But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and has followed me fully…
To follow Christ "fully" means resolute, unflinching obedience to all of Christ's commandments. It is the carrying out of religion to the utmost detail of Christian duty. Such a Christian never asks to commute with his Divine Master as to hard work; he never strikes for an eight hours' system of labour or higher wages. He is not all the time coming up before that bleeding, self-sacrificing Saviour and whimpering, "Master, I pray thee, have me excused." He never interprets the Bible in a latitudinarian sense, never reads it in a lax, ultra-liberal light; and if there is a right side to be found to the ethical questions of the hour, his first question is, "What is right? What will please Jesus?" He aims to be thorough in small things, and he loves the wholesome severities of duty. Now, there is a religion nowadays that runs very rapidly on the down grades, and goes fast on the descending grades, but it never climbs. Commend me to the loyal, uncompromising, sturdy Christian that bears a pain, a pinch, or a penalty; a scowl or a scoff; a religion that can afford to get rich, and yet can be humble; that can afford to go into high society, and yet carry Christ there; to a religion that "follows the Lamb whithersoever He goeth." In our day the test is not to go to Smithfield. Our trial is to follow Christ in the warm, relaxing atmosphere of quiet and external prosperity, and not to be enervated thereby. It is very easy to be a Christian sometimes; or rather, for a Christian to be very warm and glowing sometimes. For instance, when a prayer-meeting is crowded with fervent hearts, and the atmosphere is alive with enthusiasm, how easy is it then to catch fire, and to glow, and to sing and pray. It was very easy for Caleb to exercise faith when he was in the valley of Eshcol picking grapes; but to keep up his faith in face of the contagious cowardice and treason of the camp, that was another thing. To hold out with his faith during forty long and wearisome years of marching, that demanded and developed the most resolute principle of his God-loving heart. To serve God faithfully in an irreligious family, or in a counting-house or shop where two-thirds of them are scoffers, and in polite fashionable life, to serve Christ there proves the mettle of your religion. It is one thing to follow Christ when everything helps you; it is quite another thing to follow Christ when everything hinders you. And to follow Christ fully means to keep following Him in every place, and under every circumstance, against the current. I remember when treason first broke out in my own beloved country, it went through our army and navy, and sifted it. We soon found out who would follow the old flag of freedom to the death, and who would desert it. I could point to a Christian merchant who gives so largely and liberally that the amounts seem almost incredible, and I happen to know that that man begins his every day with an hour with Jesus, on his knees, and reading his Bible; he breaks away from his business at noon for the noon-day prayer-meeting. Such a man as that follows Christ fully, and yet he might excuse himself by the very vastness of his traffic and the pressing nature of his immense business. Now when I find such a man here and there in our churches, I feel that each one of these is a Caleb to stir and stimulate others to imitation. Sometime ago, when in a mine, looking through its dark corridors, I every now and then saw the glimmer of a moving lamp, and I could track it all through the mine. The reason was that the miner carried it on his hat — it was a part of himself, and it showed where he went. I said, would that in this dark world every miner of the Master carried his lamp to show where he walks. Such people are Christians everywhere — before their own children, at their own fireside, and in their own homes. In their commercial transactions they buy and sell by the golden rule, and measure their goods with a Christian yardstick. Wherever they can honour God, or set a pure example, and save a sinner by living out Christ, they are ready to do it. In short, they follow Christ fully, and heartily, and faithfully, looking to the inheritance of the reward. And the reason of this is the same reason that Caleb had: for we are told that Caleb had "another spirit." Theirs is another spirit from the worldling, and another spirit from the gold hunter, the devotee of fashion, the carnally-minded. Their spirit is from above, the fruit of conversion; it is the indwelling of the Holy Ghost. Loving Christ, they love to follow Him; fearing God rather than man, they so live as to please God, who trieth the heart.
(T. L. Cuyler, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: 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.