Wholly Trusting God's Promises

What Does It Look Like To Fully Follow The Lord And Trust His Promises?

Jermaine Arphul
Nov 5, 2023    46m
In this message of hope, we examine the question, "What does it look like to fully follow the Lord?". The story of Caleb from the Book of Joshua teaches us that when you trust in the promises of God, you can be content and wait on His timing. Video recorded at Grapevine, Texas.

messageRegarding Grammar:

This is a transcription of the sermon. People speak differently than they write, and there are common colloquialisms in this transcript that sound good when spoken, and look like bad grammar when written.

Jermaine Arphul: [00:00:00] Are you all right today, doing good? Great. And if you're not, it'll be great, too. You don't have to lie about it, it's fine.

Jermaine Arphul: [00:00:06] Hey, before we get into God's word, I do want to spend a little bit of time and reflection. I know sometimes on Sundays especially, the enemy loves to work and strike. And so I think it'd be cool before we get into God's word to just spend a moment in reflection, I'll kind of guide us through that because sometimes we get off to just a bad start in the day and we'll get some alone time. And what better place than to spend time alone with God than right here in his house? So let's spend a minute just doing that, so if you just want to be still, close your eyes, bow your heads, however you want to get into the presence of God, I'll guide us through that. Just starting with just thanking and honoring God for who he is, and just thinking through his faithfulness and what are you thankful for this morning? I also know that we might be overwhelmed this morning, and God's Word says to cast our cares unto him because he cares. So express your concerns with him, He's big enough to handle it. This could also be a space for a time of confession with him, maybe there's some sin, unconfessed sin that you want to confess to him as a way to just take the guilt off shame and maintain fellowship with him.

Jermaine Arphul: [00:02:22] God, we're thankful that you are the same yesterday, today, and forever. We're grateful that you are faithful, we're grateful for your faithfulness in our lives, and we honor you at this time as a result of that, and through worship and just listening to your word. And Lord, I know we live in a fallen and broken world and life can be overwhelming. And some of us may be in here right now, and we just barely got here, the weight of the world is on our shoulders, and I'm just praying this steadfast mind you will keep in perfect peace is what your word says, because we trust in you. And so I'm praying Shalom, Shalom over those that are feeling burdened or overwhelmed, knowing that we will lift up whatever concerns come to mind, and knowing and trusting that nothing is too hard for you to handle. You are also faithful and just to forgive and to purify us from all unrighteousness, so I'm praying that whatever sin was confessed, that you would do those things. Lord, would you move in this room? Spirit, move in us, convict us, guide us, and make us more like you today. Let us walk out of here being lifted up by you. It's in Jesus' name we pray. Amen. Thank you all.

Jermaine Arphul: [00:03:50] I am going to ask you guys a question. This is one of those where just keep it to yourself and answer it to yourself. My wife was in the 8 a.m. service and I told her, please don't answer this out loud because I know who will be directed towards. So don't look to your neighbor, okay? But the question is, has someone ever let you down? I saw some of y'all quickly look over. Has someone ever let you down? If you're breathing, I'm sure the answer is yes. If you've ever experienced any bit of life in this world, I'm sure the answer is a resounding yes. And unfortunately, I bet it hurts. It hurts to think about the times that you've been let down, especially when it's by someone that you really trust and that you have been relying heavily on. Maybe it's a family member, a sibling, it's just someone that you love really, really, a lot. And it's kind of like you just got a knife to your heart when you get let down by somebody, maybe just an unfulfilled word or something that happened. And it's just been really hard. And you've been feeling alone and disillusioned and even skeptical. I know for me, sometimes it's like, hey, man, I can't trust anybody. You know? Nobody's word is good to me. I can't even trust, you know, going through getting a fast-food order correctly, you know, going through, drive through, you just can't trust them, you know? So you get skeptical about that, and for some, you've been disappointed for so long that it's shaped your personality like you don't have a whole lot of joy anymore in life, you don't have a whole lot of peace because there's just been lack thereof, right, of those things and it's basically been based on repeated disappointment and let down in life. Maybe it's the church that has let you down, maybe you've experienced some church hurt, and maybe this is the first time for you to come into a church in a long time because you've been let down by somebody or a church. And it's really easy, right, to build up walls in your life and let those hurts and disappointments affect you. And actually, as a result, you've actually started to live in bondage because of that. Because you don't trust people, and because you've been let down by so much, and you just start living in these chains because of all the disappointment that you've experienced. And I just want to say, I think you will all agree, that the truth is, is that people will fail you, right? Like people will fail you. We live in a fallen and broken world, and this is a result of that as people just aren't good with their word and you experience things where just honestly, people are human, and you have to go through that.

