Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Traits of a Leader, Part II of II

The Traits of a Leader, Part II of II
March 21, 2011
Numbers 11:28 "Joshua son of Nun, who had been Moses’ aide since youth. . ."

You've heard the expression before, "natural born leader," suggesting someone was simply born to lead other people. While this might rightly be so, a leader still must hone his leadership skills. Just because someone is born with natural leadership aptitude does not mean he should start out by leading. It takes years and years of maturity before a person with the greatest of leadership aptitude should actually lead. This was the case with Joshua and he submitted to that. Joshua was destined to lead; God ordained it, but Joshua recognized when and where his leadership should begin. Joshua's leadership did not start until the Lord gave him the position; until then, Joshua was someone else's sidekick.

That's right, Joshua, though he was destined to lead the nation of Israel, was Moses' aide. He stayed by Moses' side almost 100% of the time. Joshua was submitted to the current leader and did not attempt to usurp him; instead, he learned from him. Joshua learned how to be a leader, how to be a humble leader of millions by watching and staying by Moses' side. He served the current leader and did not try to lead anyone. True leaders know how to submit to a higher authority, especially if that authority is instituted by God. Being in submission to someone else keeps a person in check. This willingness to submit suggests a leader can submit to God as well, especially if he is a born leader.

Joshua was aware of needing to submit, even though he was a born leader. Joshua submitted to Moses before God put him in charge and Joshua submitted to God after Moses passed away. Even though he was put into a leadership position, Joshua still recognized who was truly in charge--God. This ability to submit comes in real handy if caught between a rock and a hard place; it allows the Lord to demonstrate who is really leading. For Joshua this was proved at the famous Battle of Jericho.

Recall the story, Jericho was a fortified city with walls towering above it. To penetrate the walls or scale them was nearly impossible. But God was determined to show everyone who was in charge and that nothing is impossible for God. God told the armies of Israel to march around the city walls and then blow their trumpets. It was an absurd military tactic, sure to be rebuffed by even the most seasoned military leader. But Joshua, following the Lord, communicated to the army that this was the best option for success. Joshua, though leading an entire nation at the time, submitted to God's crazy plan for success. Joshua had to explain the silly battle plan to the people, from his position as leader, and rally behind God no matter how unique the experience or what other people might say.

Being a leader does not mean you get to decide and create your own battle plans; it means you can submit to God and lead others to do the same. That's all that Joshua did. Joshua led others by following God. A true leader recognizes who is really in charge and submits to that. In Joshua's case, he submitted to God despite having to lead the Israelites into unique circumstances that did not make sense at the time. But a true leader isn't afraid to do this, to submit to God and lead others to do the same no matter how unique or irrational the directive seems. This is what made Joshua an amazing leader, his submission to the Lord and wholeheartedly convincing others to do the same.

1. As a leader, to whom do you submit?
2. As a leader, do you make your own battle plans or submit to God's?
3. As a leader, do you rally others to follow the Lord's directions or to follow your own directions?

Don't take my word for it; look it up: Num 12:3, Josh 1:1-9, Josh 4:14, Josh 5:14-15, Josh 6

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