Why Ask For The Difficult

Two paths stand before you.  You have to make a decision.  You can take the one on the right which seems to be easier.  You can take the path on the left where you see a more difficult road ahead.  Which one do you take?

I know that I am prone to choose the easier path.  I know that life is marathon and not a sprint.  You have to pace yourself for the race of life.  Why would anyone choose to take the path that holds more obstacles?  That is my natural instinct.  My natural instinct is not always right though.

In Joshua 14:12, Caleb can be seen doing the unthinkable.  He chooses the place that everyone else turned away from.  Caleb was one of (if not the) oldest person in the nation of Israel at this time.  He had been faithful to the Lord's leading.  At the age of 85, Caleb asks for the hill country as his inheritance of the Promised Land.  This is where the giants (Anakim) and fortified cities were.

What would cause Caleb to choose that land?

  1. He saw the vision of God (Joshua 14:7-8).  Caleb had been one of the 12 spies sent to scout the Promised land 45 years prior to his asking for this land.  He saw with his own eyes what God had in mind.  He was filled with excitement at what God was going to do.  Would it be easy?  Probably not, but the LORD was with them.

  2. He trusted the word of God (Joshua 14:9).  Caleb had been told through God's chosen spokesman that this land that he had put his feet on was to be his.  God had said that the land would be Caleb's.  It didn't matter what was in the land prior.  Caleb knew that God's word could be trusted even when it seemed difficult.

  3. He remembered the prior works of God (Joshua 14:10-11).  Caleb realized that God had been working in his life in a mighty way up to this point.  God had kept him alive when the rest of his generation (except Joshua) had died off because of unbelief.  God had not only kept him alive, but Caleb's strength had not waned.  God had a plan for Caleb's life, and it wasn't over yet.

  4. He knew that this would bring the most glory to God.  While other tribes of Israel were taking the easy and nice lands, Caleb saw unfinished business.  He knew that the Lord was still working in this area.  He knew that while the easy path would bring some glory to God, the difficult areas would bring more glory to God because as people noticed what happened they would acknowledge that it was all the Lord's doing.

We can bring different amounts of glory to God.  We can bring Him the average amount with the things that we do, or we can bring the boatloads by allowing Him to shine even more through our lives.  I pray, as God's ambassadors in this world, that we will not shy away from the difficult paths.  It is on these paths that we find God doing some of His greatest works.


Christy said...

I strive to do all of those things, but number three is the thing that keeps me going!

Anthony said...

That's good to hear, Christy. This was a message I shared with our fellowship this past Wednesday.

thebridgechicago said...

A very encouraging post to keep up the good fight!

-Tasha, The Bridge Chicago