Kathy and I are traveling right now so I have to take a break from our journey through the book of John. But I came across something during my personal devotions that I want to share today.
Read Numbers chapters 13-14.
Caleb’s Spirit is Different
I was reading in Numbers about the time when the twelve Israeli spies came back from exploring the promised land and they were giving their report to Moses. They showed the people the fruit of the land and they said,
“The place flows with milk and honey just as God said it would.”
But they went on to say,
“However the people there are strong, their cities are fortified and large. And the descendants of Anak are there. The Amalekites are occupying part of the territory. And the Hittites, Jebusites, Amorites, and the Canaanites are there too. So, we can’t take these people, they’re too strong for us. Their men are taller, bigger, and stronger than we are. We’re like grasshoppers to these people. So taking the promised land: It’s a no-go.”
Later in the story we learn that the people of Israel buy in to their report.
Except there are these two guys, two of the twelve that went in to the promised land to spy it out, and these two guys, Caleb and Joshua, they’re filled with the Spirit of God and they go against the overwhelming sentiment of the people. They say,
“We can do this! God sent us here to do this and He will be with us. Let’s get started!”
But the people, as I’m sure you remember, they side with the ten who are against the idea of taking the promised land as God desires them to.
God becomes angry with their lack of faith but Moses intercedes for the people. Ultimately God decides everyone who wanted to reject His plan will have to wander in the wilderness for forty years where they will die, without entering into the promised land.
And then God says something that really hit me. He says,
“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.”
Kassidy’s Spirit is Different
I read the story about Caleb a few days ago. Today I heard a different story from my nephew Kassidy. He’s a realtor and he told us about this real estate deal that was the craziest real estate deal I’ve ever heard of.
The property is a 400 sf house in a bad part of town, and the owner was an eighty-five year old African-American man. One day a stranger knocks on the door and explains that she’s been experiencing some setbacks recently and she doesn’t have a home. She just needs a place to get cleaned up, so would the owner please let her come in to use his shower. The owner, who’s a generous soul, agrees to help. The only problem is, after her shower, she doesn’t leave. She stays and appoints herself as his “caregiver.” But it doesn’t take long before the owner finds himself being verbally abused by this woman. And, not only that, but she also starts telling anyone who will listen that the house is hers.
The owner decides to sell the place. And my realtor nephew Kassidy decides to help him sell it–even though everyone around him thinks he’s crazy to step into the middle of this quagmire.
Getting the deal done involved contacting the police, senior services, driving the owner to San Diego five hours away to meet with a family member, being verbally abused by the woman himself, and paying drug addicts to leave the house. Kassidy even discounted his commission (which wasn’t much anyway on a 400 sf house) to get the deal done. And, get this, at the closing, the abusive woman showed up at the title company and tried to get the owner to send the proceeds from the sale to her bank acccount! This woman is a certified predator. But, finally, it’s done. Now the new owner is working on getting the crazy woman to leave the house so he can take possession of the property.
This was the strangest real estate deal ever. The people at Kass’s real estate office thought it didn’t make any sense for Kassidy to involve himself in such a difficult property with such a small commission.
But Kassidy had a different spirit.
Your Spirit is Different
Caleb had a different spirit, God said in today’s passage.
Have you ever felt like you had a different spirit from everyone around you?
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve felt as though God would have me do something, but I didn’t do it because everyone around me would think it didn’t make sense. So many times I’ve mentioned an idea I felt God gave me and the people around me have been against it. While I understand there’s a time to receive wise counsel, there are also times when you know what God wants you to do, but you don’t do it simply because of the overwhelming pressure you feel from the people around you not buying in. I’ve caved into that pressure too many times. But I’m learning. During this trip I did some things God wanted me to do that didn’t make sense to some of the people around me, and it was so worth it.
What I want to say to you is,
It’s OK to have a different spirit.
Caleb had a different spirit.
And God commended him for it.
Follow God fully.
Coming in February of 2020:
Love Like Jesus: How Jesus Loved People (and how you can love like Jesus)
Love Like Jesus begins with the story of how after a life of regular church attendance and Bible study, Bennett was challenged by a pastor to study Jesus. That led to an obsessive seven year deep dive. After pouring over Jesus’ every interaction with another human being, he realized he was doing a much better job of studying Jesus’ words than he was following Jesus’ words and example. The honest and fearless revelations of Bennett’s own moral failures affirm he wrote this book for himself as much as for others.
Love Like Jesus examines a variety of stories, examples, and research, including:
- Specific examples of how Jesus communicated God’s love to others.
- How Jesus demonstrated all five of Gary Chapman’s love languages (and how you can too).
- The story of how Billy Graham extended Christ’s extraordinary love and grace toward a man who misrepresented Jesus to millions.
- How to respond to critics the way Jesus did.
- How to love unlovable people the way Jesus did.
- How to survive a life of loving like Jesus (or how not to become a Christian doormat).
- How Jesus didn’t love everyone the same (and why you shouldn’t either).
- How Jesus guarded his heart by taking care of himself–he even napped–and why you should do the same.
- How Jesus loved his betrayer Judas, even to the very end.
With genuine unfiltered honesty, Love Like Jesus, shows you how to live a life according to God’s definition of success: A life of loving God well, and loving the people around you well too.
A life of loving like Jesus.
(Kindle, hardcover, and paperback are scheduled to come out in 2020.)