Numbers 14:24 NIV - But because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it.
Wholeheartedness in Hebrew: "to follow fully" - NASB, ESV
Read Numbers 14:1-24; Joshua 14:6-15
The stand out feature of Caleb was his dedication to follow fully (or get behind) God's word and leading. It was not a particular bravery or courage that God credited Caleb with. It was not even his ability to communicate faith and inspiration to the people. God loved Caleb's decision to come behind the word of the Lord and fully back it. Loyalty to God and his ways is integral to wholeheartedness.
Go to Get God's Promises
Another feature of wholeheartedness is going to get the promise of God. Caleb was given a promise of land by God. Forty-five years later he went after this promise. Could you hold on for forty-five years? At the age of 85, Caleb wanted to see God's promise fulfilled. And he knew that he had a big part to play in seeing the land (Hebron) come to him. He would have to face literal giants and walled cities. Caleb knew, however, that God was still in the lead. He only had to follow fully, and the land would be given over to him.
Get Behind God
God is not looking for men and women to spearhead strategies on his behalf. He does not desire more clever ideas in defeating the enemy. He is only looking for people who will follow him fully. He has already spoken. He is already on the move. Will we get behind him fully? That is the question. This is what Caleb did. On paper, the Israelites were completely outmanned and outgunned. They faced huge enemy cities and literal giants. But, with God in the lead, all they had to do was follow fully.
When we get creative and develop alternative guidance because of threatening circumstances, this does not please God. He is not impressed with disloyalty to his original word. On the surface disloyalty can look like fear or macho courage. Before the Israelites' exile in the wilderness, they expressed both forms of disloyalty. At first, they drew back in fear at God's command to go into the Promised Land. Then, when they were instructed to go back to the wilderness, they went into the Promised Land anyway with a macho (false) courage). And they were badly defeated.
Half-heartedness is Rebellion
We are tricking ourselves if we think that following God in half-measure will work. In reality, we have two options: following God fully or disobeying him. The middle ground of half-hearted obedience is really a religious guise for rebellion. It just seems a bit more palatable. But really, God sees it as complete disobedience.
Caleb's wholeheartedness was expected by God. Your decision to follow him fully is expected by God. It is completely do-able… not too difficult. God is not looking for more leaders. He is looking for followers who will get behind him fully.
Characteristics of the Wholehearted Person
Missionary. Teacher. Worship Leader. Deeply desiring to make God's Word accessible and understandable to all. May you be transformed as God's Word fills your life.
All Bible Background Characters In The Bible Commitment Evangelism Exodus History Of Israel Intercession Jesus Leadership Moses Parenting Sin Spiritual Authority Spiritual Disciplines Teaching Wholeheartedness Worship
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