Jermaine Arphul: [00:06:55] So what do you do when people let you down? What do you do when people let you down? Where do you turn to when you're dealing with disappointment? Well, I can tell you you're in the right place today. You come here, you get into God's word, and you turn to him, right, because God is not human, God is God. Right? So we go to him. As a matter of fact, when we read the Bible we can see all sorts of disappointment, the Bible is packed with heartache and pain, stories of pain. But if you look a little closer into God's Word, you'll see that there are stories of encouragement and that there are stories of promise, promises fulfilled.

Jermaine Arphul: [00:07:49] In the passage that we're going to look at, Joshua chapter 14, verses 6 through 14, that's a spot where we can see a story of promise, of God's promises being fulfilled, and we can be encouraged by that even in the midst of our pain and our heartache and our struggle and our adversity that we're going through. I'm really, really excited to take a closer look at Caleb as a person. So if you're just joining us, we've been in the book of Joshua, and we've been encouraged by all the good things that have been happening there. There's been some pain and some heartache along the way, lots of wars and plagues and things like that.

Jermaine Arphul: [00:08:27] We last left off in Joshua chapter 10, and quickly, I'll summarize the rest of Joshua 11 and 12, which basically is, hey there at the Promised Land, this land that had been promised when Moses was around, and there at the doorstep and in some cases have conquered some pieces of land. And so now they're at the point where they're kind of allotting these different pieces to the different tribes of Israel. And so Joshua 11 picks up where Joshua defeats local kings who rallied against him, and he conquers the land with the Israelites empowered by God. Joshua 12 is a cool chapter because it just kind of talks about all the things that have happened, and it says that Joshua defeated 31 kings, 31 kings, which means there are 31 instances of God's faithfulness that we see. In Joshua 13, we see that Joshua has grown old, but yet God says, hey, I got your back, I'm going to take care of all the land that you haven't conquered yet. But still, go ahead and reapportion the land to the rest of the tribes. We'll get into Joshua 14 a little bit. Joshua 15 through basically 20 is just the reallotment of the territories for all the rest of the tribes of Israel. So all the different tribes, Manasseh, and Ephraim, and the Levites, the priests, they all get these different allotments of land.

Jermaine Arphul: [00:10:05] But the coolest thing out of all that I want to show you, and I'll come back to this in a little bit, is Joshua chapter 21, verses 43 through 45, it says, "So the LORD gave Israel all the land which He had sworn to give to their fathers, and they took possession of it and lived in it. 44And the LORD gave them rest on every side, in accordance with everything that He had sworn to their fathers, and no one of all their enemies stood before them. The Lord gave all their enemies into their hand." This is my favorite verse, one of my favorite verses of the Bible, Not one of the good promises which the LORD had made to the house of Israel failed; everything came to pass." If you're dealing with disappointment, you've been disillusioned, you've been going through all kinds of different things, and you're just having a hard time trusting in people, maybe even God, you're in the right place, and we're going to look at the right passage because you're going to walk out of here lifted up. When we wholeheartedly trust in Jesus, when we wholeheartedly with everything that we have trust in Jesus, you'll see that God promises us a great inheritance. And not only do we get to look forward to that, not only do we get to have that as a present reality, we'll see that we should step into it boldly like Caleb. We should step into the promises of God, courageously through faith.

