Wednesday, January 02, 2013

A Caleb spirit

new beginnings
TODAY'S SPECIAL: Numbers 14:1-25

TO CHEW ON:
"But My servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit in him and has followed Me fully, I will bring into the land where he went and his descendants shall inherit it."  Numbers 14:24

We all have friends who could be characterized as positive, who can be counted on to have a can-do attitude, who see life's glass half-full. They are Caleb kind of people.

I love how Caleb and Joshua stand up to the crowd with their faith in God and Moses intact, even after seeing Canaan's giants. Instead of focusing on the size of their obstacles they report the richness of the land and claim the power of God over those giants: "...for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them, and the Lord is with us. Do not fear them." Don't you just love his attitude!

Even God took note and said to Moses, "...My servant Caleb...because he has a different spirit in him and has followed Me fully I will bring him into the land where he went..."

His exploits continue. For he indeed survives the forty more years of wilderness wandering and drives out the giants from his Canaan territory (Joshua  14:10-14; 15:14).

What an example to us as we enter a new year. What challenges—giants if you like—do you and I face as we enter 2013? Whatever they are, let's face them with Caleb-like faith as we:

1. Envision the future we desire - Numbers 14:8.

2. Focus on how big and powerful God is - Numbers 14:9,10.

3. Speak words of hope and faith, not despair and unbelief. Earlier Caleb spoke words of faith (Numbers 13:30). Again in our reading he speaks of the delight of the land not the terrors of its citizens, while the other spies discourage the people by filling them with fear. God pronounces His verdict on all these words: "'Say to them, "As I live, just as you have spoken in my hearing, so I will do to you"'" Numbers 14:28 (emphasis added).

By the outlook we choose and the words we speak we cement our attitudes more firmly into our psyches and put our future and the future of our descendants on one course or another.

PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for the example of Caleb. Please help me cultivate a Caleb spirit as I enter the new year. Amen.

MORE: Are we our own problem?
"Where there is no vision, the people perish" - Proverbs 29:18

"The Israelites had no positive vision for their lives—no dreams. They knew where they came from but they did not know where they were going. Everything was based on what they had seen and could see. They did not know how to see with 'the eye of faith.'

".... (Referring to Numbers 14:2-3) I encourage you to look over this passage carefully. Notice how negative these people were—complaining, ready to give up easily, preferring to go back to bondage rather than press through the wilderness into the Promised Land.

"Actually, they did not have a problem, they were the problem" - Joyce Meyer, Battlefield of the Mind, pp. 181, 183.
Moses' prayer of intercession for Israel here (Numbers 14:13-23) is another one of the Twelve Great Prayers of the Old Testament.



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