A Different Spirit
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: 23)
There are two characters that mark Caleb’s success in God’s eyes. Because he possesses a different spirit that allows him to follow God fully, he persists in pursuing God’s calling without losing strength. His spirit that knows and actualizes God’s command to his life enables him to understand his role. Also, Caleb’s spirit separates him from other ten spies who were defeated by their weariness and fear after spying the promised land. God urges us to learn from Caleb. As we have seen God’s work and his glory, let us hold fast to the faith that transforms our heart and our spirit; with a different spirit, we can follow God fully and conquer other voices that may lead us astray from God; in order to fulfill God’s work all of our lives, we must pray for a healthy body to accomplish God’s work to the fullest.
Twelve spies were sent out in total to spy the land God has promised the Israelites. Each of them was chosen, brave, and vigilant, but why were there only Joshua and Caleb who returned with faith? They have all seen the same evidence that this land was promised to them, but not all of them had the same faith. While the majority of the spies only saw the insurmountable challenges in front of them, Joshua and Caleb deemed these challenges as ways of which God will show His might to save. Their differences in faith led to a contrasting consequence: only those who had faith entered the promised land, while all others died in the wilderness. How do we in the face of challenges hold on to our faith as Joshua and Caleb did? This faith must come from constant prayer and praise to the Lord. If we do not know God in good weather, how are we going to lean on Him when situations become harder to trust in Him? As people who run before us have set an example of good and persistent faith, let us emulate them by saturating ourselves with the word of God.
What is so special to have a “different spirit” that characterizes Caleb? This spirit allows him to follow God fully. The word full means that there is not a second that he does not follow God. It is a constant action and a persistent one. Following God becomes Caleb’s habit and becomes innate to him that he does not even need to force himself to do so but do it naturally. Since we know that God’s way is perfect, how great it will be that we can follow Him so we can lead a “perfect” life in God’s sight? It is a great reminder for us to pray that our desire aligns to that of God’s. When our desire aligns to God’s desire, we will make decisions according to his will. As we make decision according to his will, we will not be tempted by the world to take a detour from God’s plan for us. Sometimes it seemed unimaginable to lead such an obedient life; however, this is why God has blessed us with the holy spirit to guide us and to remind us that His way is perfect for us.
Another take home message from Caleb’s life is that he has served God all his life. In order to do so, he not only needs an obedient heart but also a robust body that enables him to fight for the Lord. God wants us to be prosperous mentally and physically. Thus, while we grow in the spirit, we should also be cautious in taking care of our physical body that is designed in God’s image. Let us not lose faith and turn away from God in the face of challenges; rather, let us hold on the faith and retain a different spirit to follow God fully till the end of our lives.
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