I would to God that we had all of us that which is the distinguishing mark of a right spirit, the spirit of faith, that spirit which takes God at his word, reads his promise, and knows it to be true. He that has this spirit will soon follow the Lord fully. Unbelief is the mother of sin, but faith is the nurse of virtue. More faith, Lord, may we have more simple childlike faith upon a precious Saviour! Then a faithful spirit always begets a meek spirit, and a meek spirit always begets a brave spirit. It is said of the wood of the elder tree that none is softer, but yet it is recorded of old that Venice was built upon piles of the elder tree because it will never rot; and so the meek-spirited man who is gentle and patient lasts on bravely, holding his own against all the attacks of the destroying adversary. The true believer has also a loving spirit as the result of Jesus’ grace. He loves God, therefore he loves God’s people and God’s creatures, and having this loving spirit he has next a zealous spirit, and so he spends and is spent for God, and this begets in him a heavenly spirit and so he tries to live in heaven and to make earth a heaven to his fellow-men, believing that he shall soon have a heaven for himself and for them too on the other side of the stream. Such a spirit had good Caleb. We cannot imitate him till we get his spirit; we are dead until God quickens us. O that his Holy Spirit would lead us to go to Jesus just as we are, and look up to him and beseech him to fulfil that great covenant promise—‘A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you.’
For meditation: The Holy Spirit dwells in every truly converted person (Romans 8:9; 2 Timothy 1:14), but Paul still found it necessary to remind Timothy of the kind of spirit God has given us (2 Timothy 1:7). Is the fruit of the Spirit seen in your life (Galatians 5:22–23)?