Wholly Followed

 •  5 min. read  •  grade level: 7
Caleb is one of the few Old Testament individuals of whom we don’t have any recorded failure, (Joseph and Daniel being two others). For our learning the divine pen has chosen to only record his faithfulness and courage. Six times we find it confirmed that Caleb “fully” or “wholly” followed the Lord. This is what the Lord wants from each of His own. He doesn’t what half-hearted followers, He wants whole-hearted followers. Notice six further verses on this subject:
“Blessed are they that observe His testimonies, that seek Him with the whole heart.”
“With my whole heart have I sought Thee.”
“I will keep Thy law; and I will observe it with my whole heart.”
“I have sought Thy favor with my whole heart.”
“I will observe Thy precepts with my whole heart.”
“I have called with my whole heart.”
Are we following the Lord, but leaving certain corners of our hearts for ourselves and for the world? Let’s seek the Bible’s commendation of Caleb, and not be like Peter, who followed the Lord, but on one occasion, “followed afar off” (Luke 22:5454Then took they him, and led him, and brought him into the high priest's house. And Peter followed afar off. (Luke 22:54)). Sad to say, it lead to Peter associating with those who had no love for his Lord, and eventually denying Him three times, and that with oaths and curses. Notice the progression:
Peter walked, stood, and sat, where he should not have been. We get a warning regarding this in Psalm 1:11Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. (Psalm 1:1). “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.” Let’s learn to wholly follow, and keep close to the Lord; it will preserve us from many unholy associations and detrimental practices.
We really don’t know someone until we follow with them and walk in their company. It is possible to know much about the Lord, but not actually know Him the way we should. “Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord” (Hosea 6:33Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth. (Hosea 6:3)). The exercise of the Apostle Paul’s life was, “That I may know Him” (Philippians 3:1010That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; (Philippians 3:10)).
When I was growing up in Canada we studied a great deal regarding the history of the British monarchy, and the current British royal family. To this day I know a good deal about Queen Elizabeth II and her household. But to claim that I know the queen of England personally would be a overstatement to say the least. Only if I were invited to Buckingham Palace to spend some time in her company could I then say that I really know her. I know about her, but I do not know her. And so it is with the Lord! Do you know Him, or just about Him? To really know Him, you must wholly follow Him.
The following is part of a quote from Sadhu Sundar Singh, the East Indian Christian who was born on September 3, 1889, and who followed the Lord against all odds, and much persecution:
It might be added that Caleb was a truly devoted person! Devotedness is not merely reading our Bibles and being a faithful servant. It is not simply being engaged in the Lord’s work, and looking to Him for direction and blessing. It is much more! It is much deeper! It is having the Lord Jesus Christ Himself as the sole delight of the heart, and our thoughts centered around Him. Devotedness is not so much being occupied for Christ, but occupied with Christ, and following Him, not just because it brings joy to our heart, but because it brings delight to His heart.
It really is much easier to follow someone than just have them give us directions. I remember being in a city I was not familiar with, and eventually having to stop and ask the way to where I was staying. The person I asked rattled off a lot of twists and turns, stops and starts, and then finally realized from the puzzled look on my face that I wasn’t taking it all in. They then indicated that they were going that way, and to just follow them. God has given us directions and infallible guidelines in Scripture. “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Psalm 119:105105NUN. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (Psalm 119:105)). Not only so, but we also read, “He goeth before” (John 10:44And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. (John 10:4)).
Let it be further noted, that Caleb followed the Lord throughout his entire life. It is more than just a good start that God looks for; it is continuance that He desires. It says of Daniel, “And Daniel continued” (Daniel 1:2121And Daniel continued even unto the first year of king Cyrus. (Daniel 1:21)). Many in the history of God’s people have made a good start but a poor finish, but this does not have to be the case in your life and mine. Timothy was told, “Continue thou” (2 Timothy 3:1414But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; (2 Timothy 3:14)). Of the early Christians we read, “And they continued steadfastly.” (Acts 2:4242And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. (Acts 2:42)). In spite of strife and bickering amongst the disciples in the upper room, the Lord commended them by saying, “Ye are they which have continued with Me.” (Luke 22:2828Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations. (Luke 22:28)).