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Why following makes you a better leader

In Joshua 1, Joshua stepped into the biggest opportunity of his life. Most likely feeling a mix of emotions, he knew he had to step up and lead.  

Joshua had big shoes to fill when the time came for him to take Moses’ place in leading the Israelites into the Promised Land.

Joshua did not have the normal characteristics that we normally think about when we think of a leader. He didn’t have past leadership experience. Up to this point, he had served Israel as Moses’ assistant. But God didn’t focus on Joshua’s weaknesses. He focused on his potential, just like He does with us.

The difference maker in Joshua was how he was a good follower. He followed the Lord with all his heart, and he was loyal to Moses. God saw Joshua steward his position as a follower well and knew Joshua could handle his next assignment.

When Joshua stepped into leading the Israelites, God gave him clear instructions on how to do things that are applicable today. Along with reading our Bible and doing what Jesus says, God encourages us to be strong and courageous.

His promise to Joshua is still true for us. The Lord said, “No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and courageous …” (Joshua 1:5-6).

Joshua’s past experience and position did not matter — all that mattered was God called him to lead. No matter how old you are or what your background is, the same is true for us. Age and experience don’t have to stop us from leading effectively now. We can learn to craft how we follow now, so we can lead successfully later. After all, a good follower is a good leader.

Reflect:

  • Being a good leader starts by being a good follower. How can you change the way you follow now in order to lead better later?
  • What is one step you can take today to start leading in your current position?

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