LESSONS FROM THE BOOK OF JOSHUA
Joshua 14:8b … The Heart of The Matter
Joshua 14:8b, Numbers 14:8, 24 – The Heart of The Matter
Caleb is described and commended as one who had a different spirit because he followed the Lord, his God, wholly, with all of his heart.
Of course, God knew Caleb had a different spirit all along but nobody else did. So nobody else would have understood why he was going against the crowd, swimming upstream and sticking out like a sore thumb “clearly” trying to put everyone else in danger by insisting they go and get slaughtered by the giants in the land and so it seemed appropriate to try to kill him.
However, it was this very life threatening situation that showed to all else around that Caleb was different on the inside and when God commended him, everyone knew why but that’s not where it ended; all the people who tried to kill Caleb died off and the rest of the community watched as Caleb, and Joshua, kept growing older and older. Some probably expected them to die “any day now” but they didn’t.
By the way, doing what seems godly on the outside, without being godly on the inside, only leads to sorrow in the end. And it wasn’t just because Caleb was standing against the crowd that made him special either. Lots of people decide to be the odd one out today just to be non-conformists. That is not what Caleb did.
As seen in the story, when the rest of the people realized that they had offended God by doubting Him at the edge of the promised land and God had decreed that they would return into the desert to be wasted, they banded up and decided to do “the right thing” or “the will of God” by going up into the land to take it. There was no spirit connection to get that done anymore because God had already turned back toward the desert and when they went to do what God had asked of them in the first place, they were destroyed. Their mistake was that they thought it was Caleb’s outward actions that won him the commendation.
We have many today who are doing the godly thing or the right thing but the results are death and destruction. Maybe, they are not doing it with all their hearts.
Jesus did say, by their fruits you shall know them. That means, the fruits that identify us are the ones we bear or give birth to, not the ones we pluck off other trees and tie on to our branches; the fruit must be ours.
I’m sure you’ve heard someone, perhaps yourself, say, “I’ve prayed, I’ve sown seed, I’ve tithed, I’ve gone for evangelism, I’ve fasted, I joined several service units in church, but still …”
Check your heart. Perhaps you have not connected to God on a heart to heart level, perhaps you don’t really believe all this “God said to do this and that” stuff.
Point? You are not following God wholly until your spirit, or heart, is involved. The outward manifestations must be born out of a spirit connection.
Check your heart.
2 Chronicles 25:1-2, Ephesians 6:5-7.