In the Old Testament, one of the more well-known accounts of history is the twelve spies of Israel (Num. 13-14). After spending 40 days spying out the land, it was only Joshua and Caleb that had confidence in the Lord (Num. 14:7-9). As a result, they were spared from God’s wrath (Num. 14:38), and the Scripture makes this statement concerning Caleb: “My servant Caleb… he has followed Me fully…” (Num. 14:24). This statement is made time and again about him (Num. 32:11-12; Deut. 1:36; Josh. 14:8-9, 14). Therefore, what does it mean to follow the Lord fully as Caleb did?
To follow Jesus all our life (Num. 14:8-12). Caleb followed the Lord in the wilderness and in land of Canaan 45 years later. Therefore, he was committed to the Lord in his youth and in his older age. Today, many do not follow the Lord all their life. Like Lot’s wife, they turn back (Gen. 19:26). Like the Galatians, they “turn away so soon from Him who called [us] in the grace of Christ…” (Gal. 1:6). Yet, the Lord desires that we serve Him in our youth (1 Timothy 4:12) and in our old age (Tit. 2:1-5).
To follow Jesus with our whole heart (Num. 14:24). Caleb is a role model for what Jesus called, “the greatest commandment” (Matt. 22:36-38). He served the Lord will all his heart (Josh. 14:8). He served the Lord with all his soul (Josh 14:11). He served the Lord with all his mind (Josh. 14:12). Therefore, Caleb “followed the Lord fully.” Today, many try to serve the Lord with divided hearts. Like Solomon, who was influenced by his foreign wives (1 Kings 11:4). Like those seeking to be friends with the world (Jm. 4:4). Yet, the Lord desires that serve Him with all our heart (Jn. 14:15) and with undivided affection (1 Jn. 2:15-17).
To follow Jesus despite the difficulties (Num. 13:33; 14:10-12). Caleb was willing to face the giants in the land (Num. 13:33). He was willing to face the wrath of his brethren, as they wanted to stone him (Num. 14:10). He was willing to take a mountain from the giants in his old age (Josh. 14:10-12). Today, many will serve the Lord only when it is convenient. When it is popular, like the crowds who followed Jesus. When it is safe, like Peter before he was confronted by the servant girl (Matt. 26:69-70). Yet, our Lord desires that we serve Him through ridicule, persecution, and dangers (Matt. 5:10-12).