But because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it. Numbers 14:24
Note the word "wholeheartedly" in today's passage. It describes Caleb, a man who followed hard after God. When everyone else was struck by fear, Caleb stood his ground and obeyed without reservation or hesitation. How does one acquire such a full-out faith?
At this point in history, Israel was only two years out of Egypt. Caleb had lived 38 of his 40 years in slavery. No doubt he prayed that God would deliver his people. And then one day Moses showed up. Caleb saw the plagues, experienced the Passover, marched through the Red Sea, and then turned to watch the walls of water envelop the Egyptians. Caleb was there at the giving of the Ten Commandments when the earth shook with the presence of God. He gathered the manna day after day as God supplied the food. Caleb had seen God at work.
How does one acquire such a full-out faith? I believe the answer is this: a firsthand experience of God's power and faithfulness. You cannot live a wholehearted faith just by hearing the stories of God's great work. You have to experience it up close and personal. You will never feel God's power until you are in a position to need it. You will never experience God's faithfulness until you are in a position where the only thing left is to trust Him.
Father, life is too comfortable for many of us to place ourselves in a position where we must trust in You to provide. Help us realize that meaningful faith is not developed on the leftover experiences of others. Help us to put ourselves in situations that stretch us and make us depend on You. In Jesus' name. Amen.