"But My servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit and has followed Me fully, I will bring into the land into which he went, and his descendants shall possess it." Numbers 14:24, ESV
For weeks now I've pondered this text. Like many of my brothers and sisters in the faith, I want a "different spirit." Something akin to what Caleb had. A spirit God could brag about if He were writing the Holy Scriptures now and speaking this way of you and me; of our life of faith in Him and how we walk uprightly in His ways. But I'm also mindful that to have this said of us —in the context of Numbers 14:24— means that when everyone else is going one way we, being different, must go another.
Toward the promises of God.
Seizing them, believing them, and walking fully in them.
As our truth, uncontested.
The thing about having a different spirit though is this: different can look or appear strange to others, yes, even quite uncommon; especially to those who are less committed to walking in the purposes, plans, and vision of God. The thing is, to be different requires risk. We see this in Numbers 13:30-32. It tells us how "Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once and possess it; we are well able to conquer it. But his fellow scouts said, We are not able to go up against the people [of Canaan], for they are stronger than we are."
Caleb didn't see like everyone else around him.
Caleb didn't think like everyone else around him.
Caleb was of a different mind and a different courage.
Caleb lived a highly consecrated life to His LORD.
The thing about Caleb that stands out to me, too, is that God called him a servant. I love that. I want that said of me! I bet you do too. What God means by Caleb being a servant is that Caleb must've seen himself as a wholehearted worshipper of His LORD and, because of this, Caleb lived bound to his LORD in every possible way. Which, to me, means how we see ourselves in Christ matters, it matters a whole lot. And here's the beautiful part, because of Caleb's worshipful heart and character, God gave Caleb what He had promised him. Yes, while everyone else around him died in the wilderness because of their blatant unbelief, Caleb (and his friend Joshua) marched on!
Into the promises of God! Laying hold of every place they were courageous enough to plant their feet! Standing on and attaining the very promises of God!
I don't know how this strikes you, but I cannot help but to think that the days are too evil for us (the Church) to live apathetic lives to the things of God and beaten down by the things of this world. Especially when our brothers and sisters are losing their heads on the other side of the world. Oh Church, let's not lose ours too—in mental turmoil and mediocrity. Like you, I must admit, at times, I've lived this way. But, praise God and by His power, I'm choosing not to anymore. God is doing a fresh work in me, and I'm asking for Him to do a fresh work in you, Christ's Body, too.
In recent days, I cannot get away from or resist this magnificent truth: If the same spirit that raised Christ from the dead lives in you and me, then, I'd say we have a mighty inheritance dwelling in our bones! The very resurrection life of Christ running through our veins! Which, curious student that I am, always leads me to ask the simple but necessary questions, What is this mighty power for? I mean really? Is it not to deliver us from our bondages so that Our Lord can deliver us to a world that needs to see, know, and live in The Beloved's eternal life too? To know the risen Savior personally and be known by Him? I believe it is.
If I can be so bold to say so, I believe Jesus wants to help all of us back to our feet so we can be Caleb's in our generation. All of us! As I'm pressing into the Lord through prayer and studying the Scriptures more and more, I am increasingly made aware of how vital we all are in ushering in a fresh move of God into our generation. We may feel like nobodies, and quite insignificant, but if we'll do as God says in the book of Joshua 3:5 and "Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do wonders among you," and pray like we've never prayed before, I believe we'll begin to see the mighty promises of God fulfilled not only in us but also all around us. The harvest is plentiful! Jesus is alive and ever-willing to make Himself known by rescuing, redeeming, and transforming lives! But we must believe!
Listen, we are not overlooked by God in this generation; not me, and surely not you. Neither are we insignificant in this generation; not me, and surely not you. Nor have we blown it too bad for God to use us; not me, and surely not you. Let's make today the day we mix our faith with this trustworthy confession. Amen?
As it stands, "For indeed we have had the glad tidings [Gospel of God] proclaimed to us just as truly as they [the Israelites of old did when the good news of deliverance from bondage came to them]; but the message they heard did not benefit them, because it was not mixed with faith (with the leaning of the entire personality on God in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness) by those who heard it; neither were they united in faith with the ones [Joshua and Caleb] who heard (did believe). For we who have believed (adhered to and trusted in and relied on God) do enter that rest..." (Hebrews 4:2-3a).