Jermaine Arphul: [00:11:44] Speaking of Caleb, let me give you a few things that we see about Caleb before we get into the specifics of Joshua 14 verses 6 through 15, we got to know who Caleb is. I know he's been mentioned once or twice before, but let's just go all the way back, you don't have to turn in your Bibles. I'll read a few things with you, but in Numbers chapter 13, verse 6, Joshua is a leader of Israel, he's one of the 12 spies that gets sent into the Promised Land to go and check things out, so he's a leader. In Numbers chapter 13, verse 30, it says that Joshua is bold. You can see his boldness by speaking up and saying, hey, listen, those big dudes that you guys are concerned about they are bread, they are toast. You know what I mean? Like Caleb's unafraid. I like to say Caleb is a dog. You know what I'm talking about, the athletes out there, you know what I'm talking about, he is a dog, literally, his name in Hebrew means dog.

Jermaine Arphul: [00:12:54] In Numbers 14:24, it says that he's a servant of the Lord, and his eyes are always fixed on him, on God. And he's taking God's perspective into things because of who God is. The people thought that the enemies, they were like grasshoppers in the sight of enemies, but God was like, no, they are grasshoppers in my eyes and Caleb saw that because he served the Lord. Caleb was built differently. Keep reading verse 24 of Numbers 14, and you'll see that he had a different spirit. Sometimes when we say that somebody is different, that's not necessarily a compliment, but it is here, Caleb was built different. And then over and over, you're going to see, if you just want to do a character study on Caleb, this is what is usually repeated after you see his name. In Numbers 32, verse 12, in Deuteronomy 1:36 we'll see it, 3 or 4 times here in this passage, we're going to take a look at. Caleb followed the Lord fully over and over, you see that. What an amazing thing to say about somebody. Like we don't know when Caleb died, he gets introduced to us when he was 40, and then we have all these other parts. But every time he's mentioned almost, it is that he followed the Lord God fully. The author wants us to know, that this is why Caleb is in here, because he wholeheartedly trusted in God, and he boldly stepped into his promises, into God's promises. That's Caleb.

Jermaine Arphul: [00:14:40] And I'll read through some of this, and then and then we'll kind of stop as we go along. So verse 6, "Then the sons of Judah drew near to Joshua in Gilgal, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite said to him, “You know the word which the LORD spoke to Moses." Caleb's like, man, I've been hanging on God's word, right? Like, we have problems hanging on the words of humans, but Caleb's like, man, I've been hanging on the word of God. And he says, “You know the word which the LORD spoke to Moses the man of God concerning you and me in Kadesh-Barnea. 7“I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the LORD sent me from Kadesh-barnea to spy out the land, and I brought word back to him as it was in my heart." So they're at this place now where Joshua is allotting land to people, and Caleb, the leader of Judah, steps up and reminds Joshua of all these things that happened years ago. In verse 8, “Nevertheless my brethren who went up with me made the heart of the people melt with fear." Remember, the other spies were like, oh, they're too big. And then, of course, that fear spread like wildfire, and now they've ended up getting in trouble, "But I followed the LORD my God fully." There it is, you're going to see inheritance, and the phrase because he followed the Lord God fully, over, and over.

