"Wholly Follow the Lord"
Text: Joshua 14:6-15
Title: We Are STILL able to overcome it!
Proposition: We need to wholly follow the Lord.
Rhetorical: Are you a person who is wholly following the Lord?
Moses gave command to the children of Israel saying....
Deu 11:13 And it shall come to pass, if ye shall hearken diligently unto my commandments which I command you this day, to love the LORD your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul,
Deu 11:22 For if ye shall diligently keep all these commandments which I command you, to do them, to love the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, and to cleave unto him;
Deu 11:23 Then will the LORD drive out all these nations from before you, and ye shall possess greater nations and mightier than yourselves.
THERE WAS AN OLDER MAN IN THE CROWD WHOM I BELIEVE WAS THINKING TO HIMSELF. IF ONLY THE PREVIOUS GENERATION WOULD HAVE WHOLLY FOLLOWED THE LORD.
Ill. He remembered how excited he had been to go with the other 11 spies into Canaan. He was 40 years old and eager to see the land of promise.
Joshua and he were alike in their enthusiasm and love for the Lord. They came back excited about the land of promise and confident in the power of God.
The other ten spies no longer wanted to follow the Lord because they expected the land to be easy to take - AND IT WASN'T.
Num 13:30 And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it.
exp. Now this old man, Caleb is thinking, I'm still ready to go up and fight for the Lord. God is still able to take this land. CALEB WAS ONE WHO WHOLLY FOLLOWED THE LORD.
note: A friend of mine, Dr. Ed Nelson, is 93 years old and he is still fighting for the Lord believing in the power of God. (If I preach as long as him I have 53 years left.) HE HAS WHOLLY FOLLOWED THE LORD.
Paul said, "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:" 2 Timothy 4:7
He went through - shipwreck, beating, mobs, stoning, imprisonment.... and he never stopped BECAUSE HE WHOLLY FOLLOWED THE LORD.
WE NEED TO WHOLLY FOLLOW THE LORD. Where in our generation are those who are going to WHOLLY FOLLOW THE LORD?
Joshua 14:6-15 is our text. Caleb is now 85 and as much a fighter for God as he was when he was 40. His testimony shows what a man is like who wholly follows the Lord.
I. Those who wholly follow the Lord listen when God speaks to them.
6 Then the children of Judah came unto Joshua in Gilgal: and Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenezite said unto him, Thou knowest the thing that the LORD said unto Moses the man of God concerning me and thee in Kadeshbarnea.
exp. The message came through the lips of the servant of God - but the message was from God himself.
question: Have you ever sat in a service and known that God was speaking to you?
ill. Samuel as a young man had to learn to hear the voice of God. (I Samuel 13)
1 And the child Samuel ministered unto the LORD before Eli. And the word of the LORD was precious in those days; there was no open vision.
2 And it came to pass at that time, when Eli was laid down in his place, and his eyes began to wax dim, that he could not see;
3 And ere the lamp of God went out in the temple of the LORD, where the ark of God was, and Samuel was laid down to sleep;
4 That the LORD called Samuel: and he answered, Here am I.
5 And he ran unto Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou calledst me. And he said, I called not; lie down again. And he went and lay down.
6 And the LORD called yet again, Samuel. And Samuel arose and went to Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou didst call me. And he answered, I called not, my son; lie down again.
7 Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, neither was the word of the LORD yet revealed unto him.
8 And the LORD called Samuel again the third time. And he arose and went to Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou didst call me. And Eli perceived that the LORD had called the child.
9 Therefore Eli said unto Samuel, Go, lie down: and it shall be, if he call thee, that thou shalt say, Speak, LORD; for thy servant heareth. So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
10 And the LORD came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth.
exp. I can picture Samuel as an old man say, "I remember the first time God spoke to me. I have never forgotten what He said."
ill. I remember when God spoke to my heart about salvation. I remember when God spoke to my heart about surrender. I remember when God called me to preach. I remember when God called me to church planting. I remember when God called us to Scotland.
app. If you are going to wholly follow the Lord, you must learn to hear the voice of God. THOSE WHO WHOLLY FOLLOW THE LORD HEAR GOD SPEAK TO THEM.
II. Those who wholly follow the Lord speak from a true heart.
7 Forty years old was I when Moses the servant of the LORD sent me from Kadeshbarnea to espy out the land; and I brought him word again as it was in mine heart.
exp. There was an integrity about Caleb in what he had to say for God. His heart had been stirred to faith in God by what He saw in Canaan.
ill. The building for our church in NYC was a fish market next to a nightclub. I imagine that some of those who viewed the property with Pastor Barker were skeptical about the property.
There would be no way to meet in it immediately. They would have church in a tent for a year and a half while they worked on the building.
I imagine there would be a residual smell. (The lobster tanks had to be filled it.)
We had SS in a damp, cement and block room, with gravel around, girders overhead and trouble lights hanging from the ceiling.
Now the church is completed and the building is beautiful (inside and outside)- God has closed the nightclub
exp. Pastor Barker looked at that building with a heart for God and an eye of faith.
app. Is your heart in what God has called you to do for Him?
Act 13:22 And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will.
THOSE WHO FOLLO THE LORD SPEAK FROM A TRUE HEART.
III.Those who wholly follow the Lord follow Him when no one else does.
8 Nevertheless my brethren that went up with me made the heart of the people melt: but I wholly followed the LORD my God.
song: I Have Decided to Follow Jesus "Though no one join me, still I will follow, though no one join me, still I will follow, though no one joine me, still I will follow, NO TURNING BACK! NO TURNING BACK!"
