But my brothers who went up with me made the heart of the people melt; yet I wholly followed the Lord my God.
The story of Caleb is a tale of tenacious, courageous faith. He trusted God with unwavering commitment even as all his contemporaries died from sinful lack of faith. He was 85 years of age when he entered Canaan with Israel. He fought alongside his sons and grandsons to see the inheritance come into fruition. He would not ever let his heart stray from following the Lord.
Four and a half decades earlier Caleb was in his prime, and he stood with Joshua before Moses urging the nation boldly to obey God and take the Promised Land. Even as ten other spies gave a bad, faithless, cowardly report that led the nation to reject God's gift, Caleb, along with Joshua, remained strong in faith. He wholly followed the Lord and it took nearly half a century for that faith to bear fruit. In the meantime he waited it out in the desert, planning for the day, knowing the portion of land he wanted to claim.
When the time came for Caleb to stake claim to his family's piece of the promise, he came to Joshua in brash faith. He asked for the hill country still fortified with cities filled with giants. He asked for the hardest task. Caleb would not waver in faith, and by the grace of God his strength for battle at 85 was as stable as his strength at 40, as he had already proven by his participation in the conquest thus far. Joshua blessed his friend Caleb by granting his request, and God blessed him by giving him the hill country fortresses of Hebron. Caleb's faith, fortitude, and bold requests were rewarded as the "Kiriath-Arba" (land of the giants) became his inheritance for his clan for all generations.
I have my own bold vision of taking "Kiriath-Arba" ahead of me for the next three years. I want to, if God wills it, see God do an amazing thing to complete a ministry vision... and though I have seen many bold things happen in ministry, this new request is for a thing I have never before experienced in ministry. And like Caleb, I believe it will only be known if my heart wholly follows the Lord. And so I take courage from an 85 year old fighter!