Read Joshua 14
Focus on verse 12
Faith vs presumption
There is a philosophy that deems to be more prevailing in prosperous cultures, which suggests that our minds have the power to affect our destiny. Like all deceptive doctrines, there is a grain of truth embedded within this deception. It is true that how we think about ourselves and our world — our worldview, as it were — does affect how we act within that world, which can affect how successfully we navigate this life. Where this teaching becomes problematic, is when we push it into the realm of mysticism, essentially believing that if I can just believe strongly enough that something will come to pass, I can by my positive thinking (in the secular sense) or my faith (in the religious “name it and claim it” sense) is what makes it happen.
The converse of this is that if my desire is not fulfilled — I didn’t have enough faith, which all but removes God from the equation. In today’s reading. Caleb makes a statement that reflects a healthy balance of faith in his amazing God, without becoming presumptuous about what he expects God to do for him.
So now give me this hill country of which the Lord spoke on that day, for you heard on that day how the Anakim were there, with great fortified cities. It may be that the Lord will be with me, and I shall drive them out just as the Lord said.” (v. 12)
Caleb was a man of faith. He believed what the Lord had promised to him through Moses. He believed that God would help him overcome the giants and their fortified cities at Hebron, yet his statement is: “It may be that the Lord will be with me, and I shall drive them our just as the Lord said.” Notice that there is not a presumptuous tone in his statement that is so often present among the proponents of the “name it and claim it” prosperity gospel. Some who subscribe to the faith movement teaching might even chide Caleb for wording it this way.
Caleb moves ahead with confidence, but recognizes that the outcome is in the hands of the Lord, and that whatever the outcome will be – will be the Lord’s will – and therefore is amenable to him. This is what truth faith looks like — putting our lives entirely in the hands of God, trusting Him with the outcome.