored up, spoke up, looked up, and filled up on everything the Lord wants to give His children! We ought to settle for nothing less than that place of perfect fellowship with the Lord our God!
C. What about you, have you entered your Canaan and claimed your possession? It isn't God's will for you to wander around in the wilderness of defeat forever. It is His will that you walk in victory and in His power - 1 Cor. 15:57; 2 Cor. 2:14; Rom. 8:37.
There will be trials? God had: a flood for Noah, a fire for the 3 Hebrews, a lion's den for Daniel, a cake for the widow and a cross for Jesus, but there was victory in the midst of each trial for these and there will be victory for you as well!
Conc: Where are you in your personal walk with the Lord today? Have you entered into your Canaan, or are you wandering around in the wilderness still struggling day to day?
God has a place of peace and power for you, but you must be willing the claim your possession. It isn't for the fainthearted, but it is for the faith hearted. Come claim your Canaan right now!
There is a vast difference between a promise and a possession! God promised Israel the land, but they had to possess it before it became theirs. God has victory for His children, that is His promise! That promise must be actively pursued and possessed before it will ever become a reality.
Some of you arent even saved today. There will be no victory for you on any level until you come to Jesus and trust Him for your souls salvation. Your greatest need is to be saved by the grace of God!