Give Me This Mountain
by Impact Church
Now, therefore, give me this mountain ~ Joshua 14:12
Few there are who have not experienced frustration in waiting for the fulfillment of a dream or promise. The faith of a former time visualized a possibility: maybe a grasp of reality through a divine promise; or maybe some sense of a rightful possession through a divine connection or relationship; or perhaps the fruition of time awaiting an inevitable inheritance. Whatever was believed, whatever faith had made deposit for that season, faith would likely be introduced to undesirable interruptions, delays and complications.
From faith’s anticipation of fulfillment to the anxiousness of where’s the promise, the testing elements of space and time appear. And from wondering why, how, and how long will it be, the experiential virtue of hope waits to come alongside as faith’s support. Lest faith grow weary, an endearing ally to faith arrives; a brother of the same spirit, of the same courage, of the same vision. A friend to faith that encourages faith to endure, to persevere, to patiently learn contentment till faith has overcome every opposition. So that where faith is engendered, so the inseparable friendship of hope is also found. Hope becomes the constant lifter and confident lover of those who believe life beyond the periphery of natural sight. And though time and trouble may seek the demise of faith’s invisible substance, hope stills the angst and assures faith that the journey will reach completion. Hope underwrites what faith saw from the heart, making disappointment an impossibility and joy a guarantee.
Consider then today’s scripture. Caleb never lost vision for his life, legacy, destiny, or his nation. Time rolled on, but he never gave up on his rightful place in the Promised Land. Forty-five years before, Caleb, one of twelve spies under Moses’ leadership, explored the land of Canaan and found it a highly desirable land. It’s likely the territory Caleb personally spied out, was in fact the Mt Hebron region he was emphatic about taking when he returned from the reconnaissance detail he’d been assigned. Brimming with confidence and assured of God’s help, he declared: “we should take this land! Right now! I know there are some tough guys over there, but that’s our home and God will see us through!”
May we not forget that the Hebron region of the Promised Land was known for the home of the giants. Not the San Francisco Giants, but the sons of Anakim, the largest and fiercest of mountain dwelling warriors. May we also remember that though 12 spies ventured into the land, only two returned with reports of courage, faith and confidence. And sadly, their fellow spies turned the hearts of the Jewish people against conquering the land, and forty years of wondering and wandering were the dishonorable and tragic aftermath of a nation in utter unbelief.
But let us dwell on the good part, the Caleb part, the faith part; yes, the part where, in several scriptural occasions, Caleb wholeheartedly follows his God! His commitment, his faith-filled words, his patience, his unmoved trust in God’s promises for his chosen people- those virtues lifted him above the clamor of the fearful and declared his qualifications for receiving whatever his faith desired! Through decades of Israel’s seemingly fruitless existence and innumerable temptations to forget their purpose and call, Caleb remained resolute in trusting God’s care over His promises for His people.
So after so long a time, forty years in the wilderness and five years more as the Promised Land is being inhabited, Caleb implores Joshua to “give me that mountain! I saw it as mine when I was 40 years old, and though I’m now 85, I’m just as capable of taking that land now as I was then!” And Caleb got what he asked for! The tribe of Judah finally got a place they called home! (A real home for sure, for Hebron was the burial site of the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and the matriarchs Sarah, Rachel and Leah. Jewish tradition also places the bodies of Adam and Eve being buried there!)
“Give me that mountain” has been the rallying cry of many who’ve fought against time and elements to achieve a goal or receive a promise or experience a dream. The ageless spirit that dwelled with Caleb has never left the hearts of those who’ve caught a glimpse of God’s promised favor and glory! That Spirit now indwells the Church, the Body; the people Christ gave His blood to redeem! May that indomitable Spirit be forever abundantly visible in the thoughts, words, and deeds of those who call on the name of Jesus!
To close, I believe the faith and hope that supported Caleb’s vision has allowed Impact Church to make that cry as well! Give us this mountain! We saw this mountain a decade ago. We received it from the preaching. We heard it from the prophets. We sang it in the songs and danced to the beauty of its vision. We shouted at the glorious anticipation of it. We gave prayer and fasting to its fulfillment. We gave our substance to assure it’d not lack. Yes, we, like Caleb, had mountains of desire too; yet too with giants of impossibility deeply entrenched and constantly visible. We faced seemingly insurmountable hurdles time after time; some we went around, some we went over, some we crushed, and some somehow simply vanished!
We moved from living rooms to gymnasiums. From partnering with churches, to auditoriums and leased spaces just to have a place to gather. From places where we thought we’d certainly have roots, to places we knew we would never have roots. From setting up sound systems, drum shields and innumerable folding chairs, to taking it all down and doing it all over again next week. From having been told you don’t have what it takes to build a church, to seeing a church grow! (Is it possible that their negative perception gave us positive inspiration?) From having numerous denials, to unexpected favor! From “it looks like it’s gonna be another year before we can start”, to “you can move in next week!”
So from “give us this mountain”, to, this mountain is now in our possession- a new season has arrived at Impact Church! And as it was with Caleb (as the mountain he coveted was not handed to him, but was conquered by faith and obedience), so Impact Church perches at the cusp of its most glorious existence! The facility now in our possession is not a handout, not an easily inhabited place, not a place of ease and apathy. But a place that challenges every fiber of our faith, a place that requires all the members of this fantastically talented body to function as Caleb’s heart functioned, with a wholehearted effort to see His kingdom flourish in the space and time we are given.
May the wonderful place we now call home be revered deeply by those who wholeheartedly give and serve there, and in turn and in time, be respected and loved by those who receive its blessing…