Caleb, one of the 12 spies whom Moses sent to spy out the land promised by God to Israel, was a bit different. He went against the grain and made it into God’s “Hall of Difference Makers.” In fact, God used this very word to describe him. “Caleb,” He said, “has a different spirit,” (Numbers 14:24).
By describing Caleb as different, the Lord was actually comparing him to 10 of the other spies who were conformists, weak in their faith, and sadly, still slaves at heart. These spineless pioneer wannabes affirmed that the Promised Land truly was as wonderful as God had said. Unfortunately, they also pointed out that it was ruled by giants, protected by strong armies, and filled with fortified cities. God forgot to tell us about giants - 9 feet plus in height, they opined. And as cowards often do, these 10 spies poisoned Israel with their fear and unbelief. To fear-controlled believers, “giants” are bigger than God.
Ironically, the 10 fearful spies were actually leaders in Israel (Numbers 13:2); yet they didn’t possess the faith needed to advance into the land of promise and challenge the demonized giants controlling it. They were leaders who wouldn’t lead, fathers who wouldn’t fight. Though free, they were still slaves, not warriors; settlers, not pioneers. And settlers fear giants. Fearful and faithless people build walls to keep giants out; pioneers dispossess them. Shockingly, the 10 “settlers” actually preferred going back to slavery in Egypt, where their masters fed and clothed them - and they didn’t have to fight - than risking their lives for the cause of freedom.
No longer were they merely slaves physically, they were now slaves at heart. Their wills had been broken. And when the will has been broken by the cruel hammer of slavery or fear, freedom’s call is silenced. “Give me liberty or give me death,” is shouted down by “The British are too powerful.” “Give me my mountain,” is drowned out by “The giants are too big.” When the process is complete we’re conformists, safety-seekers.
Caleb, however, was different. Not only was he willing to fight the giants, but he offered to tackle the biggest. Caleb requested the town of Kiriath-Arba as his battle assignment. Why is this significant? Kiriath-Arba means “the city of Arba;” and Arba was “the greatest of all the giants” (Joshua 14:15). The biggest and baddest of these anti-God behemoths ruling the region had chosen a mountain from which to rule - the highest city in all the territory - and renamed the city after himself. Prior to this, it was named Hebron, meaning “covenant friendship.”
Caleb’s attitude toward the giants and their fortified cities was simple: Let’s go kill these evil giants and possess the land. I’ll take the biggest!
Years later, when Caleb was finally allowed to conquer Kiriath-Arba (God required Israel to wait 40 more years to do so until the unbelieving generation died), he changed the city’s name to Hebron once again. There, this warrior enjoyed a wonderful friendship with God, as did many others. (In keeping with this symbolism, Abraham, “the friend of God,” is actually buried there.) Warriors like Caleb, who face fears and conquer giants, prepare the way for others to find and enjoy friendship with God.
Spiritual pioneers also pass on their overcoming nature to the next generation. After Caleb took Kiriath-Arba, his nephew Othniel also conquered a giant-controlled city, Kiriath-Sepher. He renamed this city Debir, which means “the innermost sanctuary.” Israel’s actual innermost sanctuary was the Holy of Holies, found in the Tabernacle of Moses. This was where God’s presence and glory dwelled. Othniel, however, wanted to rule an entire city where God’s presence and glory dwelled, so by faith he called it Debir. Caleb’s reproduce those like themselves: God-seekers, presence-lovers, hungry for Him.
Many generations later, Hebron would take on even more significance. Newly crowned King David established his first throne there; seven years later, he moved it to Jerusalem. When Caleb conquered Hebron, little did he know he was pioneering the way for David’s future reign over Israel. Pioneers - forerunners of change - don’t always see the fullness of that for which they prepare the way. Their pioneering nature, however, just keeps building roads and blazing trails.
America was built on the backs of different-spirited pioneers. Somewhere on the Continental Divide are the bleached bones of a nameless, faceless pathfinder who died opening up a pathway for you. Arlington Cemetery houses the graves of unknown soldiers who died preparing the way for your freedom.
America now needs another generation of selfless, no compromising pioneer-patriots: prayer warriors, government leaders, business men and women, media people, educators and certainly leaders in the church. The frontier these 21st-century pioneers must conquer is one of mindsets and beliefs, not a mountain range; and the minefield we face is one of ideas and ideologies, not an Omaha Beach. But the need for different-spirited pioneers is every bit as great.
The church, too, was built by warrior pioneers and needs a rebirth of the same. The soil under the Roman Coliseum is stained with the blood of pioneering martyrs - our brothers and sisters - who died to advance the cause of our pioneering Leader. They’re watching us from the balcony of Heaven and their blood is crying out for a generation to emerge who won’t lower the standard. This great “cloud of witnesses” is waiting for a generation of difference-makers to arise in America that will once again be willing to lay down their lives for heaven’s holy cause.
What will your response be? I pray you choose the path of a pioneer spiritual warrior. Leave the crowd - don’t be a follower - be different! Buck the broken system and rock the proverbial boat. May your commitment to the cause make the complacent nervous!
“But 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, and his descendants shall inherit it.” (Numbers 14:24 NKJV)
Give Him 15 minutes in prayer:
Think about God’s statement describing Caleb - he had a different spirit. Ask the Lord to show you what that would mean for you.
Ask the Lord to show you any areas of your life where, through fear or intimidation, you have settled for something other than God‘s best for you.
Ask Him to awaken a warrior spirit in you. Tell him you want to take out spiritual giants.
Ask Him to do this for the church in America, also.
Determine to be part of the prayer army God is raising up to take down the giants/strongholds in our nation. Also, determine to be part of this effort in every practical way possible - giving, voting, speaking up, running for office, etc.
A prayer you can pray:
Father, we ask for a fresh impartation of courage. We ask you to break off intimidation and fear from the church in America. Also, convict us of apathy, complacency and for becoming conformists. Let the fire and commitment of the early church be infused into us in this hour. Give us a Caleb heart.
Forgive us for negligence in allowing the Left to take over so much of America. Forgive us for abandoning government involvement, for turning it over to those who oppose you. We have done the same with education, media, pro-life issues, and other areas of our culture. We have lost much ground by default. Please forgive us for this.
And now, may we live our messages and songs. We sing about taking cities and yet have taken none. We sing about being warriors, yet we cower. And we sing songs declaring You have never lost a battle, not realizing that that has never been the question or the issue. The real question is: will WE rise in the authority You gave us, and win battles. You have never lost one, we have.
But now, Lord, we declare our faith: You are building a glorious Ekklesia that the gates of hell will no longer prevail against. We will rise up in the authority You have given us and govern for You. According to Matthew 16:19, we will bind and loose; we will forbid and allow; we will open and close. We will represent You, the glorious King, in all of Your majesty and authority. And we will not lose, because You have already won. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
We decree that the Caleb spirit, the anointing of our King, is rising up in the Ekklesia of America to take out giants.
Part of today’s post was taken from my book The Way Back.