Jermaine Arphul: [00:16:03] "So Moses swore..." Verse nine "...“So Moses swore on that day, saying, ‘Surely the land on which your foot has trodden will be an inheritance to you and to your children forever, because you have followed the LORD my God fully.’ 10“Now behold, the LORD has let me live, just as He spoke, these forty-five years, from the time that the LORD spoke this word to Moses, when Israel walked in the wilderness; and now behold, I am eighty-five years old today." My goodness, the man was 40 and was right there, right there at the doorstep of the Promised Land, and had to wait 45 years before he could enter into it, before he could enter into the promises of God. And he says in verse 11, “I am still as strong today as I was in the day Moses sent me; as my strength was then, so my strength is now, for war and for going out and coming in. 12“Now then, give me this hill country about which the LORD spoke on that day." When I first read this, I was like, wow, he is a little pushy, give me this land, this hill country. And then I started thinking to myself, I'm going, hold on a second, could you imagine you're 40 years old, you've been a little bit to where God has promised, and you're right there on the doorstep, but you don't get to go in, you have to spend four and a half decades before you get there. Absolutely, I would be like, the Lord said it and I'm here and I'm claiming it, you know. Like, that's not arrogance, that's him stepping boldly into the promises of God.

Jermaine Arphul: [00:17:56] It's been four and a half decades, it's almost like 2011 as a Rangers fan. Do you know what I'm saying? Like what, one strike away two times from winning the World Series, the agony. I'm a Rangers fan, by the way, so I experienced it, the disillusionment. And somebody said to me earlier today, what about Cubs fans? We're not talking about Cubs fans today, we don't care about Cubs fans, we're talking about Rangers fans. And I'm sorry if you're not a Rangers fan, I love you all, I love everybody, but that's what I think of. And oh, the joy when the Rangers finally got over the mountaintop. Right? Like, that's what I'm seeing here with Caleb, he's like, man, I was there, four and a half decades later, it's time. The Lord spoke, I believe in His word, and I wholeheartedly followed him in his time to boldly step into his promises, into his inheritance.

Jermaine Arphul: [00:19:09] Inheritance means the gift of God to his chosen people. The gift of God to his chosen people. In the Old Testament, inheritance was the Promised land, the land that was given to Abraham and his descendants according to the promises God made. In the New Testament, and for us, it's this possession, right, this possession, viewed in one sense, as present. If you are a believer in Christ, you have this great inheritance right now, but at the same time, it's a future that's waiting for us. In the Old Testament, the Promised Land can be pictured as something more valuable and desirable than anything else, it was like heaven on earth for them. In the New Testament, inheritance is like the eternal blessedness that we get to look forward to when Jesus comes back, and everything is reestablished. As a matter of fact, Peter talks about it in First Peter chapter 1, verse 4. I am just paraphrasing, he says to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable, unspoiled, unfading, and reserved, it's waiting for us, it's never going to go away, and we can't lose it. That is what we get to look forward to as believers, we get to look forward to that, and you have it now if you have faith in Jesus Christ and what he did. That's the promise, wholeheartedly trusting in him, in God's Word like Caleb. You get to step into the promises of God that is waiting for you.

Jermaine Arphul: [00:21:01] My daughter had a birthday; my youngest daughter had a birthday last week. And all I can think of as is preparing this message is like, that's what it's like, it's like looking forward to your birthday, that's the inheritance. Like you can expect your birthday to come at least once a year, right, like that's fact. And I know some of y'all are like, no, it's not a big deal. It is a big deal, you get to celebrate you, it's a big deal, all right, and you get to look forward with anticipation knowing that it's coming. My now seven-year-old daughter has been talking about October 26th for a whole year, wearing us out. Hey, you know, it's like six months to my birthday, right? I want this for my birthday, and I want these people at my party, and this is what kind of party, you know, just looking forward to it. And then when actually it came in, having the gymnastics party and all the presents and, you know, playing and all the things, man, there's such joy. And already, so I'm turning eight next. Do you know what I mean? Like, look forward to it again, you know? We get to look forward to that for our birthday, the anticipation is like that.

Jermaine Arphul: [00:22:23] I went to one of the schools around here, and I brought gifts for those who had a birthday in November. And of course, they're all excited because they know that I come correct with gifts, right? Like I'm going to bring the things that I know that they like, In and Out, Chick-fil-A, Sour Patch Kids, all those good things. And, you know, of course, we had some kids just say, like, well, my half birthday is here. Like, you don't qualify, I'm sorry. Right? But they're looking forward to that.

