What made Caleb stand out?
Three times in the story it speaks of the fact that he wholeheartedly followed the Lord. In other words, he was a person of integrity. The word integrity comes from the root word that provides us the mathematical term “integer.” An integer is a whole number. Thus, integrity has to do with wholeness. On the dry erase board of our youth room, someone has written the question, “Is Christ a part of your life? Or is Christ your life?” That question suggests the importance of wholeness in the disciple’s walk with God. Caleb didn’t have his life compartmentalized like many people, allocating buckets for family, work, recreation, and religion. He had one bucket, and everything in that bucket was 100% devoted to God.
You may have smiled when you read in the passage Caleb’s bold assertion that at the age of 85 he was every bit the man he was at age 40. I turned 49 last month and wouldn’t dare say that I am all that I was when I was 40! Caleb exhibited a great deal of confidence, but you’ll notice that his confidence was not self confidence, it was God confidence. Even at 85 he recognized that God was not finished with his life and he had more to contribute. He wasn’t ready to pass the torch to the next generation. He wanted to live in the fullness of the moment, knowing that God would provide strength for each step he would take.
There’s one more characteristic from Caleb’s life that I’ll address tomorrow. In the meantime, think about what following the Lord wholeheartedly might look like in your life today. Is Christ your life? Or is he a just part of your life? Even if Christ is the biggest part of your life, its not enough.