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Different by Design

May 16th, 2012

“My servant Caleb has a different spirit.” Numbers 14:24 NIV

You won’t make a difference until you are willing to be different for the right reason.

My thoughts and comments today are about being “different by design.”

There is much talk about scientific cloning. Amazingly, scientists have found a way to duplicate an animal exactly. But in a non-scientific way, social cloning has been going on forever. People more comfortable to conform, fitting in with the crowd – accepting every fad and fashion without discernment or discrimination. The Creator went to great effort to make you a unique individual, a wonderful one-of-a-kind design, but “in His image and likeness.” Genesis 1:26-27 NIV.

There are a few who go to the other extreme, and refuse to be like, look like, or act like anyone else, without any idea why they want so badly not to be seen as different. Those folk only succeed in being odd or strange, ignored by some and irrelevant to most. But there are also people who stand out in any crowd for the right reason; they know who they are and to Whom they belong. That makes them wonderfully different from many others for all the right reasons.

Caleb was different from the majority, according to God’s testimony of him. “My servant Caleb has a different spirit.” Numbers 14:24 NIV. He knew the reason he chose to be different. He chose to be God’s servant – to do the will of God whatever others chose to do, to live for something more than the moment, to partner with an almighty God who would do “exceeding abundantly above all that you ask or think.” Ephesians 3:20.

The other ten men of Israel came back from investigating the “Promised Land” and said, “We can’t!” The majority is not always right; popular opinion is not necessarily the best opinion. Caleb and Joshua, willing to be in the minority, said, “With God, we can!” Read Numbers 13-14.

When I was a boy and not very adventurous or determined, my Dad would often answer my excuse that, “I can’t,” with a simple, never changing response, “Can’t never did anything.” And of course, he was right. If you think you can’t, you won’t. And even when you can’t, God can if you are willing to obey Him in what you do.

When God told Joshua that there was a lot of Promised Land that still remained to be possessed, Caleb now 85 years old still had “a different spirit.” Read Joshua 14:6-14. Caleb volunteered to take the mountains where the giants still lived. He could, because he knew His God was able.

How was Caleb’s spirit different from others? The Bible explains the one defining characteristic about Caleb, “He has a different spirit and has followed the Lord fully!” Numbers 14:24/Joshua 14:14. There is no greater confidence builder than to know that you are following the Lord fully.

You can’t help but be different, if you are following the Lord fully. You are probably going in a different direction than the crowd. You have different priorities than others. Your goals are eternal. Your values are righteous. You serve a different Master than do they.

You won’t make a difference until you are willing to be different for the right reason – to be a servant of God! Being different is not your objective; it is just the predictable effect of following God fully. With God, you will go places you never imagined, do things you never thought you would do, and become more than you otherwise would be. Without the Lord Jesus in your everyday life, you are going nowhere but just don’t know that yet.

My prayer for you today is that the difference others see in you is Jesus.

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