One hard thing to deal with as you get older is the fact that you cannot physically do what you used to do. I remember when I was 26 years old, I was building our first house in New York. I would go to the work site at 7 in the morning and would stay there until dark – sometimes as late as 9 at night. Yet, now, if I swing a hammer for a half an hour, my arm feels like it’s going to fall off! We need to face the facts that, physically, we cannot do what we used to do when we were younger.
But that is not true spiritually! In fact, I believe the opposite is true – that as we get older in the Lord, we get stronger spiritually. Caleb is a great example of this in the Bible.
Caleb was one of the 12 men that Moses sent to spy out the promised land, but he and Joshua were the only two that brought back a positive report. These two focused on the beauty, the bounty, and the blessing of this new land God was giving to the people of Israel. The other ten spies focused on the walled cities and enormous physical size of those occupying the land. Because of their grumbling, complaining, and lack of faith, God announced that no adult among them over the age of 20 would enter the promised land – only Joshua and Caleb.
Forty years passed before all the adults from that faithless generation died. Once this happened, the people of Israel were allowed to cross the Jordan and enter the land. In chapter 14 of the book of Joshua, as Israel was driving out the inhabitants of the land, Caleb went to Joshua and asked if he and his clan could drive out the Anakites that were occupying the hill country. This was no easy task because, not only did they live in heavily fortified cities, but Caleb was now 85 years old! Eighty-five, leading a small army against an entrenched foe. But God made him victorious! In Joshua, chapter 15 verse 14, it says that “From Hebron, Caleb drove out the three Anakite clans…”
We are never too old to answer the call of God. Moses was eighty when God called him to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. Abraham was 99 when Sarah became pregnant with their promised son, Isaac. Noah was 600 years old when he built the ark! I will turn 60 in May of this year and I often wonder how a 60-year-old can plant a church in a foreign land among a disinterested people. But the bottom line is, if God calls you to do something, He will equip you to do it no matter what your age. Ephesians 1:3 reminds us of this: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with EVERY spiritual blessing in Christ.” God gives us everything we need to accomplish the task He has called us to do – no matter what our age.
So, when you hear the voice of the Lord calling you to do something for Him, don’t use age as an excuse (I tried – it didn’t work). God will give you EVERYTHING you need to accomplish that task. He will give you the strength, the funding, the words to say, the love for the unlovable, and the grace and mercy you need to be an effective minister of the Gospel. Just say “yes” to Him and trust that He who helped the 85-year-old Caleb will also drive out the pesky entrenched “enemies” before you.