If your spiritual life seems like an uphill climb then let Caleb serve as a model for your ascent.
When Caleb was 85 years old he made this declaration to Joshua:
10“Now then, just as the LORD promised, he has kept me alive for forty-five years since the time he said this to Moses, while Israel moved about in the desert. So here I am today, eighty-five years old! 11I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I’m just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then. 12Now give me this hill country that the LORD promised me that day. You yourself heard then that the Anakites were there and their cities were large and fortified, but, the LORD helping me, I will drive them out just as he said.” (Joshua 14:10-12)
Caleb was confident that God could deliver on his promise. He was a witness when God parted the Red Sea and saw how God provided for his needs in the desert. He witnessed the collapse of walls of Jericho and the many victories that followed.
Caleb’s faith was consistent. We learn in Numbers that when 10 of the spies that were sent into Canaan voted to stay out of the Promised Land out of fear, Caleb stood with Joshua and gave the minority opinion. They boldly declared that God was greater than the armies and fortified cities. They were right.
Forty-five years later Caleb chooses the difficult hill country inhabited by giants.
Like Caleb we should choose the difficult challenges to increase our faith. How many mature and dedicated teachers choose to teach Sunday school in a clean suburban church rather than help start a new church? How many struggling churches do they drive past on Sunday morning? How many seminary students crowd into mega churches rather than go where they are needed? How many seminary graduates are without a church because they won’t start a new church or preach for free at one whose doors may soon close?
Be like Caleb. Choose the hill country. God will lead the way and conquer your enemies and increase your faith.