A Successful Leader
Almighty God, You are immortal, invisible, truly “God only wise.” I acknowledge Your greatness and praise You.
Read Joshua 23:1-11
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight” (Prov. 3:6). A word to the wise!
Our passage today gives us a front row seat at Joshua’s retirement dinner. He’s been in charge of Israel ever since taking over from his mentor, Moses. Any young seminarian will tell you it’s not easy to follow in the footsteps of a beloved, long-time pastor, but Joshua rose to the challenge and became one of Israel’s most effective leaders. This retirement speech is his final opportunity to share the secrets of his success.
The first is to remember that God is the one who gives victory (3). It’s much easier to pray fervently, to ask for God’s help, to depend on him when we’re in trouble and we have no other option. Lately, however, I’ve been realizing the need to pray even harder during times of blessing, because the human heart is so quick to forget God and take credit for his work. Joshua doesn’t want the next generation of leaders to make that mistake (5).
That’s why he offers two spiritual principles for aspiring leaders: they must obey God’s Word (6), which means making a priority of reading it and living it, every day; and they must love God himself (11), which means putting heart, soul and strength into deepening our relationship with him. Effective spiritual leadership requires that both intellect and emotions are continually alive to God.
Perhaps Joshua’s words have a familiar ring . They should, because he’s simply restating the very principles God gave him at the beginning of his journey (Josh. 1:1-9). The most notable achievement in Joshua’s life was not that he took the Promised Land. Rather, it was that he always did what God told him to do. That’s the real secret of a successful leader.
How have you listened to and followed the Lord in recent months? Pray about any leadership challenges you now face that require listening and following.
Father, I know at times I can be Your willful child; disobedient and obstinate. Forgive me, and soften my heart as I desire to become Your obedient child.