July 12, 2017

Isaiah 26:3 (NLT) — 3 You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!

Have you ever gone through a dry time? A time when the heavens seemed to be made out of brass so that no prayers could get through? A time when you just didn’t sense the presence of the Lord? A time when nothing seemed to be going right? A time when you would read your bible but you weren’t getting anything out of it? A time when blessings were as scarce as a 90 degree day in January in Minnesota? A time when you felt like you were spinning your wheels spiritually and all you were doing was kicking up trouble?

Caleb was in that position for about 45 years. Listen to what he had to say:

Joshua 14:6-14 Caleb said to Joshua, “Remember what the LORD said to Moses, the man of God, about you and me when we were at Kadesh-barnea. 7 I was forty years old when Moses, the servant of the LORD, sent me from Kadesh-barnea to explore the land of Canaan. I returned and gave an honest report, 8 but my brothers who went with me frightened the people from entering the Promised Land. For my part, I wholeheartedly followed the LORD my God. 9 So that day Moses solemnly promised me, ‘The land of Canaan on which you were just walking will be your grant of land and that of your descendants forever, because you wholeheartedly followed the LORD my God.’
10 “Now, as you can see, the LORD has kept me alive and well as he promised for all these forty-five years since Moses made this promise—even while Israel wandered in the wilderness. Today I am eighty-five years old. 11 I am as strong now as I was when Moses sent me on that journey, and I can still travel and fight as well as I could then. 12 So give me the hill country that the LORD promised me. You will remember that as scouts we found the descendants of Anak living there in great, walled towns. But if the LORD is with me, I will drive them out of the land, just as the LORD said.”
13 So Joshua blessed Caleb son of Jephunneh and gave Hebron to him as his portion of land. 14 …because he wholeheartedly followed the LORD, the God of Israel.

Because some of the people didn’t believe that God would defeat the giants in the promised land everybody had to wander in the wilderness for 40 years including Caleb even though he believed that God would defeat the giants. So for 40 years Caleb experienced a dry time. However when the dry time was over we find that Caleb never lost his faith in God and consequently he never lost his peace. He said that 45 years later he was just as strong as he was when he was young because  he wholeheartedly followed the Lord.

In other words even though he was walking through a dry time he still obeyed the Lord. He was still kind, still forgiving, still loving, he still put others first, and he did it all without grumbling or complaining; in other words he did what he knew to do even though his circumstances didn’t change. He had peace that eventually God would come through for him. He didn’t go backwards spiritually. I believe he was stronger spiritually at 85 than he was 40.

Can you be like Caleb when God seems to be absent? Can you keep living as you ought to? Can you keep obeying the word and holding on to God’s promises even though it seems like an answer will never come? The key to maintaining the peace of Jesus is to be like Caleb and wholeheartedly follow the Lord; maintaining your joy even when frowning would be much easier. Caleb was content to wait for God’s timing.

Peace isn’t genuine peace unless it is tested. Dry times test it. Somebody once told me that you will have no testimony without a test. If someone is wondering if the peace of Jesus is truly genuine they need to see it survive through a tough time. Will you show them? Will you be a Caleb? Will you be content to wait for God’s timing?  Hey you probably won’t have 40 years of dryness:) And you will be stronger and even more at rest!

Be Inspired Hilltop!