We’ve been studying Joshua and God is speaking. We are watching Joshua rise up to become one of the greatest leaders in the Old Testament. He didn’t have it easy. Moses was dead and he was now in charge of a couple million people. Moses led a flock in the wilderness. Joshua was called to lead an army into battle. What a job. But Joshua handled it with integrity, authority, and power.
You and I are called to be leaders, too. The battle is escalating and the kingdom work is growing. And people are in need of great leaders – leaders who will not back down, but who will lead to win.
I’ve been in the church my entire life, and in ministry a good portion of my adult life. I’ve seen great leaders and I’ve seen not-so-good leaders. I’ve been hurt by leaders in the church. You probably have been, too. The wounds go deep. The pain remains for a long time. And sometimes people leave the church. “If this is what a Christian is, then I want no part of it” is often their response.
The cross can be emptied of its power quickly. God is looking for great leaders like Joshua – leaders who will shine for Him, not dim the way.
So today, I want to bring to you three mandates that make great leaders. These mandates should be applied in the world and the church. These mandates come from Joshua’s story.
A great leader is one who…
Listens to God and does everything He says!
God had given instruction to His people for the conquering of the land. He said, “When you cross the Jordan into Canaan, drive out all the inhabitants of the land before you. Destroy all their carved images and their cast idols, and demolish all their high places (Numbers 34:51-52).
When you read through Joshua, you quickly recognize that Joshua did exactly this (except one instance with the Gibeonites – Joshua 9 – but Joshua learned his lesson). When he went into each city to conquer it, he destroyed everything. *On a side note, In Joshua’s lifetime, the whole land wasn’t conquered and by the time you get to Judges, the people of God did NOT destroy everything in the land. And they suffered greatly for their lack of disobedience.
God had given Joshua great instruction at the beginning of his reign: “Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it (Joshua 1:8). And Joshua listened and did everything God said.
Here’s the clincher: God goes on to tell Joshua that if he does everything written in the Book of the Law, that “he will be prosperous and successful” (Joshua 1:8).
We would fare so much better if we were true followers of God’s Word. Listening to it and doing it. I know that each of us want to be successful in our leadership, and we certainly want God’s favor to be poured out on us. Well, this is surely the way to do it.
A great leader is one who…
Leads people TO Christ, not away from Christ!
Over the years, God gave Joshua many instructions for the people. And he always brought the people together and relayed God’s Word to them. He never took credit, but always gave credit to God.
Friends, people are watching us – our neighbors, our friends, our family, other believers, and unbelievers, too. As representatives of Christ, we need to be VERY careful how we present ourselves. What we say and how we say it – or what we do and how we do it – can draw people to Christ, or can also lead people away from Christ.
A group of Christians sat at a table in a restaurant and witnessed to their server. They shared the gospel with her. When they got up to leave – after paying a $120 bill – they did not leave a tip – not even a penny. Their server happened to be a strong Christian, but imagine if she wasn’t. What would she think about Christians? About Christ followers?
So, let’s lead with integrity, love, and wisdom. Let’s be careful to lead people to Christ, not away from Him.
A great leader is one who…
Links closely to the Word of God!
I wanted the point to read, “Has a direct link to the Word of God,” but I wanted it to be uniform to the other points…ha. The life of a writer!
God told Joshua “not to turn from [the Law] to the right or the left” (Joshua 1:7) and he would be successful. In other words, Joshua was to let God’s Word govern his leadership. By doing this, the people would see his love for the Law. Well, did he do this? The way to tell is to measure it by success. Was he successful? Well, if we go to the end of the book of Joshua, we read, “Israel served the LORD throughout the lifetime of Joshua and of the elders who outlived him and who had experienced everything the LORD had done for Israel” (Joshua 24:31).
I would call that SUCCESS!
When people hear you speak, see you act, or converse with you, do they hear God’s Word? Is there a direct link between you and the Word of God? So, I guess we should ask ourselves how much time we’re spending pouring over the pages of Scripture? Meditating, pondering and taking it all in? And are we practicing it in our daily lives, especially as we lead others?
I believe that if we follow these three mandates, we will be great leaders – leaders who will make a difference for the kingdom of God.
This is only our first week of Joshua, so it’s not too late to join us. It’s FREE! And you’ll love it. Click here to sign up…