The following is an excerpt from Extraordinary: Ordinary People, Extraordinary God, a six-session Bible study about how God works through human flaws and insecurities. Preview a free sample and find more information at lifeway.com/extraordinary.
The Heart of Leadership
One of the leadership lessons we learn from Joshua is that good leaders are willing to take risks. God calls leaders to constantly live in the realm of faith. Joshua had to trust that God had promised the land to them. Joshua had to trust that God was fighting for them.
Taking these risks didn’t mean fear was absent from Joshua’s heart. When Joshua was installed as leader of the people, God told him to be “strong and courageous”—and repeated this several times for emphasis.
But the key for Joshua’s growth in strength and courage was his personal devotion to God’s word. We read in Joshua 1:8 – “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate 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 good success.”
The clear implication for Joshua—and us—is that the call to leadership is first a call to worship.
If it wasn’t already clear, the point is hammered home for us in the early chapters of the book. Just after leading the people over the Jordan river, Joshua encounters a mysterious man. When Joshua asks if this man is for them or against them, the man responds, “No; but I am the commander of the army of the Lord” (Josh. 5:14). Immediately Joshua fell to the ground “and worshiped” (5:14). God in human form was standing right in front of him.
Charged with meditating on God’s Law and having encountered God in such an extraordinary way, Joshua emerged as strong and courageous leader. The book ends by giving Joshua the highest praise any godly leader could receive: “Israel served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua and had known all the work that the LORD did for Israel” (Josh. 24:31).
Joshua was an exceptional leader because he was first and foremost a passionate worshiper.
Excerpted from Darrin Patrick, Extraordinary Bible Study. © 2015 Lifeway Press. Used by permission.