In this passage of Scripture God had brought His people to Kadesh-barnea. Many of us are familiar with the story. Moses sent twelve spies into the Promised Land for forty days. When they returned, ten bore a negative report while only two were positive about God’s plan for possessing their new land. The people chose to believe the negative reports; only Joshua and Caleb believed the Israelites could possess the land and do what God had called
them to do.
What made Caleb different from ten of the other eleven spies? What caused Caleb to have victory in his heart and believe the Israelites could possess their possessions and fulfill what God had planned for them? Before we have a mountain in our hands, we must first have it in our hearts. We will never possess it physically until we possess it spiritually. Many of God’s people do not have a mountain in their hearts, only a wilderness. God wants each of us to have a mountain in our hearts and know how to make it happen.
WE MUST SURVEY OUR CHALLENGES
The first step in having a mountain in our hearts is to survey our challenges. Israel was facing a lot of challenges. There is nothing wrong with surveying the challenges. We need to survey our challenges. Israel’s challenges were fourfold.
1. The enemy is strong in pride. Three names were mentioned in verse 22. The reason the Word of God lists these three names is because of their meaning. Ahiman means “what I am,” Sheshai “who I am,” and Talmai “what I can do.” Nephilim was saying to the Israelites, “Come over here, and we will show you cannot defeat us.” They knew they were a strong and gifted people. They were strong in pride. The battle to which we are called is one of much difficulty. Many in the world know who they are and what t
hey can accomplish. Understand it-the enemy of our soul is strong in pride.
2. The enemy was strong in position. The Bible says Nephilim had walled cities located on mountaintops. They had a very advantageous position of strength. They were saying to the nation of Israel, “We have leverage over you.” Today there are people in high positions who do not want the Bible or a spiritual awakening, but I remind you-nothing is too difficult for Almighty God.
3. The enemy was strong in population. The adversary was strong in pride, in position, and in population. The Bible says, “They devoured the land.” They were so numerous they filled the land. Even today there are more people who do not believe in Jesus than those who do. There are more in Satan’s kingdom than those who are in God’s.
4. The enemy was strong in proportion. These were giants who were eight and nine feet tall. They were part of the Anakims, a race of giants. The Hebrew people were small in comparison. It does not matter how large the crowd, where they are, or even who they are-God plus one always equals a majority. God is calling us to a fresh challenge to see the land, possess it, and go where He wants us to go.
WE NEED TO STIMULATE OUR COURAGE
Courage is required for overcoming the challenges. Caleb had courage. Our prayer should be, “Lord, give us the courage of Caleb-courage to believe we can possess our possessions, conquer our Canaan, and enter into what God has for us.” How do we stimulate courage? By using the Word of God.
1. We must look at it from God’s perspective. We need to learn how to see things from God’s perspective. Israel had a grasshopper complex. The grasshopper complex is always looking up and seeing how large everything is. This complex does not allow us to look down on things. Instead of the Israelites’ talking about how big God was compared to the giants, they kept expressing how small they were compared to the giants. They had a complex and did not see things as God saw them.
Even though Caleb was in the wilderness, he had a mountain in his heart. He had seen the land flowing with milk and honey. He had seen the mountains and the beauty of the land. He kept that mountain in his heart.
You may be living in the wilderness and there may be difficulties and problems in your life, but there can be a mountain in your heart. See what God can do with a people who are willing to go with the Lord. Caleb had God’s perspective and thus he made it. Learn to have the heavenly perspective about everything in life.
2. We must look at it from God’s purpose. God has a purpose for problems and giants. Numbers 14 gives understanding of God’s purpose as it relates to going into Canaan and conquering the possessions He has for us.
The King James says, “These giants are bread for us.” The New American Standard says, “The giants are prey for us.” Giants are the food of champions. They are the food that makes us strong and courageous and gives us faith. They are the food that helps us understand how big God is.
Some of us may be facing the toughest problems we have ever faced. God wants to walk with us through all these things because He is building up our faith and character. We will be better people for learning to walk with God during these times. God wants to turn burdens into blessings. He wants to build us up in the most holy faith. You know the phrase already-if there were never a battle, there would never be a victory. Without the valleys, there are no mountains.
WE MUST SECURE OUR CONQUEST
How did Caleb live forty years in the wilderness and keep a mountain in his heart? Despite these years of wandering, bickering, complaining, and fussing and fighting around him, he kept the picture of the mountain alive in his heart. The older some Christians get, the faster their dreams die. They are less motivated and less determined and say they are going to settle down and let younger people take over. You will not find approval for this anywhere in the Word of God. Caleb was 85 years old when he finally possessed his possession (Joshua 14:6-12).
At age 85, Caleb said that for forty years he had maintained a dream that he would someday possess his mountain. He said he was as strong now as the day he first saw it. He was ready to take the hill country and all the fortified cities. He believed God would give him the victory. It is time for us to make up our minds that we are going to secure our conquests. How do we do it?
1. We must have an undying faith. Caleb had an undying faith. He did not let the wilderness take away his mountain. A lot of people allow their emotional, mental, and physical conditions determine what is going to happen around them. The battle is inward, not outward. First, we need to get a mountain in our heart. Next, we need to make up our minds that God will bring the victory.
2. We must have an unqualified devotion in our hearts. Caleb said he had fully served the Lord and had given his best to God all his life. We cannot have one foot on the mountain and the other in the wilderness. We cannot have one foot in the church and the other in the world. We cannot have one foot in the Spirit and the other in the flesh. We cannot be a Canaan-conqueror and a wilderness-wanderer at the same time. We cannot expect to conquer our mountain if we are halfhearted and slothful in our commitment and dedication to the Lord. It will require a complete and total surrender of our lives every day. We must have an undying faith and an unqualified devotion to God.
3. We must have an unending strength. It is amazing that an 85-year-old man, Caleb, was ready for war. As Christians, we too are in a spiritual war-a war for the souls of men and women. We must see mighty miracles happen. If we plan to exit the wilderness, cross the Jordan, and possess the promises of God, we are going to have to wage war with the enemy of our souls.
At 85, Caleb climbed and conquered his mountain. He did what God had put in his heart. Regardless of our ages, God wants to help us reach the mountains that are in our hearts-mountains of hurting families or jobs or financial situations or spiritual matters that need to be conquered. Do not let your mountain die regardless of where you are right now. Make up your mind that you are going to conquer it in the strength and might of Jesus Christ. God is looking for people who will say, “Lord, give me this mountain!”
Until The Last Person Has Heard,