Joshua 14:11 – 12, “11 As yet I am as strong this day as on the day that Moses sent me; just as my strength was then, so now is my strength for war, both for going out and for coming in. 12 Now therefore, give me this mountain of which the Lord spoke in that day; for you heard in that day how the Anakim were there, and that the cities were great and fortified. It may be that the Lord will be with me, and I shall be able to drive them out as the Lord said”
We live in a day and age whereby one will work and work for somewhere between fifty five to sixty five plus years and then move into retirement. The thinking is that after giving the best years to work; now, one can sit back and enjoy the fruit of those labors. However, when does one “retire” from serving the Lord? Is there an age that one should say, “Well Lord I have put my time in these many years, and now I will rest from ministry?” When Moses sent out the spies to spy out the Land, Caleb was a much younger man at the time, with much strength and vigor.
At Kadesh Barnea Caleb was 40 years old and the Israelites had wandered in the wilderness for thirty eight years, then the conquering of the Land took seven years (ca. 1405–1398 b.c.). In the above Scripture Caleb is now eighty five years old, and says, “Now therefore, give me this mountain of which the Lord spoke in that day…” Did Caleb retire from moving forward, did he hang up his ministry belt, did he sit back and decide to rest at this point, NO! He was determined, at eighty five years old to move forward in all that God had for him. However, sadly in this day and age I see many older folks in churches sit back reflecting on the former years, yet failing to create new memories and continuing to minister unto the Lord, and serve people now. Paul writes, “1 But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine: 2 that the older men be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience; the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things— 4 that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed. 6 Likewise, exhort the young men to be sober-minded, 7 in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility, 8 sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you. 9 Exhort bondservants to be obedient to their own masters, to be well pleasing in all things, not answering back, 10 not pilfering (thieving), but showing all good fidelity (honesty) , that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things” (Titus 2:1 – 10).” According to Paul, and in light of Caleb, when one becomes older, it is not time to just rest, because it is only in this time of ones’ life that one is able to pass on certain things, impart certain things, train the younger in specific things that one would not have been able to because the wisdom and experience for the most part, would not have been present to impart. Perhaps one of my most favorite testimonies about an older man serving the Lord is called “I got off at George Street.” Click here and listen soberly to the eight minute testimony-. WOW, wasn’t that an incredible testimony? This man was willing to do in his condition, what many are not willing to do in their “healthy” condition. Perhaps that is why Samuel said that “…The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart (1Samuel 16:6),” speaking of young David.
David wrote the famous Psalm 23 in his golden years, not as a shepherd boy in the field. After he slayed Goliath, was on the run from Saul, committed adultery, made a leader over all the downtrodden and destitute in Israel, took a census, and was betrayed by Absolom, etc…then and only then did he pen the famous Psalm. Caleb was ready still to take land, “So Moses swore on that day, saying,‘Surely the landwhere your foot has trodden shallbe your inheritance and your children’s forever, because you have wholly followed the Lord my God”. Wow, this blesses my heart abundantly to hear this great news that Caleb was such a great example to follow as he WHOLLY followed his God, and would leave inheritance to his children as God’s blessing upon him. His servant hood into his older age was blessed by the Lord. The older ones mustwholly follow the Lord, and not just in the younger years of their lives, and must disciple the younger ones or else how will they grow, asthe Great Commission has no expiration date on it. Pass this one to those in your church that are perhaps in this era of life, and have the retirement mentality, and encourage them that there is still much work to be done, and they are needed for such a time as this.
Are you looking to retire or TAKE THE LAND in your older years? Blessings, until the nets are filled….Phillip the Evangelist <><