A Different Spirit

From Numbers 14:1-24

Again they disobeyed. They fought against the Lord and against one another. Caleb had returned to camp after scouting out the land to give the best news possible. The neighboring nation had no protection and could be easily overcome. Even better, the soil was good for crops and there were abundant resources. Instead of rejoicing, though, the people rebelled. They were stubborn and continued to fear rather than go forward.

The word “rebel” is such strong language, especially when looking at the Israelite’s actions. They didn’t build an idol. They didn’t sacrifice their babies to false gods like they’d done in the past, or parade their sin openly in drunkenness and sexual perversion. No, they simply didn’t believe that the good things God said were going to take place would actually happen. If you look at Numbers 14:3 the people cry out, “why would the Lord bring us into the land to die by the sword?!” Strange. God never said that was his plan. His intentions up to that point were to bring them into abundance, into the good land, into security, victory and peace. In unbelief the people clung to their own reality, their own fear, rather than believe in the goodness of God. They rebelled through pessimism and refused to go.

What a wicked thing. Here God has been faithfully protecting, serving, loving, humbly giving of himself to Israel and they not only refuse his gift, they claim it will cause their destruction. In the heat of the moment and as intercession for his tribes, Moses shouts to God, “Now, please let the power of the Lord be great as you have promised, saying, ‘the Lord is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, forgiving iniquity and transgression’…Please pardon the iniquity of this people, according to the greatness of your steadfast love, just as you have forgiven this people, from Egypt until now.”

And the Father responds, “All the earth shall be filled with my glory, none of the men who have seen my glory and my signs that I did in Egypt and in the wilderness…none of those who despise me will see it. But my servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit and has followed me fully, I will bring him the land into which he went, and his descendants shall possess it.”

Caleb believed that what God said he would do, he could actually do. He had a different spirit, one of trust rather than skepticism.

Prayers for Japan to Receive a Different Spirit:

Lord, we know the world operates in fear and self-preservation. You, though, draw us into the fire, into places, relationships, situations and decisions that require risk. You invite us into the promised land on your word that you will defeat our enemies. 

1. For Myself

I repent, Lord, for the ways I’ve hated your gifts to me and decisions for my future. There have been times you’ve led me somewhere unsafe and I felt set up, times that I didn’t understand what you were doing and I felt neglected. I repent for ever thinking you had my death in mind, my destruction and defeat. I know that you don’t take delight in the death of any one of your children. You are a Father of grace, the giver of life. Reign in me, spirit of trust, so that I may move in obedience into the promised land, knowing that you have my best in mind.

Fill me with a different spirit, fill me with your spirit of love. 

2. For the Church

As your children we thank you for your discipline, for your steadfast love and your patients toward us. You love us so well, Father. How absurd that we would be pulled and attracted by lesser things, realities less beautiful than your truth. So often we are stiff-necked and go our own way by resisting your love. Have mercy on your believing family in Japan, Lord. Continue to protect and guide your kids that they would know you and represent you well, happily taking refuge in your righteousness. 

Fill us with a different spirit, fill us with your spirit of trust. 

2. For Japan

Lord, would you raise up Caleb’s in Japan, men and women, children who are filled with a different spirit, not fear, or selfishness, not materialism or personal gain, but a spirit of trust and submission. Holy God, you’ve set apart your Body as a family who loves what is good and hates that which is evil. In the light of your resurrection would you release your spirit in Japan. Run through us, in us, to every corner of this nation, that we would see your promises land, that your prayer would be answered. Your will be done. Heaven be established in Japan. 

Fill Japan with your Holy Spirit, fill Japan with your love.

3. Spiritual Fathers

Father, I thank you for the men and women who have loved Japan, the ones who have given their lives to bring the Kingdom. For hundreds of years you have been moving in hearts to establish an atmosphere of love and generosity in Japan. We bless the families who have dedicated themselves to you as shepherds over your flock in Japan. Would you give them grace to be able to pray like Moses and remind you of your promises. 

Fill them with a different spirit, fill them with your spirit of hope.

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