Key Word:- COURAGE
Title:- Of Carrots and Calebs
Joel 2:28,29 “And it shall come to pass afterward. That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your old men shall dream dreams, Your young men shall see visions. And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days…..”
Lieth Anderson in the forward to a very informative church planting resource book called ‘Into The Future’ talks about what he calls his ‘recurring fantasy.’ In it, he imagines himself ‘walking down the streets of heaven and having a stranger come up to him and say “Excuse me. Someone told me you lived on earth at the beginning of the twenty first century, you know, back when God was doing His great thing in the church, back when the gospel was spreading everywhere. Is that true? Were you there? What was it like? What was your part?” I wonder if maybe Mr Anderson is maturing into a dreamy old Caleb?
My circle of life experience has put me into contact with many older men at the end of the twentieth century and the beginning of the next and so far, and I can only speak for myself, it has not been an overwhelmingly enlivening experience, for they have been more like carrots than Caleb’s! You know, just old 'stick in the muds' with weird hair styles, funny coloured clothes and an odd smell about them. Apart from a couple, there has been nothing to aspire to. I mean nothing.
I imagine Caleb of old however, especially in his 80's, to be a man the young guys respected and wouldn’t dare to mess with. A man they longed to emulate, indeed, me thinks that the effect of even the presence of such an old warrior like Caleb, would shape your knees substantially. Do you know what I mean?
Caleb’s grip on grace would bring you to your knees in thankfulness and adoration of God Most High; Caleb’s grip on his sword would make your knees knock together should he even allow his fierce hand to brush against it in some kind gesticulation; Caleb’s grip on the greatness of God, would make your knees shake and his grip on the fire of God reflected in his excited eyes at the coming conflict and victory, would warm you so much that it would be as though on a winter's night you had sat too close to the blazing fire in an open hearth. Caleb would burn you friends. Caleb would excite you. Caleb would move you, make you be the man you could be, even the man you should be! If you could be with Caleb, then I know you would want to be like Caleb, I guarantee it, for Caleb is a powerful old dreamer that looks to the heights, and rather than cry, “Give me my pension,” he sees his possession and booms in believing faith, “Give me my mountain!”. Then, by fierce conflict, he seizes it from the foe and in so doing, teaches us youngsters how to fight and win, how to be and how to become more than conquerors. Caleb has a different spirit within him you see. Always has had, always will.
Unfortunately in our pews, as the old century now slowly slips away forever, all I have seen is row upon row of carrots! I do not wish to be mean, but we all know, and the devil knows, that there is little menacing to his kingdom, about a carrot! Tell me friend. How can our young men have victorious visions, if our old men don’t dare to dream the dreams of God? Oh carrots my carrots, my eyes weep in secret for your pride; my eyes weep bitterly and run down with tears for the young that have been taken captive and have had their eyes gouged out by you musty old vegetables. May God forgive you for this and may God help us who have allowed it to happen. I would like to blame the cabbage patch women for the planting of carrot like men but I cannot for it is the ministers who are the most complicit for planting these rows of vegetables.
Young friend, if that fantastic question in the fantasy of Mr Anderson will ever be asked of you in heaven, wouldn’t it be great, if along with Leith Anderson you could reply with a gleeful smile, “Yes I was there. God did wonderfully amazing things. Let me tell you my exciting share!” Go on young brothers and sisters, dream a little; do some ‘visioneering’ yourself and go believe and go achieve some great things with God! Ignore the carrots, for they are rotting in the ground even now and if you can, go seek out the few remaining blacksmiths who might still tool you up real good. If God’s grace permits, become a Caleb yourself, for God help us, we could do with a few I can tell you!
P.S. Don’t believe the old wives tale that ‘carrots are good for your eyesight.’ I tell you, it’s just not true.
Listen:- Hear and give ear: Do not be proud, For the LORD has spoken. Give glory to the LORD your God Before He causes darkness, And before your feet stumble On the dark mountains, And while you are looking for light, He turns it into the shadow of death And makes it dense darkness. But if you will not hear it, My soul will weep in secret for your pride; My eyes will weep bitterly And run down with tears, Because the LORD's flock has been taken captive. Jeremiah 13:15-17
Pray: - Oh Lord, Oh God, Oh Jesus. Please! Where are the aged warriors that can teach Your soldiers war? Oh God where are the dreamers of old? Lord, deliver us from our present blind and pitiful patriarchs, those most comfortable and careful carrots, that we may not die in the wilderness and rot in the ground along with them. In Jesus name I pray, amen.