When you became a leader, did you think it would be easy? I am not sure I thought it would be easy, but I sure didn’t’ think it would be as hard as it’s been! I mean, we’re serving God, as His calling…why would that be anything but blessed all the time? Truly, leadership has been more blessed than I dreamed it would be, but also more difficult than I ever thought.
If you scan the book of Joshua, you see so many incredible leadership principles. Let’s look at 3.
1. Leadership Takes Courage: Take a quick look at chapter 1. You see several times God tells Joshua to “be courageous and strong.” Why does he tell him that? Must have been something scary going on…a difficult task. (You even see these words from Moses to Joshua if you back up one book and read Deut. 31:6-7.) Moses was commissioning Joshua to go take the Promised Land. He and the Israelites would finally face those giants that had scared them off 40 years before. This time they would make it, but it wouldn’t be easy. So, Moses encourages Joshua with those words. Don’t you imagine those under Joshua’s leadership were saying, “you want us to do what? Pack up and move in 3 days? How? There’s a big river and big giants over there.” But, the command was to go, and go they did. What “giants” in ministry are you facing right now?
2. Leadership Takes Obedience: It’s hard to be obedient in difficult assignments unless we have courage. In Chapter 1:16-17, the Israelites said they would do all that Joshua had commanded them to do. They even repeat the words, “be strong and courageous.” Maybe they are learning! In Chapter 3, they reach that first main obstacle, the Jordan River, in flood stage no less! Ok, how are we going to do this one, Joshua? God instructs the priests to go in front and step into the water. What happens when they do? (hint: Joshua 3:15-16) God provided as they obeyed, not before the priests put their toes in the water but AS they did. What is river is God asking you to put your foot in? Trust Him to part the waters as you walk in obedience to whatever He has already told you. I love the comment T. W. Hunt makes in his study, From Heaven’s View, “When God gives us a command, we don’t need to understand His directive, we need to understand His authority!”
3. Leadership Takes Remembrance: In Chapter 4:1-7 we see what the people do after they all cross the Jordan safely. They build a memorial so that all who saw it would ask what it means. The people, and subsequent generations, would recount the story of God’s faithfulness and provision. They would remember from now on the wonderful works of the Lord. As leaders, we must tell the stories of God’s faithfulness in our lives, through the good and bad times. How else will others see through us how God uses all things for our good and His glory?
Learn from Joshua about courage, obedience and remembrance. Teach it to others!