You Have Veto Power Over Being Defined By Your Age
Mention the words “peer pressure” and the picture that most likely comes to mind is that of a pre-teen feeling stressed about fitting in with her fellow middle schoolers. And yet at every stage of life, there are areas in which we feel pressure to go along with the group and conform in order to fit in.
I’ve noticed a particular kind of “joking” that goes with the aging process. When adults of a certain age get together there is often shared commiseration about changing eyesight or hearing. This shared set of expectations about aging has become an accepted part of our conversations and social chatter. Have you ever noticed that it’s a challenge to purchase a birthday greeting card without some negative reference to the recipient’s age?
Although there is nothing wrong with lighthearted banter, many believe what they say and hear. If you don’t see yourself as deteriorating through age, it can become uncomfortable to be surrounded by friends and family who limit themselves on the basis of their year of birth. When I’m caught in such conversations on the inside I’m saying, “No. That’s not me. I don’t see things that way at all. My destiny was set into motion with God knowing my age today. I choose veto those negative things you are saying about age.”
No one can put us in “the age box” if we don’t mentally agree. I make a motion that we veto age-related limitations on our lives by taking heart from Caleb, one of my Bible heroes. Let take a look at his back-story and then draw encouragement from it!
Caleb: A Man of a Different Spirit
As one of the children of Israel, Caleb was enslaved in Egypt, hard-pressed by Egyptian taskmasters until God’s miraculous intervention led them out of Egypt. At age forty, he was appointed to go on a spy mission into Canaan, the promised land, along with Joshua and ten other representatives. All twelve men saw same land, yet only Caleb and Joshua came back with a good report, ready to step out in faith, believing God’s promise to possess the land. God declared that Caleb and Joshua would be the only men of their generation to enter into Canaan. And Moses promised to Caleb a portion of the land.
Forty-five years passed. Forty-five years of wandering in the wilderness when Caleb had tasted of the promised land. He knew what the children of Israel had forfeited by refusing to possess the land. Did he live those years in regret and negativity? Most likely not. When we next encounter Caleb, at age 85 he is not shy about reminding Joshua of the promise made to him by Moses.
“GOD has kept me alive as He promised. It is now forty-five years since GOD spoke this word to Moses, years in which Israel wandered in the wilderness. And here I am today, eighty-five years old! I’m as strong as I was the day Moses sent me out. I’m as strong as ever in battle, whether coming or going. So give me this hill country GOD has promised me. You yourself heard the report that the Anakim (giants) were there with their great fortress cities. If GOD goes with me, I will drive them out just as GOD said” (Joshua 14:13,14 THE MESSAGE).
Wow! What a great example Caleb provides for staying vibrant, bold and strong.
How Did Caleb Exercise His Veto Power Over Being Defined By Age?
Caleb vetoed vacillation. He remained in faith. God said that the children of Israel would go up and possess the land and Caleb believed God. While the other spies focused on the giants, Caleb focused on God’s provision. A big part of Caleb’s staying in faith was what he spoke in faith – a good report. I would say that the other ten spies were murmurers and the worst kind of murmurers for they infected the other people with their complaining. During the forty-five years of waiting, it seems that Caleb looked forward in faith to the day that he would take possession of what had been promised to him. How about you? What has God promised you? Are you standing firm? Do you have a reason to get up every day and fight the fight of faith? Purpose, hope and faith will keep you vibrant.
Caleb vetoed timidity. Caleb wasn’t apologetic about being eighty-five years of age. No, he gave God the glory for his vitality. Caleb believed God’s promise of the portion of land and he acted boldly to claim it. And he didn’t take an easy portion. No, he asked for the hill country. And before he truly possessed it, he had to clear out those giants. Yes, the giants were real, but Caleb boldly believed that the hill country was already his. Have you traded in your hills for a flat paved path? God has hill country that he has promised you. And confronting those giants will keep you bold.
Caleb vetoed inaction. How do you think Caleb was physically ready when it came time to take possession of the hill country? In the years he was waiting for the promise, I think that Caleb rose to the challenge of his day-to-day activities because he knew that his “someday” was coming and he intended to be prepared. What actions are you taking to prepare for your promise? Is the Lord asking you to maintain physical activity, so you can go on a mission trip? Do you hear the still, small voice prompting you to start a business or take a class? Being disposed toward spirit-led action will keep you strong.
Are You Ready To Possess What God Has Promised You?
God is not checking your ID for your date of birth. He is looking to “strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him” (2 Chronicles 16:9 NLT). In fact “the people who know their God shall be strong and do exploits” (Daniel 11:32 KJV). Don’t go along with attitudes and words that diminish your capacity to possess what God has promised you. The next time you find yourself being defined by your age, tell yourself “God has promised me my portion in the land. I am vibrant. I am bold. I am strong. I veto those age-related limitations.”