Jermaine Arphul: [00:22:57] Another picture that I've just got to share, just because it's funny and it is relatable. So we went to Uganda several months ago in the summertime. We get to the airport around here early in the morning, and as I've gotten older and wiser, notice the gray, I have become more resolute, let's say, in my opinions about things and what I like and don't like. Do you know what I'm talking about? Like I just don't care anymore, I just know what I like, and I want that. And I'm a creature of habit, too. One of those things is coffee, I know what coffee I like and what coffee I don't like, so I'm looking forward to certain coffee at the airport. I know what store I'm going to, I'm going there, nobody's going to stop me. One of the trip leaders there, she travels all over the world, so she's got all these, like, frequent flier miles and all the perks that you get with traveling. And, you know, it has one of those cards that gets you access to those lounges that are upstairs. Did you know this? I didn't know this. And if you don't know, now you're about to know. Because she was like, oh, hey, what are you about to do? Because we all got there and huddled up and everything, and then we're like, all right, let's go get food and coffee. What are you about to do? I'm going to go get coffee. And she's like, oh, you ought to get coffee at this? I'm like, again, resolute. I know what I like, I know what coffee that I'm going to that never fails. No. I'm good. And she's like, are you sure? I am like, yeah, I'm sure. Like, I'm going to go get coffee over here. She's like, no, you need to come this way. And like, grabs me by the shirt, and like, okay, let's go get coffee, I guess. This is going to be terrible, right? I'm going to be really mad, it's early in the morning, you know, in my mind like that. But I'm being nice and, we take the elevator up. Where are we going for coffee. It opens, and it is like heaven on earth, it's an all you eat buffet with all you can drink coffee that's good. Breakfast and more breakfast, and if you know me, you know I love breakfast. And I'm just like, oh my word, and I was going to turn this down, it was amazing. I told my wife, I said, we need to apply for one of those things, those cards that get set. If you think I'm lying, I did, we applied for it. As a matter of fact, I'm taking my parents to the airport because they're going back home, and we're going to the Capital One Lounge. But it was great, I guess there's an American Express one. I didn't know all this stuff was there, it is amazing, and I was going to turn it down.

Jermaine Arphul: [00:26:08] And if you're in here listening to me today and you have not wholeheartedly put your faith in Jesus, can I be like the trip leader that was with me that day? You're making a mistake, there is a great inheritance waiting for you when you wholeheartedly put your trust in Him. And you need to come with me because I want you to be there with me, and so I may not know you, but I love you, and I'm encouraging you, Jesus is the real deal. Do you know what I'm saying? Like, don't turn it down. I know that people have let you down. I know that you probably have experienced a lot of things, so you just go, you know what I don't know about God, I don't know about these things. But you're no different than anybody else, not even me. And you're sure it's like no different than Caleb, Caleb had to go through all kinds of stuff, 45 years, plagues, wars, I'm sure he saw a whole lot of things. But what does it constantly say about him? He followed the Lord God fully, and he trusted in his promises, believing that God is faithful and that His Word is good.

Jermaine Arphul: [00:27:25] God promised the Israelites heaven on earth, and the time came for them to take possession of it, all those years they had been looking forward to it, especially Caleb. The same is true for us, we're like Caleb, we have an inheritance that is imperishable, unspoiled, unfading, and reserved. The promised land for us, it has significance for us because as believers in Jesus, it is a picture of the believer's victory. But it requires faith, it requires faith, which is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Caleb's faith is highlighted multiple times when we look at him. And we need to let faith strengthen us, just like faith strengthened Caleb. So when he says, my strength was then, so my strength is now. I'm sure at 85, he probably wasn't the strongest dude in the camp. He's probably strong, a little Jack LaLanne action, for those that are older, you get it, you know? But that's not what made him strong, it was faith in the Lord, that's what made him strong. Going through adversity and living through it is what made him strong. Yes, we're going to have to go through adversity, but it is to make you stronger. And guess what? The inheritance is still there, waiting, and it is good, I believe that.

