Wednesday, April 22, 2015

April 23, 2015

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.” Numbers 14:24

Caleb was one among twelve spies but he stood head and shoulder above the rest! He prospered when the ten faithless spies perished!

Over the last few days we have been learning why:

·         He was a devoted servant
·         He had a different spirit

And the third thing different about Caleb is:

·         He was dead to self

As you look at this story it is obvious there were two different spirits at work in the ten spies than in Caleb and Joshua.

If you are going to have a different spirit as Caleb did why not have God’s Spirit? You cannot have God’s Spirit and your selfish will co-existent in the same heart. Your sinful nature must die in order for God’s Spirit to fill you with His presence and power.

The Apostle Paul said it this way:

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.  Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.Romans 12:1-2

When you look at the difference in Caleb’s report and that of ten other spies you have to wonder, “Wow! What a difference! What’s that about?”

They saw the same things but they saw them with a different spirit.

The difference was about seeing Canaan through eyes of faith rather than eyes of flesh. And the difference was having the confidence of a victor instead of cowering as a victim.

The difference was about Caleb being dead to himself and alive to God! He wasn’t worried about anything except pleasing God. He didn’t have to b defensive or fearful or timid, he just had to size up the enemy, measure them against God and share the optimistic report.

The difference was about Caleb sensing God’s presence, God’s peace and God’s protection as he scouted behind enemy lines.

It was a big difference and it raises a big question. If they knew they were going to spy out God’s Promised WHY didn’t the other spies prepare spiritually as well?

How about you?

Are you spiritually prepared for the next big thing God has for you?

Have you died to yourself?

Do you have a different spirit?

April 22, 2015

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.” Numbers 14:24

Wouldn’t it be great if God could brag on you?

If God were to brag on you, what would he brag about?

God was bragging on Caleb in our Scripture text today. In yesterday’s post I mentioned three things about Caleb that impressed God.

First, he was a dedicated servant.

This morning I want you to notice the second praiseworthy trait Caleb possessed. He had a different spirit – “Caleb has a different spirit”.

What was different about Caleb’s spirit?

Caleb had faith!

“Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.” Numbers 13:30

When nearly every other Israelite was overcome with fear over the report from the Promised Land, Caleb had the contrary opinion. Ten spies were moaning and lamenting the giants that would confront them across the Jordan River. Those spies saw the same things when they scouted out the land for forty days. But they returned with vastly different reports.

Why were there two such opposite forecasts about their future when all twelve of the spies went the same places and saw the same things!

At least part of the answer lies not in WHAT they saw but in HOW they saw.

The ten spies who gave the bad report were looking through eyes of flesh while Caleb was looking through eyes of faith!

They saw the giants in light of their own weaknesses and inadequacies, while Caleb saw them in light of God’s strength and power!

That’s the difference that faith makes!  And it’s a BIG difference.

Facing giants in the flesh is a losing strategy that incites fear. But Caleb’s spirit, the spirit of faith, inspired hope!

Caleb had fervency!

Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had explored the land, tore their clothes and said to the entire Israelite 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 milk 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 devour them. Their protection is gone, but the Lord is with us. Do not be afraid of them.” Numbers 14:6-9

Caleb was zealous for the will of God. He knew how God had delivered them from the bondage of the mighty Egyptians.  He was mindful of how God had brought them safely through the Red Sea and then closed it back to destroy their enemies! He was convinced God was able to give them the Promised Land as well!

He could not let the skeptics and the doubters have the last word! He fervently pleaded God’s case before the people!

Caleb was fearless!

“Only do not rebel against the LORD, nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them, and the LORD is with us. Do not fear them.” Numbers 14:9

Caleb’s courage came from his conviction that God had the power to keep His promise! He had seen what God had done in the past and believed He would do it again!

Caleb had a “different spirit”! His spirit was a spirit of faith, a spirit of fervency and of fearlessness. His spirit stood in stark contrast to the defeated, discouraged and doubting attitudes that surrounded him that day.

No wonder God took notice of him!

No wonder God was pleased with him!

No wonder God bragged on him and help him up as a model for all His people.

How is your spirit today?

Are you living by faith?

Are you fervent for His will?

Are you fearless in His promises?

There is a spirit better than Caleb’s spirit available to you this day! It is God’s Holy Spirit offered to those who will ask for it, believe and receive it.