The Joshua Leader: Your Predecessor

I have recently been struck by the life of Joshua, and I have officially made him one of my heroes. I’m kicking off a series on “The Joshua Leader” in hopes that I, too, may live my life as close to the heart and power of God as he did. But even more than that, I am writing this in faith that God is raising up a generation of “Joshua Leaders.”

Joshua’s entry into leadership is profound and peculiar:

Joshua 1:1-2 ESV: “After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, Moses my servant is dead. Now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, into the land that I am giving to them, to the people of Israel.”

How would you view leadership if you knew someone had to die so you could take their place?

The trouble is, most of us don’t realize how much we are given. I am asking God to teach me humility, and He’s reminding me and showing me how I am standing on platforms that other men and women have built. I would love to take credit for my intellect, but I had no choice there. I would love to take credit for my computer skills, but I landed my career by my brother’s mentoring, not by my own trailblazing. I would love to take credit for my values and character, but my father and mother poured deeply into my life, shaping me into the man I am today. I would love to take credit for the ways I am impacting the world, but the opportunities God has opened up in the recent past is because of those who went before me and labored long and hard to create those opportunities.

I’m sorry to say that I’ve been very ungrateful for what these people have done, but it’s true. Each of these people gave themselves for me, allowing me to move beyond the places they’ve been. And in that sense, they’ve died a little bit so I might live.

But it’s even more sobering to me to realize that one day, God may place me into a position of leadership for which an existing leader, one older and more experienced than I, would have to step down to allow me to lead.

From this, I resolve three things:

* I will honor those who have poured into me and provided a platform for me in each of the areas of influence and leadership that I have been given.

* More than that, whenever I enter a new position of leadership, I will honor my predecessor for surrendering his or her position of leadership to allow me to lead.

* When my time is up, I will willingly step down from any position of leadership to allow the next person to lead.

And oh for God’s grace to live this out!

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