A few years ago, the last surviving member of the ﬁrst Navy Seal team celebrated his 94th birthday. For someone who loves learning about military history, meeting him would be an amazing honor. Thankfully, two years ago, I met him. He walked into the store I worked at, and when he introduced himself, I was star struck. But as great as it was meeting this hero of World War II, there are far greater heroes in heaven.
When we read the Bible, there are many heroes we should emulate. Consider the Israelite Caleb. Very little is mentioned of this man, but when he is mentioned, he has a heart that is fully devoted to God. Joshua 14:6-12 is an incredible example of his zeal. Leading up to this point, the Israelites have completed their conquest through the promised land, and it has been divvied up to the tribes of Israel. At this point, Caleb comes to Joshua and reminds him that, at the age of 40, he told Moses they should enter the land. But due to the weakness of the other spies, they failed, and Caleb said in vv. 10-12, “… I am eighty-ﬁve years old today. I am still as strong today as I was in the day Moses sent me; as my strength was then, so my strength is now, for war and for going out and coming in. Now then, give me this hill country about which the Lord spoke on that day …” Caleb wanted all that God had promised him, and he had such zeal for the land that he would not let anything hinder him.
We should all aspire to have zeal like Caleb. God has promised us an inheritance in heaven! How many of us actually take every opportunity that has been aﬀorded so that God will grant us that home? We have been given speciﬁc commands to preach the word (2 Timothy 4:2); to be diﬀerent from the world rather than imitating and going along with it (Romans 12:1-2); and, to be a shining light in the world to pull others from darkness (Matthew 5:14-16; 1 John 1:7). Do we fully keep these commands? There will be times where we are persecuted, where following Christ will be diﬃcult, but there is something greater than this world can give us if we will “walk by faith and not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7).
In conclusion, we all have heroes in our lives. We may have heroes that make us braver, more compassionate, or better leaders, public speakers, and workers. However, we should always look to our spiritual heroes to guide us in how we live spiritually. Caleb was not that big of a character in scripture, but his life was told to inspire us to live as he did. We have been given everything we need to be with the great heroes of faith in heaven someday. The only question is will we take the opportunity?
Paul is a hero I look forward to seeing in heaven and aspire to be like because he demonstrates proper ambition when he writes in Philippians 3:12-14, “Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” So who are your heroes? Are your heroes ones that lead you to heaven? Will you take the opportunity that has been given to ensure that, when all is said and done, you will stand face to face with God?