Jermaine Arphul: [00:29:17] Verse 13, "So Joshua blessed him and gave Hebron to Caleb the son of Jephunneh for an inheritance. 14Therefore, Hebron became the inheritance of Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite until this day, because he followed the LORD God of Israel fully. 15Now the name of Hebron was formerly Kiriath-arba; for Arba was the greatest man among the Anakim. Then the land had rest from war." Then jump down to Joshua 15, verses 13 and 14 and we'll see, "Now he gave to Caleb the son of Jephunneh a portion among the sons of Judah, according to the command of the LORD." And in verse 14, "Caleb drove out from there the three sons of Anak." So, Caleb, he didn't just believe it, he stepped boldly into the promises of God, he claimed it, and he stepped into it. He'd been waiting for decades for this, and it didn't come without struggle.

Jermaine Arphul: [00:30:14] So let me just be clear, this is not a prosperity gospel sermon here, this is an uplifting one. I want us to walk out of here, my prayer is for us to walk out of here, you know, being uplifted by God's faithfulness. But it is not a name-it-and-claim-it sermon, don't put me in that category, please. The tendency for us to see this is like, yeah, he asked for it and he got it, and that's not always the case. He did get it, but it was 45 years later. Sometimes we don't get the blessing to see the fruit of some of the things that we pray for. I know that I've been a youth minister for eight years. Okay? Some parents, you know exactly what I'm talking about. I've had students that have gone through the ministry, and years later, they'll text me a video of them getting baptized. I'm like, oh my goodness, yes, that's awesome. Right? You're going to go through struggle is what I'm trying to say. You're going to go through adversity as a believer in Jesus Christ.

Jermaine Arphul: [00:31:23] I've had a student tell me, hey, and I've shared this with students all the time. He is from this area, loved the Lord, accepted Christ, trusted in him, and everything was going good until he experienced the loss of somebody in his family. And of course, his faith was challenged through that. Of course, there's heartache, pain, and suffering, I don't want to minimize that at all. But he told me one time, he said, you know what? Nobody ever told me that I would go through struggles, and it was really hard when I had to deal with that when all my friends weren't going through it. And so I never, as a youth pastor, just anytime someone trusts the Lord, I'm like, this is awesome, we're going to celebrate, we'll go to Whataburger or whatever it is you want. But I need to tell you something, this is when the game is actually really going to begin, you can bank on that. There's going to be struggle, but it is going to work out for your good, there is a great inheritance waiting for you.

Jermaine Arphul: [00:32:36] And when you know and believe and understand wholeheartedly who Jesus Christ is, you are like Caleb, you must boldly step into the promises of God. Right now we've got a middle school service going upstairs, I stand up here just like this in front of them, and ask them silly questions and things like that, or serious questions about God's Word. And it never fails, if you're a teacher, you know exactly what I'm about to say, whenever somebody knows the answer to something, the hands shoot straight up because they are confident, they know it. When you are confident in Christ Jesus and who he is and what he did for you, oh, you'll eat enemies for breakfast like Caleb. Do you know what I mean? Ask Paul, ask Peter, they wrote books about that.

Jermaine Arphul: [00:33:33] So how do we claim this? If you're not a believer, it's simple, Romans 10:13 says, "Call upon the name of the Lord and you will be saved." That is my prayer. Trusting in Jesus gains us access to heaven and the rewards that come with it. Okay, so we looked at Caleb. Hopefully, you see inheritance repeated over and over, hopefully, you see that Caleb followed the Lord God fully. Hopefully, you see that he was hanging and believing wholeheartedly on the words that God has spoke for all these years, Caleb's a good dude. And if you're like me, I'm like, I'm not Caleb, I have good days, but I also have bad days. But it seems like Caleb has a whole lot of good days, even through it, like, you know, and so I start going, oh, I'm not like him. It's like, here's a current-day Steph Curry. Like I'll never be Steph Curry, you know, I'll never shoot up all those threes and all that stuff, just physically I'm not capable of doing that.

