Caleb the Conqueror!
- By Dr. Chris Gnanakan
- Published 09/5/2009
Dr. Chris Gnanakan
Revd. Dr. Chris Gnanakan, DMin, PhD. is the Director of Training for Outreach To Asia Nationals. OTAN serves in over nine countries in Asia where traditional missions is ‘restricted’, by equipping and empowering national, pastoral leaders to fulfil the great commission.
Chris, a native of Bangalore, worked as an electrician in MICO factory for 3 years before theological studies at the Word of Life Bible Institute and School of Youth Mission (New York). He obtained a Bachelor’s Degree from Tennessee Temple University and went on to do a Master’s in Divinity at Temple Baptist Seminary that he completed at the Asia Graduate School of Theology.
Chris was a youth pastor and ordained at Emmanuel Baptist Church. In 1990 he founded Banaswadi Bible Church where he was the pastor-teacher for over 10 years. He is known as a Youth, Bible & Mission conference speaker and for his radio broadcast with FEBA (Transforming Truth) and TWR (Thru the Bible). His passion is for evangelism, whole-life discipleship, mentoring, training leaders & empowering the Church in Mission.
Chris lectures on and produces curriculum for ‘Biblical Mandate for Evangelism’ at the Haggai Institute for Leadership Development (since 1999 at Maui & Singapore). As an evangelical, he has served as a consultant with the Commission on World Mission & Evangelism on-site London, Switzerland, Athens, Germany, Ghana, Kenya, Chile and with Urban Missions in Thailand, Hong Kong, Philippines and China.
During his stay and PhD research in the UK, Chris was a Teaching Assistance at the University of Leeds in the department of Theology & Religious Studies and also served as a minister at the South Parade Baptist Church, where he developed outreach & care cells. Chris teaches ‘Clinical Pastoral Education’ at the Bangalore Baptist Hospital. He is chairman for the Christian Forum for Child Development & Samaritan Purse’s regional Prescription for Hope program
Since 1995, Chris joined SAIACS as Professor and HoD of Pastoral Theology & Counseling and Dean of Chapel. Here, for 13 years, he trained leaders for ministry and mission in India’s globalising context and is passionate doing ”Evangelism through Local Churches”. He is now appointed to serve as the Director of Training for OTAN (Outreach To Asia Nationals) from June 2009.
Chris is happily married to Dorothy, an IT software educator, and they have two daughters Alethea and Charis. Chris enjoys memorising poems on the Bible and football.
1. Caleb was Directed by a Cause for God (v.6-9)
Caleb had a quest in life – it was to ‘wholly follow the Lord’. He noted how forty years ago, when sent as a spy by his leader Moses into Canaan, God had promised him an inheritance in the land. Caleb had faith and courage in God’s word and God in this chapter of his life’s story, honors him for it (Num.13:30). However, it all began in his heart where God found a ‘different spirit’ set on following Him completely i.e whole-heartedly(14:24).
2. Caleb was Determined to Claim things for God (v.10-12)
God’s people, the Israelites, were in the Promised Land for years and still there were portions inherited by the enemy ‘giants’. Caleb, now 85 year in age, has the nerve and valor to claim the Lord’s help to defeat these fearful giants and possess what is rightfully his. ‘Give me this mountain’ he declares! It is unfortunate that believers, in this same God, give ‘old age’ as excuse or complain about situations instead of ‘attempting great things for God’. Our love for and faith in God casts out all kinds of fears (1Jn.4:18; 5:34).
3. Caleb was Daring enough to Conquer mountains for God (v.13-15)
‘Hebron therefore became the inheritance of Caleb’ (v.14) essentially because he dared to go and get it. In other words, this conqueror had something in his heart. This something, he put in his head which in turn moved his hands and heels to ‘achieve great things from God’. How different life can be when a person wholly follows the Lord and exercises faith in His Word.
God continues to search for Christians who like Caleb don’t settle for molehills but claim their mountains for God. May God enable us to find a cause, make a claim and be more than conquerors through our Lord Jesus who loving calls us to fulfill His purposes (Rom.8:31-39).
Dr. Chris Gnanakan