Followed The Lord
Every now and then someone touches our lives and we wonder,
“What is your secret?”
Let us consider the circumstances of this man: Both his kidneys
were loaded with stones, and his physical body had broken
down. Fifteen years before, they had given him up for dead.
Along with his medical profession, he served as a minister.
He had desired to go to Africa as a medical missionary, but
his health had prevented the fulfillment of that dream. In
spite of this, his testimony was unshakable. He said, “All
my lifetime, I have never permitted myself to get stuck, settled
and grinding away somewhere.”
This is the secret. Never allow yourself to get stuck.
It was a great moment when Abram turned to his nephew Lot,
and said, “If you go to the left, I will go to the right.
If you go to the right, I will go to the left.” Lot
looked upon all the well-watered plain of the Jordan, and
the revealing Word is this: “Lot chose for himself.”
Back in Ur of Chaldee, Abram had settled it - to look for
a city that has a foundation, whose maker and builder is God.
Abram made it the secret of his life to never get stuck or
It was a great moment when Moses lifted his rod at the banks
of the Red Sea. Joseph had told them, “God will visit
you and you will pack up my bones and take them out of this
place. This is not the place to settle down.” He wanted
to be in the Promised Land. He wanted everything that God
promised in that covenant relationship.
They could have taken a shorter route, one that would have
gotten them there sooner, but God took them through that great
and terrible wilderness to make them know that “man
does not live by bread alone – but by every Word that
proceeds out the mouth of God.” So it was a great moment
when they raised their Ebenezer and cried, “Hitherto
has the Lord helped us.” They took twelve stones and
set them up as an eternal memorial.
We also must be careful that we do not spend our lives at
Pisgah, simply viewing the land. We can get excited over it,
and end up with nothing, stuck in our circumstances. “I
have made it the secret of my life never to get bogged down,
never to get stuck.”
Now, Moses has passed off the scene, and Joshua is the leader
of the nation. In the division of the land, the tribe of Judah
came, along with Caleb, who was now 85 years old. Turning
to Joshua he said, “Do you remember what the Lord said
to Moses at Kadesh Barnea concerning us? I have come now to
stake my claim.” (Joshua 14:6)
Kadesh Barnea had been a critical moment of faith, or of
unbelief. Do you remember what God said to you? There is the
power of memory. Jesus said, “You will remember in that
day, what I said to you.” It was a seed, the incorruptible
Word of God that abides forever – that by which He created
the world. He holds all things by the Word of His power.
The tribe of Judah embodied royalty, kingship. It was the
tribe from which the King-Priest came. “We are a chosen
generation, and a royal priesthood, and a holy nation. That
we should set forth the attributes of Him who has called us.”
Set them forth, and demonstrate them. You do this when you
stake your claim.
It makes little difference how it comes. God is more concerned
with substance than with the phenomenon. We can get all wrapped
up in the phenomena, but it is the Word, that living substance
that God puts in the heart, that is the creative basis and
foundation for appropriating faith; that lays hold of all
of the covenant relationship in Christ.
There are tests that will come. Caleb went out with a word
and came back with a further word. Do you believe you heard
from God? The Word is enough. Stake your claim. Do not get
stuck. We can be sure of His Word.
Caleb did not get stuck in the wilderness. He was simply
following the Word of the Lord. “Let us therefore go
without the camp unto Him.” The basic translation of
that word “camp” in Hebrew means little tents.
As significant as they may be, leave them. You may say like
Peter, when he said, “This is a good place for us to
stay. Let us build three tabernacles.” But there is
a devil at the bottom of the hill, and a demonic child and
a broken-hearted father. You go without the camp. It is not
the place, but the Word of the living God.
I’ve made it the secret of my life, never to get stuck,
Caleb, what were you doing all those years of wandering in
the wilderness? “I was wholly following the Lord. It
may not have appeared like that to a great mass of people,
but for forty years, I was following the Lord.” He was
bringing back to God that Word that He had put in his heart
over forty years ago. “My brethren that went up with
me made the heart of the people melt; but I wholly followed
the Lord my God” (Joshua 14:8).
You can bring to God all of the endowments and gifts, but
without faith it is impossible to please Him. He does not
ask for a great quantity, but for a quality of faith. If you
have faith the size of a grain of mustard seed it is more
A former pastor and spiritual mentor taught me to receive
my inspiration from the Word, rather than from the people.
This is the secret to our being able to wander with a people
that are just wandering, groping, but having no settled purpose.
It is all around us; it is everywhere. But we can wholly follow
the Lord. Once we fall into the hands of Jesus, He begins
to fashion us. He makes us into the vessel that He desires
us to be, for His purpose.
Life goes on, seasons change, but never get bogged down.
Drive in your stake. Lay your claim. Get to that point where
God has spoken to you, and cry out with great persuasion,
“Give me this mountain.” Our sufficiency is of
God, not of ourselves. We have this treasure in earthen vessels,
and the excellency of the power is of God, not of us.
Caleb never lost sight of the purpose and plan of God, even
through all the wanderings. There is victory for each of us,
in all of life’s situations. We can make straight paths
for our feet as we follow the Lord.
I’ve made it the secret of my life never to get stuck
– but to wholly follow the Lord.