I’ve been thinking about this verse a lot lately, wondering what it looks like to have “a different spirit” and to follow God “wholeheartedly.” I love the idea, but I suspect I haven’t quite gotten there yet.
I tend to hedge my bets with God. For example, I notice when I pray for people who are very ill, I typically ask for vague things like “peace,” “strength,” and “courage.” There’s nothing wrong with praying for these qualities, of course, but what I rarely do is ask God outright for miraculous healing. I stop short of the big ask, because while I know that God can heal, I’m afraid he won’t heal. I don’t want to be disappointed, so I don’t ask.
Not exactly “wholehearted” faith, is it?
I keep reminding myself of that verse in 2 Timothy, where Paul says, “The Lord has not given you a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self-discipline.” I think this might be the “different spirit” God is referring to when he talks about Caleb. Caleb acted not out of fear and timidity, but out of power, love and self-discipline — qualities that flowed from his deep trust in God.
And that’s the key to all of this, don’t you think? TRUST.
Power, love and self-discipline flow out of trust. Wholehearted faith flows out of trust. A different spirit is born out of trust.
We trust that God leads us in the right direction. We trust that he has our best interests in mind. We trust that he loves us, always and forever.