Jermaine Arphul: [00:34:42] So what does it mean, or what does it look like to follow the Lord God fully like Caleb, is what I was asking myself. God was like, well, just look at Caleb. I'm like, okay, let's look at him again one more time. The first thing I see about Caleb when we look back at him is he was content to wait on the Lord. We need to be content to wait on the Lord. Wait is a kind of a bad word nowadays, wait on what? We get everything at our fingertips, and we get it like that. As a matter of fact, if we have to wait for something, like the little spinning dial on your computer, you know when you see that, that's a bad sign. If we have to wait, that's a problem. Not with God, it means that God's cooking up something good, real good. John chapter 10, verses 27 through 28, "My sheep listen to my voice, and I know them, and they..." What? "They follow me; (Jesus says) and I give them eternal life." That's a promise. "And they will never perish.", is another promise. "And no one will snatch them out of my hand." is another promise. Be content to wait on the Lord, don't get ahead of God's providences for you. Be content to wait on the Lord like Caleb.

Jermaine Arphul: [00:36:20] Follow the Lord in heart. What does it look like to follow the Lord God fully? We follow the Lord in heart, through relationship, a personal relationship, and experience. Caleb was a servant of the Lord, anybody that follows the Lord through all of that, we know how to have a personal relationship with him. So cultivate that in your own life. We have an amazing table for two devotional that comes out every single day. If you want to subscribe to that, go to our website. I don't know who writes those things, but they are good. I don't know if you've been, but I've been reading those, they're awesome. Especially when we go through, like, Old Testament passages, they break it down to where, like, oh, this is good. But it just cultivates your relationship with God, because you start to see more of who God is. He's revealed to you as you spend more time with him. He's revealed to you more as you spend more time in prayer with him. Being still, which again, is kind of a bad word around here, we are fast paced. Every single one of us in here, I bet, are people that, you know, there's high demand, they want more of you because you can handle a lot of stuff, and you're just hard-working and good. And to sit still and reflect can be really hard, because you're always thinking in your mind, man, I could be doing this, or I should be doing that. But when we look at Caleb, we see that he had a relationship with him, and his eyes were always fixed on God. We see him repeat it over and over, the Lord spoke, the Lord spoke, the Lord said. Follow the Lord in heart and in relationship. Caleb saw God's promises while others saw giants.

Jermaine Arphul: [00:38:09] Follow the Lord for all your life. I know that sounds so simple, and, you know, doesn't sound really significant. But if you think about it, there's a passage in the Bible, I think it's in John chapter 6, I've been meaning to go back and look this up, but I'm pretty sure it's John chapter 6. It's really funny, Jesus was a celebrity, they loved him, he was healing, he was doing miracles, and everybody, they were just trying to touch him, you know? He had followers, and talk about an influencer, he was that guy. But then by the end of the chapter, after he drew the line in the sand and was like, hey, this is what it looks like to follow me, read the fine print. They were like, I'm out. Don't follow Jesus for loaves and fishes, like, if you're just there to get some, it's not going to work out. Don't follow him just for miracles. Don't follow him because your dad, your grandma, your great grandpa, and so and so follow him, basically like tradition, right? Follow him because you believe wholeheartedly that you know and understand and believe Jesus Christ in your own faith, a personal relationship with him, and you will follow him all your days of your life. Paul says this in Colossians 1:23, "Continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel." Follow the Lord for all your life.

