Daily D – Numbers 14:24
But since my servant Caleb has a different spirit and has remained loyal to me, I will bring him into the land where he has gone, and his descendants will inherit it.
NUMBERS 14:24 (CSB)
There are different kinds of different. Some people like to be different just to be different. There is a particular label that is often placed on such cases: Odd.
Imagine you are at a nice hotel conference facility. Outside the meeting rooms there is a swimming pool. Inside the meeting rooms serious men and women gather to expand their knowledge base in preparation for more effective leadership. Into the main meeting room walks a man with swim trunks and sandals. He has on his head a big hat and sunglasses and he smells like sunscreen.
“Odd,” you might think. You would be right in thinking that very thought.
Likewise, you relax in the pool and play Marco Polo with your kids when a guy in a navy suit, white shirt, and red tie walks up, finds a lounge chair, and lies back in a relaxing pose. Again, you might think, “Odd.” Again, you would be correct.
What is appropriate dress for a business conference differs from what is appropriate dress for a poolside lounge. Different can make people laugh. It can also make people uncomfortable.
Caleb was different in a good way. Where the majority of his colleagues saw problems, he saw possibilities. When they said, “There is no way,” he said, “There is One way.”
Caleb chose God’s way. The crowd chose another way. Which way do you think God blessed?
Most people in most situations do not like to feel like the odd person in the room. We do not like asking the wrong question and getting laughed at in front of others. Rather than take the risk of being different, we settle for being wrong.
Most people in most situations do not like to take on a crowd when we suspect they are moving in a united, but wrong, direction. We do not want to cause unnecessary conflict and so we settle for failure and loss.
Different is good when we know God’s nature, character, and purpose. Even when he does not give us precise directions, we know enough and are secure enough in our relationship with him, that we can confidently step forward in faith however different that may look or feel.
Of the twelve spies sent into the Promised Land in this chapter, ten of them were unwilling to walk with God into the preferred future he had engineered for them. Caleb and Joshua were ready not only to walk with God, but to walk before him in confident faith that God always provides wherever he guides.
They were different. They were the right kind of different. What if it were odd not to walk with God, not to walk before him in blessed assurance? What if we knew God’s mind, God’s heart, and God’s hands so well that we could step into the countercultural difference that builds a better world?
Terms like Different and Odd are based on perspective. What if we risked looking odd from a culturally-conditioned perspective until different was the new normal? Caleb and Joshua became the rule rather than the exception. All the others died short of what was promised. Caleb and Joshua led the way into God’s special future.
I will be different as often as necessary to live God’s purpose for my life.
Our Father, I want to see your possibilities. I want to experience your good guidance. I want to live your purpose for me. I want to be who you want me to be and to do what you want me to do. Amen.
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Ruth 1:20, 21 “Don’t call me Naomi. Call me Mara,” she answered, “for the Almighty has made me very bitter. I went away full, but the LORD has brought me back empty. Why do you call me Naomi, since the LORD has opposed me, and the Almighty has afflicted me?” (CSB)