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Dutch Sheets: "Just like Caleb!"

Dutch Sheets, Batesburg-Leesville, SC
May 14, 2024


The great Old Testament warrior, Caleb, was the partner of Joshua. Of the twelve spies Moses sent on a reconnaissance mission into Canaan, they were the only two that brought back faith-filled reports. Not only were they men of great faith, they were men of great patience. We will get to that momentarily.

The Scriptures tell us a remarkable five times that Caleb followed the Lord fully: Numbers 14:24; 32:12; Deuteronomy 1:36; Joshua 14:8; 14:14. The first reference (Numbers 14:24) says, "But My servant, Caleb, because he has had a different spirit and has followed Me fully, I will bring into the land which he entered, and his descendants shall take possession of it." The context of this verse is Yahweh telling Moses that the unbelieving Israelites would not be allowed to enter the Promised Land. Of the generation that was delivered from Egypt, only Joshua and Caleb would be allowed to do so.

Not only would Caleb's faithfulness be rewarded personally, but his descendants would also be rewarded and "take possession" of the land. This is a beautiful picture of how our faithfulness blesses the coming generation.

Waiting for the Promise

Caleb had to wait forty-five more years before beginning the campaign to take his inheritance (Joshua 14:7, 10). The war to conquer the land took several years, and some believe Caleb waited five years of that time before he actually was able to possess his mountain, Hebron, making his total wait time fifty years! That is a lot of time to hang out with the "lack of faith" folks, waiting for them to die off so you can possess your inheritance. It must have been very challenging for Joshua and Caleb to do so with good attitudes.

Other great leaders in Scripture had to wait for their promises to materialize. Moses waited forty years in the desert before God resurrected his calling. Joseph waited a good while, possibly sixteen years, before God delivered him and fulfilled His promise to him. After being anointed by Samuel, David waited fourteen to fifteen years before becoming king over Judah, and another seven before becoming king over all of Israel, a total of over twenty years. Abraham and Sarah waited twenty-five years for Isaac.

God, who does not live in time as we do, is not affected by waiting. Scripture tells us that a thousand years is like a day to Him and a day like a thousand years (2 Peter 3:8). In other words, He is not in time. He lives in eternity. Don't try figuring that out—you never will! (Photo via Unsplash)

Waiting is a little more challenging for us time-bound humans. Paul listed patience as one of the nine fruits of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22–23. I think I prefer the King James word long-suffering; it just seems to capture the concept, if you know what I mean. My point is this: Waiting can be very difficult, but being able to do so is very important.

My Time Has Not Yet Come

I began seriously pursuing the Lord in 1973. I knew relatively soon thereafter that I would give my life to full-time ministry. I began by doing youth ministry, leading worship, and going on several foreign mission journeys. I then went to Bible school, followed by thirteen more years of doing various aspects of ministry, which took me to 1991. This adds up to eighteen years.

By this time, I was able to teach Scripture fairly well and was starting to receive many invitations to do so.

I was invited to a gathering of prophetic leaders for the purpose of discussing what God was saying to the Church in America. Several national leaders comprised the twenty-five or so people in attendance. I "humbly" accepted the invitation. When the discussions began, Holy Spirit spoke to me very clearly and said, "Just listen; don't say anything. It is not yet your time."

I knew Holy Spirit was using a play on words from references in John, where Jesus said (or it was said about him), "My time has not yet come" (John 2:4; 7:6, 8; see also John 7:30; 8:20). For me, I knew the words meant that it was not yet time for the next phase of my ministry to be launched. He did not want me saying or doing anything that would cause someone there to promote me in any way, nor did He want me in their fraternity or inner circle.

I informed the Lord that if I sat there for three days and said nothing, these leaders would all think I was ignorant; it would be very humiliating.

"Why would You send me to a meeting just to have this happen?" I asked Him.

"I didn't send you," He said. "You sent yourself. Now, be quiet and be humbled."

I did, and I was.

A year or so later, I was offered the pastorate of a large church in Florida. The Lord said, "No." Five years later, I wrote the book Intercessory Prayer (1996) and became a leader in the emerging, worldwide prayer movement. Four more years (2000) and the Lord released me into my calling to America. From 1973 to 2000 God was faithfully preparing me for my true purpose. The waiting wasn't always easy, but it was very necessary.

Don't Waver in the Waiting!

Why am I saying all of this today? Because I want you to persevere in your prayers for revival in America and around the world. I want you to persevere in your laying hold of the promises God has made to you. I want you to be like Caleb and follow the Lord fully, even during the waiting. I want you to BE a Caleb, receiving your inheritance, the great mountain-top blessing God has promised you, and the reward He wants to give your descendants. (Photo via Snappy Goat)

You and I, as a generation, are coming into "our time." Do not lose heart, do not give up, do not waver. We are going to persevere through this "hinge year" during which the Lord will shake down the systems and strongholds in America that have opposed Him, then move us into our 'crossing over.' Giants will fall, and millions will come to Christ. Your destiny is to be part of this! Do not waver in the waiting!

Prayer and Declaration

Pray with me: Father, when our lives are finished here on Earth, we want You to be able to say of us (as You did Caleb) that we followed You fully. We want to be those who wait for "our time," for Your Word says that our times are in Your hand (Psalm 31:15). You always know when to plow, sow, and reap. You know when to pluck up and tear down, and when to build. We choose to stay in step with You, trusting You fully.

You told us to stay focused. You have told us to continue making biblical, Spirit-led decrees, and that these decrees would empower angels. You said You were opening portals in this nation through which the winds of Your Spirit would blow. You said cleansing fire was coming, and also revival fire. We declare Your words, seeding the heavens with them. These things are so!

Bring the cleansing. Bring the awakening. Bring revival to this young generation, saving millions. Bring worldwide revival. Bring a title wave of conversions into the Middle East and Asia. We declare the earth will be filled with the glory of the Lord as the water covers the seas (Habakkuk 2:14). You said it, that settles it, and we believe it. In Jesus' name we declare this. Amen.

Our decree: We decree that we, like our brother Caleb, will follow the Lord fully.

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Dutch Sheets
Dutch Sheets Ministries

Email: click here

Dutch Sheets is an internationally recognized author, gifted teacher, and conference speaker. He travels extensively, challenging believers for passionate prayer and societal reformation. Seeing America experience a sweeping revival and return to its Godly heritage is Dutch's greatest passion. Dutch has written over 23 books, many of which have been translated into over 30 languages. His international bestseller, Intercessory Prayer, has sold over 1 million copies worldwide. Dutch has pastored, taught in several colleges and seminaries, and served on the board of directors of numerous organizations. He is fondly known to many as Papa Dutch. Treasuring time spent with their family and grandchildren. Dutch and Ceci, his wife of 40 plus years, enjoy quiet walks in the woods, reading, and playing a little golf. They make their home in beautiful South Carolina.


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