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‘Give me that mountain’: Living life with Caleb’s attitude

Credit: National Park Service, Alaska Region/Flickr/Creative Commons
Credit: National Park Service, Alaska Region/Flickr/Creative Commons

According to King Solomon how a person thinks, determines how he lives life:

For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.

Proverbs 23:7a NKJV

But there is an important caveat in this verse, because Solomon adds how a man “thinks in his heart,” so it is to him.

This is a step beyond thinking, we need to believe it. Jesus said if we say to this mountain be cast in the sea (Mark 11:23), and do not doubt in our heart, it will be done. It is not enough to think it, we need to believe it.

Faith and belief make the difference.

Researchers at the University of Seoul in South Korea found out there may be a direct connection between what older people believed to how they actually felt. What they believed in their later years directly impacted how they lived their life.

According to the Daily Mail, the research team asked 68 people between the ages of 59 to 84 if they felt older, younger or the same as their real physical age.

The research team then did MRI scans of the test groups’ brains to find out how much grey matter they had. They discovered that the brains of those who felt older than their actual age showed signs of increased decline (less grey matter) than those who felt younger.

The people who felt younger had more grey matter and did better on memory tests – this included recalling details from stories told 30 minutes earlier.

The researchers said this meant one of two things. Perhaps the people who felt older than their age were simply picking up on the physical decline that was taking place in their brains and their lives.

However, they also threw out another alternative. It is possible that people who felt younger were actually impacting the health of their brain. They were not caving into aging or aged thinking. They were continuing to remain active both physically and mentally and this was having a positive impact on their brains and physical health.

In other words, what they believed affected their physical well-being.

It reminds me of the story of Caleb. He was one of the 12 spies that Moses sent to spy out the Promised Land. Caleb and Joshua came back with a positive report. Caleb then 40 years old urged Moses to take the Promised Land, stating that Israel was “more than able” to conquer it (Numbers 13:30).

However, the other ten only saw the worst side of life and came back filled with doubt and unbelief. They were the realists who saw the giants of the land and said the people of Israel were like grasshoppers compared to their enemies:

33 There we saw the giants (the descendants of Anak came from the giants); and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.”

Numbers 13:33 NKJV

But notice how the unbelieving spies said they looked like grasshoppers first in “our own sight.” It was their personal, unbelieving negativity that did them in. They were beaten by the way they thought.

They looked at themselves as grasshoppers and then the giants did the same thing. People often look at you the same way you look at yourself.

Their unbelief spread like a wildfire through the Israeli camp and the nation backed away from entering the Promised Land. Because of this, God condemned Israel to wander the wilderness until this unbelieving older generation, except for Caleb and Joshua, had died off.

Forty five years later, under the leadership of Joshua, Israel was ready to take its second run at the Promised Land.

Caleb, now 85, who had been a man of faith and positivity came to Joshua and said he had been promised a mountain under Moses and was making sure that mountain was still his.

Then he made the statement that he felt younger than his actual age:

10 And now, behold, the Lord has kept me alive, as He said, these forty-five years, ever since the Lord spoke this word to Moses while Israel [b]wandered in the wilderness; and now, here I am this day, eighty-five years old. 11 As yet I am as strong this day as on the day that Moses sent me; just as my strength was then, so now is my strength for war, both for going out and for coming in. 12 Now therefore, give me this mountain of which the Lord spoke in that day

Joshua 14:10-12a NKJV

Though 85 years old, Caleb felt like he was 40.  One wonders if it was his positive, God-believing attitude that made the difference?

How old do you feel today?


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