There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them. Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper withersoever thou goest. ~ Joshua 1:5-7
In the daily Bible reading today, Moses has died, and God tells Joshua that just as He was with Moses, He will also be with Joshua. God chose Joshua to become the leader of the Israelites, and He expected Joshua to obey every single command He had given…but that didn’t mean that He expected him to do everything exactly as Moses had done. While their lives resembled each other’s, they were different men and leaders.
We often compare ourselves to those people we want to be like or those people we follow after, believing the only way to success is to do exactly what they did in the same way they did it.
“If you do what they did, you can get what they got.”
Though you have likely heard that phrase applied to the path of success, it does not necessarily mean you should or could repeat every detail of someone else’s life. Yes, there are points of similarity, but your predecessor, mentor, or leader did what they were supposed to do. Your calling, though it may be similar, is going to still be different from anyone else’s. Your personality and the way you process things brings an entirely unique perspective, and God designed it that way.
Have people painted pictures before? Of course! However, no one will ever paint quite like you….even if given the same directions, at the same time and with the same materials. Do you follow the life of a particular businessman? Your role model might be highly successful at what they do. They may show you their business plan, but there are likely different business deals to be made that will require a change in the old plan.
And so it was with Moses and Joshua. Two great, successful, similar but still different leaders.
One of the things that stands out to me about Joshua’s leadership is that God told him through Moses and several times after Moses’ death to “be strong and courageous.”
In unfamiliar and uncertain situations, we often feel fear and anxiety and discouragement. We often feel like we can never do a good enough job, especially if we come after someone who has had great success or someone with great personality. But we can learn from this story that we need to be STRONG & COURAGEOUS. The real enemy is not people, tasks or unfamiliar circumstances. The real enemy is fear and discouragement. If you can fight that, then you can face your calling NO MATTER YOUR CIRCUMSTANCE!!!
How do we get rid of fear and discouragement? We can draw strength and courage from knowing God is with us, and we can keep it by staying in His word. We must speak it and meditate on it day and night. When we do, faith is generated within that results in strength and courage without.
“This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.” ~ – Joshua 1:8