You know you’re right. The facts back you up. You’ve done everything you can. Yet, it didn’t happen. Whether you were arguing your solution to a problem on a test, trying to explain to a brother why that girl he likes is bad news, or interviewing for a new position at work, there are times when we do our best and we don’t get the result we want. We have come face-to-face with the impossible and it truly proved to be impossible for us. But wait a second! Doesn’t God have the power to overcome what to us is impossible. Yes, He does. That doesn’t mean He will.
But Caleb quieted the people before Moses and said, “Let us go up at once and occupy it, for we are well able to overcome it.” – Numbers 13:30, ESV
Caleb was fighting that losing battle. He and Joshua argued to go into the land of Canaan because they had God on their side. However, the people were listening to the other 10 scouts. If you’re familiar with the story, you know that though Caleb was right, he didn’t succeed in convincing the large mass of people that made up the Israelites. In fact, that group went so far as to openly discuss stoning him! Caleb was facing an impossible situation. In the end, he lost. Or did he?
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. – Numbers 14:24, ESV
Caleb lost when it came to the situation. However, he didn’t lose when it came to God’s eternal view. Just a short while later, after the Israelites rebelled and after Moses interceded for them before God, Moses is told that Caleb “has a different spirit and has followed me fully.” Now that’s praise. That’s praise coming from the One who matters most. Not only did God praise Caleb, but He promised that Caleb would come into the land he had scouted. God would make it happen.
The reminder is for us to do what is right, even in a losing situation. If it’s right, that’s good enough. We may not succeed in that circumstance, but we’re not living life for individual circumstances. We’re living life for the long term view of the Living God. Don’t you want to hear from God about yourself, “He/she has a different spirit and has followed me fully?” I know I do. We are called to be holy. That means we’re called to be set apart. If we have a different spirit, that’s being set apart. But holy means more than just being set apart. It means God has set us apart. Why would God set us apart? He would set us apart because we have followed Him fully. Obedience and faith walk hand-in-hand. Caleb demonstrated his faith by his obedience, even as his nation wanted to kill him. Pause and think about that for a moment.
We need to be bold like Caleb. Bold isn’t arrogant. Bold isn’t abusive. Bold is doing what many others do not have the courage to do. It takes courage to stay the course in an impossible situation. But there’s foolish courage and wise courage. Foolish courage is staying the course when it’s the wrong course. Wise courage is sticking to the path when it’s the right path, just not the successful one. Let us be full of wise courage. Let us be bold. Let us be like Caleb, willing to stick to what’s right, even in the midst of an impossible situation. The reward will be to hear God say something like, “You have a different spirit and you have followed me fully.” Now wouldn’t that be awesome?