Faith In God The Secret Of Courage
Come back to the word in Joshua.
Of that first generation, only two men got out of that soul realm - Joshua and Caleb.
They triumphed in and over that realm.
They triumphed in that realm first, and then the Lord brought them out...
But the fact that it was the rest of faith which was the secret of their triumph while they were in it is brought so beautifully, magnificently, to light in this fourteenth chapter of Joshua.
I think this is fine.
Caleb, one of the two, comes to Joshua.
He is an old man now, but still living by faith in the position which he took up with the Lord years before.
He took up that position when he went as one of the spies and when the great majority, the overwhelming majority, brought their evil report.
They looked at God through their circumstances...
These two men looked at their circumstances through God; it made all the difference.
Caleb took up that position of looking at everything through God, and he is still living in that position...
And now, as an old man, he comes to Joshua, and, while all the other people are being given their inheritance in nice, easy, prosperous positions where every prospect pleases...
Caleb says, Give me this mountain where the giants are, and cities great and walled up; this hilly country; give me this mountain!
Oh, dear friends, there is a lot to be said about that, but I am going to be content with this now as following up this challenge to my heart and to yours.
What are you looking for? - an easy inheritance, a nice, workable cabbage-patch, something that is going to respond to your touch immediately and give you satisfaction?
Are you looking for the flourishing land?
The faith which brought Joshua and Caleb into rest of heart before they came into the rest of the land was this kind of faith - Give me a tough proposition!
Here is a situation full of difficulties, full of threatenings, full of adversities; why, it is almost an appalling prospect, yet nevertheless give me a chance there!
You see the challenge.
Do difficulties appall you or do they at once present a great opportunity for the Lord? "It may be that the Lord... as the Lord spake."
How are we facing the big difficulties? - and there are difficulties! there are problems! and these mountains seem to pile up upon one another as we go on.
Sometimes it seems an impossible outlook and prospect, a hopeless situation.
Perhaps for our own lives individually for some reason within ourselves or outside of ourselves, or for the work to which we are called, the ministry, the testimony that is laid upon us, it seems so utterly hopeless, the mountain is impossible.
Well, what about it? Is it - Give me this mountain!
Nothing but a real faith in God can take things on like that...
And say - All right, it is difficult, there is no doubt about it, it is an appalling prospect naturally, a hopeless outlook, nevertheless let us take it on in the Name of the Lord...
It may be that the Lord... The Lord - looking at the mountain through the Lord, and not at the Lord through the mountain.
I think that is the kind of faith that we need, that brings into rest.
A mountain - yes, it is a mountain right enough, a physical mountain, a circumstantial mountain, a mountain of outlook in the work.
Naturally we would do the right thing, the wise, common sense thing if we said, No, we are not going to touch that!
But faith says, I am not going to try and skirt that mountain, I am not going to turn my back on it and run away; give me this mountain!
I want that faith, you want it.
It is not just our natural courage, our bulldog nature, our pugnacity that will do it.
We know quite well that we have nothing; if left to ourselves, we had better quit.
But the Lord is challenging us, and Caleb does come up as a rebuke to us.
At the end of a long life when we might think that now is the time for him to be given a very nice little garden and a lodge somewhere where the work was easy and he could take his rest - no, he says...
Give me this mount wherein are the giants, the walled cities; give me this mountain!
His choice was a difficulty, because it was an opportunity for the Lord.
Probably we shall very soon be brought up against what we have been saying in very practical ways, but let us have dealings with the Lord on this.
We are going to have to face what will be naturally appalling difficulties, within and without...
Taking the very heart out of us, but oh, for this quiet, restful assurance and confidence in our God which says, Give me this mountain as an opportunity for proving the Lord!
And Caleb got it - and it was Hebron, and that is another story; a very long story is Hebron.
I leave you to look that up, for Hebron has a wonderful place in the purposes of God.
David was first crowned king in Hebron before he was crowned in Jerusalem.
Hebron means 'fellowship'.
There is a great inheritance bound up with Hebron.
Hebron is secured to men and to women of this kind of faith which says, I am not wanting to escape from my difficulty and get out of my hard way...
Let me take it in the Lord's strength and give the Lord an opportunity to show that He can do what is naturally impossible.
The Lord give us that faith!
~T. Austin Sparks~