Being selected to follow an outstanding leader can be difficult, if not downright impossible. How do you prevent comparisons? The book of Joshua begins with news that would have made headlines for weeks: “Moses my servant is dead” (v. 2). Without a doubt, it was the topic of conversation at every dinner table. But while Moses’ life may have been over, God’s commitment to the Israelites was not.
Joshua most likely had a hunch that he would take up the mantle of leadership. But that did not mean he felt confident. Even Moses’ second- in-command suffered from impostor syndrome and wondered if he was the right person for the job. God continually reminded Joshua that he would not be alone (v. 5). Notice in Joshua 1, that three times God commands Joshua to be “strong and courageous” (vv. 6, 7, 9). God also assures victory: “No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life” (v. 5).
The Lord reminded Joshua that he should follow Moses’ example in trusting and obeying the Book of the Law (vv. 7–8). God commanded Joshua to meditate on the Torah day and night. Having God’s Word continually on his mind and lips would not guarantee that his life and leadership would be without struggle. But knowing God’s Word would give him strength and courage, helping Joshua overcome significant challenges.
Leaders who replace legends sometimes fall into the trap of trying to prove themselves. But the answer doesn’t lie within us. Instead, God wants His appointed leaders to trust that if they are faithful to Him, He will continue to be faithful to them. He gives them courage to lead.
>> One way to be a godly leader is to keep God’s Word always on your lips and your mind. Consider some of the daily verses from this month’s study to memorize. Commit to memorizing them so you can recall them when you face difficult moments.
Your law is perfect. Your statutes are trustworthy. Your precepts are right. Your commands are radiant. With them You refresh our souls, make us wise, give joy to our hearts, and enlighten us (Ps. 19:7–8).