Over the years I have found myself returning to the book of Joshua time and time again as I try to navigate life and ministry. I continue to find it challenging and inspiring. This time I thought rather than journal on it, I would blog!
We see from the very first mention of Joshua that this man is a leader. However he is also a servant. His introduction in Exodus 17:8-15 shows us as a man who is operating under the authority of Moses but is a formidable leader of men. This was a major test for the children of Israel. They were attacked by the Amalekites. The text would suggest already there existed a close relationship between Moses and Joshua as he instructed to "choose some of our men.." Although Moses is the key leader in history up until this point, he is not a lone ranger. He has his brother Aaron with him and Hur (a man filled with the spirit of God) as well as his aide and trusty general Joshua. There are a few of key things we learn from this. The first is:
1) Good leaders surround themselves with good people.
As the battle goes on we do not hear that Joshua is struggling but we know that Moses finding it difficult to hold up is arms. Aaron and Hur are key not only to the outcome but to ensuring that Moses delivers what he has promised.
As Joshua goes into battle Moses is aware that there is a link between their success and his relationship with God. The staff he carries has been key to how God has worked amongst his people. Moses declares that he will hold his staff aloft whilst the battle is taking place. The key to the battle is trusting in God AND taking action. Joshua still had to fight!
2) No Action without prayer. No prayer without action
It is not either or, it's both/and!
Although Joshua is clearly capable of not just leading men but leading the best men, at this point his primary role is to serve. My friend James Galloway calls this followship. Moses is God's man at this point in the history of his people. now we know that Joseph's moment will come but at this point he is called to serve the man of God. At this point God was not revealing vision directly to Joshua, he was speaking to Moses. I talk with a lot of people who are paralysed through inertia. They do not what what God wants them to do so they do nothing. So here is the next thing we need to learn.
3) If God hasn't given you a vision serve someone elses!
It's a simple principle. When God is on the move, don't be left behind. By being in the plans & purposes of God it will be much easier for you to hear His voice as and when he begins to speak vision & purpose into your life. Joshua's time in the spotlight was to come but until that point he just served.
One more point
4) God doesn't call everyone to primary leadership.
Earlier, I mentioned Aaron and Hur. Incredible men. Essential in the purposes of God but neither of them were designated as a number 1. All leaders must have followers. Not all followers will become leaders.
We also see from Exodus 17:14 that Joshua wasn't just called by Moses but had the blessing of the Lord. God is clear that He wants Joshua to be aware that He was with him. When we are fighting a battle on behalf of God we can be assured He is with us and will never forsake us. (Hebrews 13:5)