Ill. C. H. Spurgeon took a stand against the liberalism in the Baptist Union. He had to leave that association which he loved. He was despised and maligned BUT HE NEVER BACKED DOWN FROM FOLLOWING THE LORD.
F. B. Meyer "The spies compared the Canaanites with themselves, instead of with Almighty God. Do not look at God through circumstances, but at circumstances through God. There is no land woth possessing which has not its giants; But, like Caleb, faith looks not at giants, but to the living God. The doubters said, "Can God?" Caleb affirmed, "God can!"
App. Who are you looking at - those who have seen the giants and quit - OR THOSE WHO SEE THEIR GOD AND MOVE FORWARD? Those who follow the Lord follow him when no one else does.
IV. Those who wholly follow the Lord don't let time dull God's promises.
9 And Moses sware on that day, saying, Surely the land whereon thy feet have trodden shall be thine inheritance, and thy children's for ever, because thou hast wholly followed the LORD my God.
Exp. Caleb had a clear promise from God that guaranteed he would receive what God had promised. But, 45 years have passed.
question: Do you believe God when He puts TIME in between the promise and the receiving of the promise?
ill. Abraham - I am going to make you a mighty nation. All nations are going to be blessed through your lineage. AND THEN YEARS, AND MORE YEARS, AND MORE YEARS GO BY.
ill. God promised a messiah. Israel waited for that promise for years and at some point some probably said.... he is not coming.
Gal 4:4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
exp. God's promises are good and will be fulfilled in HIS PERFECT TIME.
app. Has God given you a promise that you have not yet seen fulfilled? Do you believe that promise is as good today as the day that He gave it to you?
THOSE WHO WHOLLY FOLLOW THE LORD DON'T LET TIME DULL THE PROMISES OF GOD.
V. Those who wholly follow the Lord are aware of the providence of God.
10 And now, behold, the LORD hath kept me alive, as he said, these forty and five years, even since the LORD spake this word unto Moses, while the children of Israel wandered in the wilderness: and now, lo, I am this day fourscore and five years old.
11 As yet I am as strong this day as I was in the day that Moses sent me: as my strength was then, even so is my strength now, for war, both to go out, and to come in.
exp. Everyone else had died who was over 20 years old (the age to join their military) but not Caleb. He and Joshua were the oldest living men of the children of Israel.GOD HAD PROVIDENTIALLY KEPT HIM ALIVE. He is as strong at 85 as he was at 40. He felt as fit for battle to go out and come in as he did when he had spied out the land. GOD HAD PROVIDENTIALLY KEPT HIM FIT SO THAT HE COULD NOT JUST GET THE LAND but conquer the land.
ill. Adonirum and Anne Judson had gone to India. But they were unwanted there as their message would hurt the prophets of the East India Company. They instead end up settling in Burma. JUDSON TRANSLATED THE BIBLE INTO BURMESE - the translation is still being used today.
exp. Surely Judson in his later years could look back on the providence of God that brought him to modern day Myanmar.
app. THOSE WHO WHOLLY FOLLOW THE LORD WILL SEE THE PROVIDENTIAL HAND OF GOD AT WORK IN THEIR LIVES.
VI. Those who wholly follow the Lord are not afraid to go into enemy teritory.
12 Now therefore give me this mountain, whereof the LORD spake in that day; for thou heardest in that day how the Anakims were there, and that the cities were great and fenced:
exp. He's asking the captain of God's people to give him permission to take the army of Judah into battle for this land which God has promised. Some young men perhaps ought to have gotten to the captain before this old guy - but Caleb is volunteering to go oust some of the enemies of God from the land of promise.
ill. I preached a message on revival at a larger church in the USA. In that church was an elderly former pastor of that church who is still faithfully serving the Lord. When the invitation was given that old preacher walked up and got on his knees. A couple hundred other younger people in that room should have gone into battle - BUT THIS OLD SOLDIER OF THE LORD WAS STILL WILLING TO TAKE SOME GROUND FOR GOD.
app. What is keeping you from fighting for the Lord? The old guys are falling off of the scene and it is time for some younger men to step up and fight for the Lord.
THOSE WHO WHOLLY FOLLOW THE LORD ARE NOT AFRAID TO GO INTO ENEMY TERITORY.
VII. Those who wholly follow the Lord know that God's presence guarantees victory.
if so be the LORD will be with me, then I shall be able to drive them out, as the LORD said.
13 And Joshua blessed him, and gave unto Caleb the son of Jephunneh Hebron for an inheritance.
14 Hebron therefore became the inheritance of Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenezite unto this day, because that he wholly followed the LORD God of Israel.
15 And the name of Hebron before was Kirjatharba; which Arba was a great man among the Anakims. And the land had rest from war.
exp. Arba WAS a great man until He met the man of God, Caleb, who was fighting WITH the Lord on His side. "If so be the Lord will be with me, then I shall be able to drive them out, as the Lord said."
ill. David's words to Goliath....
1Sa 17:45 Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.
app. We aren't in this work by ourselves this morning. 1Co 3:9 For we are labourers together with God: Rom 8:31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
Caleb wholly followed the Lord. Are you? There are plenty of mountains to take for the Lord Jesus Christ, but ONLY THOSE WHO WHOLLY FOLLOW GOD WILL TAKE THEM.
1.) Has God spoken to you? Do you remember what He said?
2.) Do you speak from a true heart from God?
3.) Are you willing to follow Him even if no one else does?
4.) Do God's promises dull over time or are they as bright as the day He gave them?
5.) Have you seen the providence of God in your life?
6.) Are afraid of the enemy of God?
7.) Are you willing to go anywhere as long as God goes with you? (His presence guarantees victory.)