LEADERSHIP WORTH FOLLOWING

Scripture Reading:  Joshua 1:10-18

“And they answered Joshua, ‘All that you have commanded us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go.  Just as we obeyed Moses in all things, so we will obey you.  Only may the Lord your God be with you, as He was with Moses.'” (Joshua 1:16,17)

We must remember what is happening at this time in biblical history.  There was a major change in leadership.  Moses had led the Israelites out of of slavery in Egypt.  He provided strong leadership during their forty years in the wilderness.  However, God did not allow him to lead the people across the Jordan into the Promised Land.  Joshua took over the leadership after the death of Moses.  He has some big shoes to fill!  He was afraid and unsure of himself.  He wondered how the people would respond to his leadership, so much so that God had to reassure him three times, “Be strong and courageous!”  With God’s assuring words and presence, Joshua laid out the plan and instructed his officers, “Pass through the midst of the camp and command the people, ‘Prepare your provisions, for within three days you are to pass over this Jordan to go in to take possession of the land that the Lord your God is giving you to possess'” (vs. 10,11).  The people responded and fully endorsed Joshua’s leadership (vs. 16-18).

Leadership is an art.  Leaders must develop trust in order to be successful.  The people knew who Joshua was.  His story does not begin here; it actually began in Exodus and Deuteronomy and continues in Numbers  and Deuteronomy.  His name appears 27 times in those passages and he is always portrayed as a faithful man.  The Jewish people had witnessed his faithful obedience to Moses.  On several occasions Moses had delegated leadership to Joshua.  The people knew that Joshua had a faithful past and a good record and that he had the skills to lead them.

In order to have faithful followers, a leader must have demonstrated his or her leadership abilities.  Often leadership must be earned as followers observe the consistent and effective abilities of those placed in charge of them.  Followers must trust those who lead them.  Trust involves both character and competency.  Followers want to know that their leaders are men and women of strong character — those who are fair, honest and faithful.  But they also want to know that they are competent in the skills that are needed for their leadership positions.  Trust comes when followers see these traits in their leaders.  Joshua was such a leader.  He was a leader who was worthy to be followed.

Lord Jesus, I pray for my leaders.  Let me be a faithful follower who serves those placed in authority over me.  And let me be a faithful leader.  Enable me to follow Jesus’ example of leadership — a servant leadership.  Let me be a man of godly character and equip me with the skills I need to lead those you have placed under my authority.

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