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Author Biography: Dr. Charles Stanley is senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia. He is the author of numerous books, including The Blessings of Brokenness and other titles in the popular A Touch of His . . . devotional series. His popular radioand TV program In Touch is heard and seen worldwide.
Tackling the strife in our lives is such a wearisome task that we often take the easier route of retreat and escape. We grow weary of fighting giants.
At times like this we can find inspiration by reading the story of Caleb, who at an advanced age was still eager to confront imposing obstacles. At the young and robust age of forty, Caleb had been chosen by Moses to be one of twelve spies to check out Canaan. You know the story. Only Caleb and Joshua reported back with a victor's perspective.
Forty-five years later, Caleb was finally in the Promised Land, and he still had plenty of spunk. As Joshua divided the land to the Hebrew tribes, Caleb already knew what he wanted. "Now give me this hill country that the LORD promised me that day. You yourself heard then that the Anakites [giants] were there and their cities were large and fortified, but, the LORD helping me, I will drive them out just as he said" (Joshua 14: 12).
Caleb had spent over forty years in the hot, dry wilderness. He had spent several years fighting alongside Joshua in Canaan. Wasn't that enough arduous times for a man his age? Why not settle down in a broad valley and take it easy? Instead, Caleb was ready for more conquests, even if it meant taking rugged terrain occupied by fierce, gigantic enemies.
Caleb obviously was gifted with robust physical strength from the Lord, but his real secret was in his heart. Caleb "followed the LORD wholeheartedly" (14: 8, 14). When our hearts are set on following hard after Christ, we can overcome personal weak-nesses and difficult circumstances.
That means looking at our odds through the eyes of faith. Caleb saw the power of God, not the size of his adversary. Giants are big. Anger is huge. Greed is enormous. Pride is gargantuan. These things are more powerful than we are, but God is greater still. God slays the giants that inhabit our spiritual landscape; if we keep looking to him and not ourselves, we can win by his strength. As Jehoshaphat cried out when he was surrounded by invading armies, "We have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you" (2 Chronicles 20: 12).
If you are flagging or failing in your battles against great odds, you can find the strength you need by looking to the great power of God. The heart fully devoted to Christ trusts fully in him. "For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him"
(2 Chronicles 16: 9).
Father, right now, I give to you _______. Forgive me for holding on to it and trying to tackle it in my own strength. I give it to you, and I trust you for the outcome.