Caleb--unknown, unappreciated, was a Mt. Everest personality who appeared on the historical landscape that was monotonously flat. From sending forth of twelve spies, through wilderness wanderings, into Canaan, the Promised Land. Went further than Moses, went further than Joshua. Why? Answer is in Numbers 14:24--My servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit in him and has followed me fully, I will bring him into the land. Unappreciated because unknown, yet discharged duties with skill and dedication.
Twelve spies sent by Moses scouted land of Canaan for forty days. When returned, all by Joshua and Caleb gave pessimistic report: When we look at ourselves, we see ourselves as grasshoppers, and we are such in their sight also. (Num 13:33). The faithless ones saw only difficulties and defeat. Were there giants--yes. Were these giants great--yes. Is our God greater--absolutely yes. How easily we forget God.
The ten spies were filled with doubt, died in wilderness. Joshua led people into Promised Land. What about Caleb? Answer begins in Numbers 14:24, story finishes in Joshua 14:6-12. An OT story about a man with a different spirit.
Mexico City is sinking. According to an article in the "New York Times": "So much water has been pumped out from the aquifer beneath to satisfy the water needs of its 18 million residents that the ground is collapsing at a stunning rate. City has sunk 30 feet in last 100 years.
Can happen spiritually. Give so much to others that energy wanes and you begin to sink. Drained, depleted, life begins to collapse in on itself. What started as noble venture to help thirsty people becomes desert journey. What will you do?
Jesus gives at least partial answer in John 7:37-39. Referring to HS who would be given to believers. How overcome spiritual thirst? The HS is coming. And the picture is of abundant supply, not merely a trickle of strength. A NT promise of a different spirit.
Where are you spiritually today? What do you see when you look at your spiritual life? A different spirit--a different place. Can you feel it? It is our strength and at times a source of problems for those who have not received that spirit. It is a problem for us when we do not cultivate that different spirit. We cannot handle the thirst by ourselves, we cannot find peace alone, we cannot fill our spiritual reservoirs without that different spirit, and unless our spiritual reservoir is replenished, we cannot refresh the parched souls around us.
Caleb succeeded for 3 reasons.
He had a purpose to live for, a self he could live with, and a faith to live by.
We too have these same things through our relationship to God through Jesus Christ. When we clearly see God's purpose in this world, the way he remakes us and redefines us, and how he sustains us by bridging into our lives to give strength when we are insufficient in ourselves, that different spirit is at work. Our deepest satisfaction and inexhaustible supply is in Jesus Christ. That singular truth empowers my phrase: a different spirit, a different place. Do you know the difference? Are you part of the difference? Will you help us make a difference? No more sameness, no more looking like the world, no more depending on the world's ways. This dream depends on everyone of us, it depends on you. A different spirit, a different place.
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