Imagine yourself being hired for the most important job you can imagine. The job comes with a big pay raise, extra vacation, and everything else you could want from a big-wig job. There is one catch, though. You are following in the foot steps of the most successful person in company history, and you realize you are much less experienced. You know it’s time for you to step up, but you aren’t sure you’ll be able to follow in the footsteps of such a giant.
I picture Joshua feeling a very similar burden. Following the death of Moses, God commissioned Joshua to pick up where Moses left off, to lead God’s people. Even today, Moses is seen as one of the greatest leaders in history. Can you imagine stepping into those shoes? God, however, showed Joshua exactly how to follow in Moses’ footsteps.
God told Joshua to look forward. In Joshua 1:1-4, when God calls Joshua to be the leader of his people, God never tells Joshua to look back and focus on the work that Moses has done. He does not tell Joshua that he must live up to the leadership shown by Moses. He instead pushes him to look and to press onward in the mission. In verse 3 God says, “Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given to you, just as I promised Moses.”
God told Joshua to look upward. Verse 5 says, “No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you.” When I picture the pressure put on Joshua by this awesome call from God, I imagine Joshua wondering where he will garner the strength to carry out such a mission. God answers that question clearly: look to Me, I will be with you.
God told Joshua to look inward. Would Joshua be successful in his mission to lead God’s people? At the close of verse 8, God promised prosperity and success. However, that success would only come if Joshua followed God’s Word. Verse 8 says, “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall mediate on it day and night, So that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success."
As a follower of Jesus, you have been commissioned to be a leader. You may not be the boss of a company, but you have been called to lead. Your call to leadership may take form in the example you show to others as you lead them to Jesus, or you really may be a hands-on leader. Either way, as we take on the call of godly leadership, let’s look forward, look upward, and look inward.
Calvert City, KY