Jermaine Arphul: [00:39:49] Follow the Lord, even if we have to stand alone. Numbers chapter 14, verse 10, Joshua and Caleb are like, yo, like what are y'all talking about? We should go in there, the Lord spoke, he promised this to us. Verse 10, "Then all the congregation said to stone them with stones." And yet, 45 years later, here's Caleb, he's willing to stand alone for God because he wholeheartedly believes in him.

Jermaine Arphul: [00:40:27] Last thing, follow Jesus by the power and strength of His Spirit. Remember I said Caleb was built differently? It literally says, but my servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit and has followed me fully. So no, we cannot be Caleb on our own strength, God was affirming me in that, he's like, you cannot be Caleb on your own strength. But you can be like Caleb on my strength, God said. when God's Spirit is indwelt in us. God didn't give us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, love, and self-control. When you have God's Spirit, you can do that.

Jermaine Arphul: [00:41:15] I want to read Joshua chapter 21, verses 43 through 45 one more time because this passage is, is a hopeful, uplifting passage. Like, you know, some passages are like, man, wow, God means business about sin. You know that kind of thing, you got to be serious and go home and like, pray all these. This is one where if you came into this room and you've been struggling, you need to be reminded of God's faithfulness, and so I'm going to remind you again of what these verses say, and I'm going to read to you some of the promises of God, "The LORD gave Israel all the land which He had sworn to give to their fathers, and they possessed it and lived in it. 44And the LORD gave them rest on every side, according to all that He had sworn to their fathers, and no one of all their enemies stood before them; the LORD gave all their enemies into their hand. 45Not one of the good promises which the LORD had made to the house of Israel failed; all came to pass." Listen, God's promises aren't just for the Israelites, they're for you, too. God wants to strengthen you with power through His Holy Spirit. God wants to give you rest, he promises rest when you go to him, Matthew chapter 11, verses 28 through 30. God promises to supply you with all you need, this is my Covid verse, Philippians 4:19. When we fully believe in him and go to him with a humble heart, he hears, and he answers our prayers. I want to be careful with that, that doesn't mean that it's always a yes. Romans 8:28, "God is working all things out for your good, for those who love him according to his purposes." That's a promise, he can turn things around. If anybody can turn things around for you, it's him.

Jermaine Arphul: [00:43:18] I love the story of Joseph and all the stuff that he went through. And what does he say in Genesis 50:20, "You guys meant this for evil, but God meant this for good." God promises to be with you. Just flip back to Joshua, chapter 1, verse 9, and you'll see that. Jesus said, "Lo, I'm with you always.", a promise. God promises to protect you. Psalm 91:2, "This I declare about the Lord, he alone is my refuge, my place of safety. He is my God, and I trust in him." God is the good Shepherd. God promises to give you freedom from sin, we are free from sin when we put our trust in him. He promises to keep you, nothing can separate you from the love of God, Romans chapter 8. God promises to give you everlasting life, John chapter 3, verse 16. Y'all, that's just ten, there are thousands of promises that God makes good on and will make good on, we just have to be reminded of it. In a world that's full of just brokenness, it can make you disillusioned, it can make you think that people are not, and it can just make you ruin your mental psyche. So I'm glad we're in a place like this because we can remember that God is good and he's faithful and he cares for you and he's working all things out for your good. Because you love him, because you wholeheartedly put your trust in him through the thick and the thin, and adversity makes you stronger. And when you have your faith in him, you can boldly step into the promises of God because he has a great inheritance waiting for you. And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share in his divine nature and escape the world's corruption caused by human desires. In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God's promises. Not only are God's promises for us today but we are called to respond. And if that's you today, this is your opportunity to respond to his faithfulness and call upon the name Lord and receive everlasting life. And if you're like Caleb and you've already put your trust in him, you're called to respond and give praise to him in worship. Amen.

Recorded in Grapevine, Texas.
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121 Community Church
2701 Ira E Woods Ave.
Grapevine, Texas 76051