In the Strength of Caleb

Only unbelief and compromise are able to deconstruct the effectiveness and longevity of our calling.

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In our home, there is a phrase Jan repeats to me whenever I am feeling my natural age. She says, “You are moving forward in the strength of Caleb!” In other words, the occasional moans and groans of an aging body do not define a person’s spiritual strength or status in God’s Kingdom. Advancing age is not a place to park our faith.

Over the years, I have noticed a lack of understanding in the Church about the aging process. We don’t understand what true strength is and how it is developed. It takes time and commitment. Our culture tells us the best things in life come quickly and youth is the only measure of vitality. Youthfulness is continually advertised as the goal and something to be preserved at all costs.

When it came time to divide the newly conquered Promised Land, Caleb came to Joshua and reminded him of the promise Moses made to Caleb about the land that would become his inheritance.  After reminding Joshua of the promise, Caleb said, “My fellow Israelites who went up with me made the hearts of the people melt in fear. I, however, followed the Lord my God wholeheartedly” (Joshua 14:8). What empowered and strengthened Caleb in his youth would also empower and strengthen him in his later years – a fearless faith and a wholehearted service to God. Age cannot diminish those two foundational elements of a life lived in the Spirit. Only unbelief and compromise are able to deconstruct the effectiveness and longevity of our calling.

Caleb then said, “So here I am today, eighty-five years old! I 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. (vs. 10-11).

Our life of faith was never issued with a shelf life. My life in God’s Kingdom is stronger and more informed today than at any time in my life. The same can be true for any of us if we keep our faith alive and our focus wholeheartedly on the Lord. It is a sad thing to see a believer who has been led to believe they are a weakened asset in God’s Kingdom based solely on their natural age, not their spiritual qualifications.

If you have succumbed to such a lie no matter what your age, repent and reengage your calling. On the other hand, if you are perpetuating that lie by adopting a way of thinking that has no place for a seasoned saint in your life or ministry, you also need to repent. At the intersection of that repentance will come the release of the kind of wisdom and potential that only comes when we discern Kingdom effectiveness with the eyes of the Spirit, not the false advertising of the surrounding culture.


This is an updated edition of a post originally published on Garris Elkins

Featured Image by Наталья Коллегова from Pixabay

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About the Author

Garris Elkins is a Kingdom Winds Contributor. He and his wife, Jan, serve the global Church through writing, speaking, and mentoring. They live in southern Oregon, tucked away in the foothills of the Rogue Valley. Their shared desire is to have each person learn how to hear the heart of God and become a transforming voice in their culture.

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