Derek finishes his teaching today by looking at Caleb’s reward—the mountain Moses gave him forty years prior. After entering the land, Caleb still had to conquer some giants to possess that mountain, but he succeeded and made his home there. He wholly followed the Lord. Are you, like Paul, striving to follow the Lord—to know what is the mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory?
Let’s just look in closing Caleb’s reward. I want to warn you that I am like Paul. When he is writing an epistle in chapter 3 he says, “Finally brethren...” and then he goes on for two more chapters. So this is closing but it may be a long drawn-out process. Joshua 14:6–13—we’ve read this before but we will read it again.
“Then the children of Judah came to Joshua in Gilgal And Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite said to him: ‘You know the word which the Lord said to Moses the man of God concerning you and me in Kadesh Barnea.’ I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the Lord sent me from Kadesh Barnea to spy out the land, and brought back word to him as it was in my heart. Nevertheless my brethren who went up with me made the heart of the people melt, but I wholly followed the Lord my God. So Moses swore on that day, saying, ‘Surely the land where your foot has trodden shall be your inheritance and your children’s forever, because you have wholly followed the Lord my God. [These are wonderful words. There is something going up and down my spine as I read this.] ‘And now, behold, the Lord has kept me alive these forty-five years, ever since the Lord spoke this word to Moses while Israel wandered in the wilderness; and now, here I am this day, eighty-five years old.’ 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 [not just for peaceful occupations but for war at eighty-five.] both for going out and for coming in. [That’s so wonderful. He didn’t just have the strength to go out, he has the strength to come in again.] Now therefore, [listen] 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 [I like that—he wasn’t arrogant. He said it may be, I’ll take the risk, but I want it.] I may be that the Lord will be with me, and I shall be able to drive them out as the Lord said, and Joshua blessed him, and gave Hebron to Caleb the son of Jephunneh as an inheritance. Hebron therefore became the inheritance of Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite to this day [which is today] because he wholly followed the Lord God of Israel.”
What did he do? He wholly followed the Lord. What is the Christian life? Wholly following the Lord.
Now, I just want to make this personal at the close. If the Lord were to say to you, “What shall I do for you?” And you were to say, “Give me this mountain.” What mountain would you have in mind? What is your ambition. Every one of you has some kind of ambition. To be married, have a family, raise children? To be an evangelist and preach to thousands? To pastor the largest church in the world? To own a Mercedes and a swimming pool? What is your ambition?
Now, if we go back to our text, Hosea 6:3, “Then shall we know if we follow on to know the Lord...” Brothers and sisters, that is my ambition. I’ve come to see that success in the terms of the world is a very transient thing. Real success is knowing the Lord. Now you say, “Of, course I know the Lord. I’m saved.” Paul was saved too, you’ll admit that. But he said, “Nevertheless, I follow on that I may hold of that for which God laid hold of me, that I may know Him, the power of His resurrection... the fellowship of His suffering.” So Paul after he had been an apostle and a church-planter for many years, his ambition was, “That I may know Him.”
I want to close with two passages from Colossians: 1:25–27:
“of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God which was given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God, the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints. To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: [that’s tremendous language—‘the riches of the glory of this mystery’—God wants to reveal it to us.] which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
You see, before I was a believer years ago, I was a professional philosopher. And if you talked to me in those days about knowing the mystery it would have had to be expressed in pages like the philosopher Immanuel Kant who read one sentence that lasted for more than two pages without a period. But Paul says in three words, “Christ in you.” That’s the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now is revealed to His saints.
And then in Colossians 3:11, speaking about being in Christ it says,
“where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.”
That’s the ultimate. Christ in you, Christ is all.
Now I want to relate in closing something that happened in my life. I was in Auckland in New Zealand, and I say this carefully. I don’t know if I can convey this, because there are some things the Lord says, you know what He said, but they are not put in words. But this is what I want to challenge you with. It came to me those words, “Christ is all.” I said to myself, “Can I say that? Can I say that if I have Christ, I have all? I need nothing more? Nothing else is important?” And then it occurred to me about the Charismatic movement and I am an old time Charismatic, probably too old. I though to myself, “All the books that get published,” and I have published forty books. All the books on how to do this, how to be a father, how to be a pastor, how to make money, how to get healed, how to... And I got this mental vision that we’ve got so much “how to” we’ve missed the real point which is “Christ in you, Christ is all, Christ is all.”
Do you have a desire in your heart to come to that place where you can say, “Christ is all.” I’m tired of the gimmicks. I’m tired of the sermons. I’m tired of all the programs. “Jesus, it’s You I want. It’s You I want. I think I’ve lost the scent. I’ve missed You somewhere in the crowd. I’m going around sniffing here and there. Jesus it’s only You, only You. Christ is all.” Can you really even comprehend that? If you have Christ, you need nothing more. He is all. Christ in you, Christ is all.
Now, I want to challenge you or help you. But I want to say some of you here are like a dog that has lost it’s master. You are running around sniffing here and there, but you’re not satisfied. I would like to give you an opportunity to make a decision. Say, “Jesus, I’m coming back. It’s You I want. Only You can satisfy me. Nothing else in life is worth anything without You.”
If you’ve sinned, tell the Lord. Say, “Lord, I’m sorry I have sinned.” The Lord respects honesty. Tell it like it is. You don’t have to tell anybody else. If you’ve been engaged in immorality or pornography or some dirty kind of business, just tell God. He knows already. “Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Lord Jesus send Your Holy Spirit upon these who need You so much, so desperately.”
If it pleases you just say this, “Lord, have mercy on me the sinner.” Can you say that? “Lord, have mercy on me the sinner.” That doesn’t mean you are not a Christian, but sin is sin whether it is committed by a Christian or an unbeliever.