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Why good followers make good leaders

In Joshua 6, the nation of Israel was facing a major hurdle in their pursuit of the Promised Land. The city of Jericho was tightly shut up so that no one went out and no one went in.

God gave Joshua a detailed battle plan that required the army to march silently around the city for an entire week. On the seventh day, they marched six times around Jericho and on the seventh rotation, they raised their voices and blasted the trumpets as a signal that God had made them victorious over Jericho.

As the walls came tumbling down and the armed men besieged the city, they followed the exact instructions God laid out for them. The nation of Israel experienced great reward as they submitted to the plan God gave their leader, Joshua.

The fall of Jericho is the story of an anointed leader with great faith leading through an extraordinary battle. But, we often forget he started as an ordinary guy with ordinary responsibilities — just like us.

Before Joshua became a famed and respected leader, he served as an assistant to Moses as Moses led the people of Israel out of Egypt and through the desert. An assistant leads an unglamorous life, but what better training ground for ultimately leading Israel into the Promised Land? Joshua had access to Moses and God that no one else did. Coming under Moses’ authority allowed Joshua to build relationships with other leaders, learning from their successes and mistakes.

Often, great leaders aren’t born into a position of power, but move into that role through deliberate choices that require humility and wisdom.

When we’re itching to get out from under authority, we’re forgetting great leaders aren’t born into a position of power, but move into that role through deliberate choices that require humility and wisdom. For years, Joshua served faithfully under Moses, learning to submit to Moses’ authority and ultimately to God’s authority.

Submitting to authority didn’t make Joshua a weaker leader, it made him a better leader. The same is true for us. Whether you’re CEO or the clerk, team captain or a benchwarmer, we’re all responsible to someone. If we’ll submit to authority instead of fighting it, we’ll find ourselves like Joshua — wiser from the experience of learning from others and closer to God from constantly asking for His help.


  • How do you show respect to leaders in your life?   
  • Are there areas of your heart that are not fully surrendered to God?

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