Saturday, January 31, 2015
January 31 – When we go it alone
But since My servant Caleb has a different spirit and has followed Me completely, I will bring him into the land where he has gone, and his descendants will inherit it. (Numbers 14:24 HCSB)
Caleb was one of the two spies who had scouted out the Promised Land, and came back full of faith and determination to take possession of it. He believed that God was with them, and why not? God had delivered them from Pharaoh, opened the Red Sea, fed them miraculously in the desert, and had split boulders so that water could gush out for millions of Israelites. Caleb saw the obvious. God had done miracle after miracle and led them to the most beautiful and abundant land just as He had promised. Of course God could take care of them. He was God, and this was their land. Caleb saw it all through God’s eyes and was raring to do what God commanded and go forward.
But not the rest of the people. They were so convinced that the inhabitants were too strong and their cities too fortified, that they even raged against Moses for leading them there. They wanted to kill Moses, Caleb and Joshua on the spot. They preferred slavery in Egypt to having the Promised Land. And because of that, God banned them from entering it. But not Caleb and his companion Joshua, the only good spies in the bunch. God was pleased with them and allowed them into the land, and gave them an inheritance there for generations to come.
God is still looking for different spirits in us all. People we think are on the same team as us, will turn their backs on our vision and on what God is leading us to do. At those times God expects us to go it alone, even with the anger and ridicule of those who we once considered friends. Human nature loves huddling into groups who agree with us and validate our opinions. But God wants us to live beyond survival instincts. He wants us to live by His promises and trust in His nature, even when we feel rejected. Even if millions stand against us, we are to have a different spirit.
In verse 18, God speaks about the curses of sin and rebellion. These curses continue to the third and fourth generations, not because God has hatred for these unborn generations, but because that is the nature of evil when it enters a family. It latches on to a household and plagues fathers to sons, to grandsons and on and on. Now that we have authority in Jesus’ name, those curses can be broken with a radical faith in Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. Without that faith, the curses just keep on repeating.
But the converse is also true. God blesses those with a different spirit, like Caleb, and then blesses his descendants after him. Our choices today establish an inherited blessing over our household that will carry on through our children and grandchildren. Yes, each one has to seek God individually, and each has to deal with the consequences of his or her own choices. But even so, a blessing of God’s favor will be with them, just because of us. Isn’t that worth standing alone against the crowd for the sake of our faith?