A couple of weeks ago, I had the honor of speaking to our senior saints at their Adults Alive Luncheon. They were so much fun! Yet, I HAVE to share with you where and when the fun … began. As our sound man was prepping me with a wireless mic (I use my hands when I talk and I am afraid I will throw the mic at someone), he was having trouble getting the over-the-ear mic to fit properly. It kept falling forward, due to it being too large for my ear. So after bending and crimping it (sorry Pastor, hope it still fit on Sunday) he had this BRIGHT idea and ran off, he came back with, yes – scotch tape! He taped the wire running down my neck to my neck. By now I had the giggles and hardily thanked him for NOT using a stapler!
Soon, after a lovely introduction I took to the platform. Finding out the mic was not turned on, I graciously looked over to the gal who introduced me, (and without thinking) asked her, “Would you turn me on?” AS I lifted the back of my shirt exposing the battery pack. This gal is so quick with wit, she looked to the audience, smiling and said “I haven’t been asked THAT in a LONG time.” Yep, these folks are alert and awaiting a word on PASSION! God has such a wonderful sense of humor.
I spoke to them about Caleb, from the book of Numbers and Joshua. Caleb was one of the 12 that spied out The Promised Land with Joshua. The two reported back to Moses with a good report, while the others were discouraging and caused the people to fear. The LORD was so impressed with this good report, and the reporter, that He stated this about Caleb, “Because My servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows Me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it.” (Numbers 14:24)
Jumping ahead to Joshua 14, it has been 44 years, Caleb is now 85, and they do possess The Promised land. Caleb approaches Joshua (now in charge) for his land, reminding him of the promise God had made to him. His words are full of conviction and energy. “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.” The hill country Caleb was wanting still had some enemies to conquer, he continues saying this “… the LORD helping me, I will drive them out just as He said.” Caleb still has spunk! Joshua blessed Caleb and gave him Hebron as his inheritance, (latter part of verse 14) “…because he (Caleb) followed the LORD, the God of Israel, wholeheartedly.”
Four times it is said of Caleb, that ”… because he followed the LORD, wholeheartedly.” This wholeheartedly is a wonderful quality. In the Hebrew it is mala, literally meaning to fill, to be full, yet there is more… to satisfy. Quickly, we look at Exodus 40, Moses has just finished setting up the Tabernacle, (verses 34-35) “Then the cloud covered the Tent of Meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled (mala) the Tabernacle. Moses could not enter the Tent of Meeting because the cloud had settled upon it, and the glory of the LORD filled the Tabernacle.” (emphasis mine)
The Israelites had finished the work as God commanded, but it was not complete – wholly. It was God’s glory – His Presence that filled, that satisfied the Tabernacle, all the design, the articles awaited the Presence. So it was with Caleb, he filled his life with God. Filled, to the level of satisfaction, wholeheartedly.
What do we fill our lives with? What is it that satisfies us? What is that one desire that dominates all the other desires? May I use a trendy word? What is our PASSION? That deep gut burning’, call it. We can have longing, desire, and hunger for so many things, but is there something, someOne who holds our attention so strongly that we have extreme emotion expressed with enthusiasm over it/them?
May God be that focus. Just as a cup, a glass is designed to be filled, satisfied with contents. We too are designed to be a container for the presence of God. Practically speaking, once filled ~ Oh we share it! We pass it on. Psalm 107:9 “For He (the LORD) satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.” If you knit, knit wholeheartedly, if you garden, do so fully. Are you in the season that grandchildren fill you with pleasure, take your filling of God to your grandchildren and do so to the glory of God! Passion is an action word, it does not sit by motionless. Caleb at 85 was ready and willing to keep his satisfying passion rolling!
If asked of me, “What is your passion?” I would have to say, “That my love for God’s word be contagious to others, that they too would come to long for it, with that deep gut burning.”
I leave us with a quote from a dear pastor friend of mine, from his book Holy Passion, “Passion creates opportunities that desire only hopes will come it’s way. Passion builds a highway through mountains that desire just wishes others would construct. Desire waits for others to lead, while passion shows the way.” – Rev. Ben Peters, Chicago, IL.
Let’s pray …
Father we so seek Caleb qualities, to love and serve You wholeheartedly. May we too have a different spirit about us, seeing the good, sharing the report. Empower us to lead and construct the highways where others just sit and wait. Grant us the strength, insight and ability to share it with others. For YOU, may our deep gut burning, our passion, be contagious to those around us. In Your most sacred Name, Jesus. Amen.
Satisfying Passion. Following the LORD, wholeheartedly.
In Him, DeDe (Ps. 92:4 “You thrill me, LORD …”)