At the beginning of our life we do not have the right to ask for anything because we have not earned, attained or achieved anything. But God gives us our lifetime to prove our worth, and in return He promises us a share in rewards far beyond anything that we may imagine.
How is this possible?
When we start out in life, we have only the instincts of survival. Without even thinking we apply every available resource toward this one end: to survive. Many people never venture much beyond this point, mostly because they are easily satisfied and do not demand anything more from life.
But a few have higher desires, and to these God appeals. To any who will render a full obedience to His law He offers a greater, abundant, even eternal life.
Through the Word of God we become acquainted with the greater life God offers in His Word. We learn also of the faith and obedience God requires from us to merit it. “You must become holy like Me,” says God. “You must be perfect [in character] as I am” (1 Pet. 1:15, Matt. 5:48, paraphrased). Some have said that this is impossible, that it is just too much to ask of mortals, that somehow they should be able to share in the promised blessings without meeting these requirements. But such is not the plan of God. And when God is the one dispensing the rewards, how can any think that He should not state the terms?
When we agree to serve God, and learn what He asks of us, we realize it will take all we have and are to perform our part of the agreement. At the beginning we may wonder if it is possible, but as we progress, we find that we can overcome some things, and what a joy it is when we see our efforts bearing fruit! Then as we continue, we find that we can overcome more things, and more, and more, until at last we have overcome in all things! And then, like Caleb, we can say, “Give me that mountain.”
Does this sound presumptuous? Not when we have met God’s terms. Caleb is a wonderful example of what we must become. Even his name meant “bold, impetuous.” Designated the son of Jephunneh the Kenezite,” he was distinguished from others bearing the same name (Num. 13:6, 30). One of twelve spies sent out by Moses, he had implicit faith in God, and was courageous and persevering. Even in his old age he was completely devoted to God and vigorous. Six times it is recorded of Caleb, “he hath fully followed the Lord.”
Caleb’s courage was unfaltering. At eighty-five years of age, when Joshua was leading the Israelites in the conquest of Canaan, Caleb asked for this mountain that God had promised him (Josh. 14:10, 12) as his inheritance. Even though it was filled with hostile Anakims, he wanted it—with God on his side he felt well able to overcome the enemies.
Where did Caleb get his motivation? Perhaps part of it came from his close friend Joshua. These two men were relentless and untiring in their effort to please God. Yes, let these men be our examples. And there are others, like Moses, Abraham, Elijah, Joseph, David, Paul. Did they really believe that God could do for them as He has promised? Yes, because they had seen tangible proof of God’s power.
And we have yet more examples. Consider our founder, Rev. L. T. Nichols, and his accomplishment. I think often of the times in which he lived and how difficult it would be to follow his steps. Even as a boy he became a pioneer for the Truth. During those years people lived without the benefit of electricity, automobiles, and hot and cold running water. Communication was painfully slow, traveling was tedious and uncomfortable. Grocery stores were not available on every street corner, and merchandise was difficult to obtain. Clothing was not as protective from the weather, and on top of this there was the problem of earning the money to use for one’s necessities. Yet none of these things hindered him in serving God or dampened his zeal for seeking first the kingdom of God. He had caught a glimpse of a better life, and he went after it with all that he had.
As the result of his work, we today share the same opportunity to have an eternal part in God’s plan. And what a peace it gives us to know that whatever we learn from the Holy Writ, and put into practice in our lives, can eventually bring us to a place in the kingdom of God.
How well are we as individuals applying our life to this cause? Can we honestly pray God, “Give me a part in Your coming kingdom”?
Working for an inheritance in the Promised Land to come –CLM