God raises up leaders among his people at specific times to accomplish his purpose.
He calls each of us to lead in certain seasons and places, whether it’s a large platform of strangers or a sphere as small as our own families. He doesn’t need us and yet he chooses to use us, knowing that it helps us grow as individuals, in relationship with others and in relationship with him.
Joshua’s is a remarkable story of leadership. His early obedience, and his faith that God would do what he said he would do, made him the Lord’s choice to succeed Moses. Joshua 1 details that moment of his ordination and offers practical instruction to each of us for our own seasons of leadership.
God determines the scope of our leadership.
Every place on which the sole of your foot treads, I have given it to you.
No man will be able to stand before you all the days of your life.
Joshua 1: 5
Leadership always requires strength and courage.
God tells Joshua three times to “be strong and courageous,” and each time he pairs that invocation with specific instruction about his role. Be strong and courageous;
- [Mission] give this people possession of the land which I promised to their fathers to give them.
- [Obedience] be careful to do according to all the law; do not turn to the right or to the left.
- [Faith] do not tremble or be dismayed for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.
Now aligned with God’s will, strengthened and gifted with his power, Joshua steps into his role with confidence and the people follow him readily.
All that you have commanded us we will do and wherever you send us we will go.
A final encouragement is that God uses others to speak to us, to encourage us and remind us. At the end of the chapter his words to Joshua are echoed by the people he is called lead: “be strong and courageous.”
- Where is God calling you to lead? In your family? At work? Somewhere new?
- Have you taken time to discern God’s boundaries for your scope influence, where and whom you are called to lead?
- Ask God to reveal his vision for how your leadership is to glorify him.
- Will you remain humble in obedience and repentance so your feet will be sure and you will not risk leading people astray?
- Will you be disciplined in your quiet time to draw strength and courage from the Lord?
- How is God speaking to you today through those you lead?