Francis Schaeffer, in his book Joshua and the Flow of Biblical History, shows us in one remarkable chapter, entitled “Joshua’s Preparation”, how the Lord himself prepared Joshua to lead God’s people. It serves as a reminder that each of us must be prepared by God for our ministry. We cannot do this on our own, not if we want to call it biblical ministry. The Lord must call us or we must refuse to lead.
Here is Schaeffer’s summary of the lessons of Joshua:
- God will not tolerate the rebellion of men against Himself.
- Power is not merely the power of the general and the sword. It is not to be the power of man, but true power is the power of God.
- God is not far off; God is always immediately present.
- Sin is terrible, especially among the people of God.
- Merely using the name of God is not sufficient.
- God can and will guide.
- God’s glory is to come first. There is a real difference between leadership and self-aggrandizement.
- A person cannot bind God with man-made rules.
- A man of God must stand and trust God – even against his own people, even if in the minority, even in the midst of physical danger.
- Even in His judgment, God keeps His promises and distinguishes among men. He does not treat men like a series of numbers.
- True spiritual leadership does not come from the hands of men, but from God.
- No man is indispensable, yet each man is important and unique.
- Usually, there is preparation before leadership.
- God taught Joshua all these things as Joshua followed Moses in the wilderness. Then, with these lessons learned, Joshua was ready to lead the people into the promised land.
These 14 lessons of Joshua are helpful as reminders to all leaders, and as expectations for all future leaders.