Thursday, July 23, 2015

What Kind of Spirit Do You Have?

Because all those men which have seen my glory, and my miracles, which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have tempted me now these ten times, and have not hearkened to my voice; Surely they shall not see the land which I sware unto their fathers, neither shall any of them that provoked me see it: But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it. - Numbers 14:22-24

I think we're all familiar with the account of the twelve spies sent out to survey the land that the Lord had promised them.  Even though the land was flowing with milk and honey and had everything God's people could ever want, ten of the twelve spies decided that it wasn't worth the trouble because the land was currently being occupied by many enemies, including giants.  They chose to ignore God's promise and declared to the children of Israel that it was just too difficult.  They would have to live somewhere else.

Two of those spies, however, decided to take God at His word and tried to convince the people that they could not fail when God was on their side.  And while Joshua is not mentioned in the above verses, we know that God honored his faithfulness.  But this morning, I want to focus on the phrase in verse 24:  "But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him."  Another spirit?  Huh?  What's God talking about?  Was Caleb possessed?  Well, sort of.

You see, the ten spies had some spirits of their own.  They were each possessed with the spirit of fear, doubt and even pride.  God told them straight out that this was their new home, and they said, "Nope, this won't work."  How arrogant!  They were afraid of the giants in the land.  They were fearful of what it was going to cost them to try and drive out the existing inhabitants of the land.  And they doubted that God's aid would make any difference.

Caleb, on the other hand, had a different spirit.  Where they had fear, he had faith.  When they doubted, he stood strong on God's promise.  When they shook their heads and said, "No way," he reminded them, "Have you forgotten Who we serve and all that He's done for us?"  His spirit was positive and encouraging.  He offered the people hope and an end to their endless days of travel.  He saw a victory even though it hadn't occurred yet because He trusted in God with all his heart.

When comparing these spirits, does a particular verse come to mind?  For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. (II Timothy 1:7)  So basically, this verse tells us that Caleb had the spirit of God.  He exemplified power, love and a sound mind.  The other ten spies, however, displayed fear and doubt, which according to Timothy is not of God.  Well, if it's not from God, where did it come from?  Since fear is the exact opposite of faith, I think it's safe to say that its source is the exact opposite of God.  Yep, these men had the spirit of the devil in them.  It was that sly old serpent who led them to fear and convinced them that God's way wouldn't work.  And sadly, they heeded his direction, and it cost them. . . a lot!

So, I ask you, friend, what kind of spirit do you have today?  Is it a spirit of faith that uplifts and encourages or a spirit of fear that leaves your heart heavy and your mind racing?  One is a gift from God; the other is a curse.  You have a choice in which one you accept, so choose wisely.  After all, your decision won't only affect you, just as the decision of the ten spies didn't only affect them.  The entire congregation suffered because of their lack of faith.  Let's be careful not to cause any suffering because of ours.


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