5-Minute Bible Studies

DETERMINATION – A Five-Minute Study

Faith Committee, Character Council of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky


Contributed by Margaret Garner
Senior Associate, Worldwide Discipleship Association, Fayetteville, GA

August 1, 2003

BIBLICAL EXAMPLE: Caleb — Numbers 13:1-14:25

At the beginning of chapter 13 in Numbers Moses sends out men to explore the land of Canaan and bring back a report about the people of the land, the towns, and the soil and fruit of the land. Among the men was Caleb.

The men returned with a report of a rich land flowing with mild and honey populated with powerful people who lived in fortified cities. Caleb spoke out and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it” (13:30). But the others (except Joshua) complained that defeat was certain because the people were so strong and big that “we seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them” (13:33).

As the Israelites heard the majority report, they moaned and wept and regretted leaving Egypt. Then Caleb and Joshua tore their clothes and said to the whole assembly, “The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good. If the Lord is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with mild and honey, and will give it to us. Only do not rebel against the Lord. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will swallow them up. Their protection is gone, but the Lord is with us. Do not be afraid of them” (14:7-9).

In this speech, Caleb and Joshua revealed their determination. They showed that they were not discouraged by the negative reports and pressure of the other men. Although they saw obstacles, which to others looked insurmountable, they saw these obstacles as opportunities for God to intervene and overcome the opposition.

Later the Lord forgives the people for their lack of faith in Him; however, he declares that not one of the men who saw His glory and yet disobeyed Him would see the promised land. But His promise to Caleb was different: But because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it (14:24). God rewarded Caleb’s faith and his determination to follow and obey God regardless of the opposition.


Some practical evidences of determination in our lives today are seen in the following “I will” statements:

I will set goals.
I will make sure my goals are right.
I will ignore distractions.
I will not be discouraged by others.
I will face problems head-on.

Divide into pairs and discuss:

  • What are some of the benefits of living a life with determination? (Some possible answers: complete tasks, are not easily influenced by others, can think for self, people can count on, people trust,
  • Why do you think some people do not demonstrate the character quality of determination? (Some possible answers: lazy, selfish, lack of examples, too passive, lack of instruction in goal-setting, etc.)


Spend a few minutes in personal reflection:

  • Think of a task God has called you to. (This does not have to be a task within the church. It may be a task with one of your children, or a task He has given to you at your job.)
  • Evaluate yourself using the determination “I wills”.
  • Prayerfully come up with an action step to grow in determination this week. Share this with a trust friend who will help you.


This material is published by the Faith Committee of the Character Council of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. Reproduction and Adaptation is encouraged.