Another Spirit

 •  6 min. read  •  grade level: 9
“But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it” (Numbers 14:2424But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it. (Numbers 14:24)).
As we have said, Joshua and Caleb are the only two of their generation that we know of from Scripture who ever entered the land and took possession of their inheritance. Of the others we read: “As truly as I live, saith the Lord, as ye have spoken in Mine ears, so will I do to you: Your carcasses shall fall in this wilderness; and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward, which have murmured against Me, Doubtless ye shall not come into the land, concerning which I sware to make you dwell therein, save Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun. But your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, them will I bring in, and they shall know the land which ye have despised. But as for you, your carcasses, they shall fall in this wilderness” (Numbers 14:28-3228Say unto them, As truly as I live, saith the Lord, as ye have spoken in mine ears, so will I do to you: 29Your carcases shall fall in this wilderness; and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward, which have murmured against me, 30Doubtless ye shall not come into the land, concerning which I sware to make you dwell therein, save Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun. 31But your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, them will I bring in, and they shall know the land which ye have despised. 32But as for you, your carcases, they shall fall in this wilderness. (Numbers 14:28‑32)).
What is striking about it is, that Caleb is given the promise, because of his “spirit.” Not only was he faithful in his presentation of the truth, and in standing firm for what he believed, but he did it in the proper spirit.
It has often been remarked that the spirit of something is as important as the thing itself. How often, under the guise of faithfulness and steadfastness, we can act in a wrong spirit or attitude. There has been much damage done, a great deal of discouragement caused, and even schisms and divisions resulting amongst the Lord’s people, by that which is right in principle but wrong in spirit. Psalm 32:22Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile. (Psalm 32:2) declares, “Blessed is the man ... in whose spirit there is no guile.” We also read in Proverbs 16:3232He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city. (Proverbs 16:32), “He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit that he that taketh a city.” Our spirit and attitude are so very important. In fact so important are they that the last words that the Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy, and the last words he wrote by divine inspiration were, “the Lord Jesus Christ be with thy spirit” (2 Timothy 4:2222The Lord Jesus Christ be with thy spirit. Grace be with you. Amen. <<The second epistle unto Timotheus, ordained the first bishop of the church of the Ephesians, was written from Rome, when Paul was brought before Nero the second time.>> (2 Timothy 4:22)). Timothy was a man who was seeking to live for the Lord and go on in the truth, even in what are referred to as “the last days” (2 Timothy 3:11This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. (2 Timothy 3:1)). Paul exhorts him to “continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them” (2 Timothy 3:1414But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; (2 Timothy 3:14)). Moreover, Paul’s concern was that he would not only “continue” but that he would do it in the proper spirit. Not just that he would teach the truth, but with a right attitude. It is not only what we say, but how we say it. “Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man” (Colossians 4:66Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man. (Colossians 4:6)). Of the Lord Jesus, we read, “and all bare Him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth” (Luke 4:2222And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, Is not this Joseph's son? (Luke 4:22)). The very tone of His voice was perfect. Prophetically we read of Him, “Grace is poured into Thy lips” (Psalm 45:22Thou art fairer than the children of men: grace is poured into thy lips: therefore God hath blessed thee for ever. (Psalm 45:2)). Someone has said, We need to always make sure that our words are sweet, as we never know when we will have to eat them.
An appreciation of grace, and a sense of our own weakness and failure will help us to act in the proper attitude and with the right spirit toward the world, our brethren, and our families. “The Lord is nigh unto ... such as be of a contrite spirit” (Psalm 34:1818The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. (Psalm 34:18)). “For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones” (Isaiah 57:1515For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones. (Isaiah 57:15)).
In contrast, a prideful, haughty spirit will make us arrogant and give us an air of self-righteousness, which will be a severe detriment in our relationships with others. “Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom” (Proverbs 13:1010Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom. (Proverbs 13:10)). “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger” (Proverbs 15:11A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. (Proverbs 15:1)). We can be clear as ice but just as cold; solid as a rock but just as hard; as pointed as a spear but just as piercing; straight as a razor but just as sharp; exact as a surgeons scalpel but just as cutting. Not that we want to ever be wishy-washy when it comes to truth. As was quoted earlier, “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways” (James 1:88A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. (James 1:8)). Jude, exhorts us to “earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 33Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. (Jude 3)). When it comes to principles we never help someone by trying to sit on the fence, walk the middle of the road, or worse yet, get in the ditch with them. It is true that when the Scriptures are presented, the conscience must always be reached, but, let it be stressed, the spirit in which it is taken up can make or break the matter; it can encourage or discourage; it can edify or tear down; it can restore or drive the wedge deeper; and it can either rectify or destroy, and in the end, help or hinder.
Of Moses we read, “They angered him also at the waters of strife, so that it went ill with Moses for their sakes: Because they provoked his spirit, so that he spake unadvisedly with his lips” (Psalm 106:32-3332They angered him also at the waters of strife, so that it went ill with Moses for their sakes: 33Because they provoked his spirit, so that he spake unadvisedly with his lips. (Psalm 106:32‑33)). As we have noted already, this was such a serious offence that it hindered him from entering the promised land. If our spirits are provoked by something our brethren say or do, we need to judge it immediately so that it does not affect our words and actions. (God does not look lightly on speaking ill of His people. They are His people, and He loves them, and desires their blessing in spite of their failure.)
Of faithful Daniel we read, “An excellent spirit was in him” (Daniel 6:33Then this Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king thought to set him over the whole realm. (Daniel 6:3)). May we covet such a commendation regarding our interactions with one another. Remember, “None of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself” (Romans 14:77For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself. (Romans 14:7)). The spirit in which we do and say things affects others more than we realize. “Speaking (holding) the truth in love,” (Ephesians 4:1515But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: (Ephesians 4:15)) should always be what characterizes us. May we display, at all times, the “spirit of meekness” (Galatians 6:11Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. (Galatians 6:1)). Like the Lord Jesus, who was “meek and lowly in heart” (Matthew 11:2929Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. (Matthew 11:29)).
Maybe we haven’t always displayed a proper spirit in our interactions with one another. Let’s pray, like David, “Renew a right spirit within me” (Psalm 51:1010Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. (Psalm 51:10)).
“But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ” (Romans 14:1010But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. (Romans 14:10)). If you notice the context of this aspect of the judgment seat of Christ, you will find that it is in connection with our spirit or attitude. So much does the Lord value the spirit and attitude in which we do things, that He will reward for it in that day of commendation. Little did Caleb realize that it would be recorded in God’s eternal record for our encouragement and instruction, that he had “another spirit.”