I know John Adams felt it after succeeding George Washington.
I know Steve Young felt it after filling in for Joe Montana.
And I know Joshua felt it after replacing Moses.
They all felt FEAR.
Following a legendary leader is a daunting task. You have both inner doubt and outer unrealistic expectations. You might think to yourself that you can never live up to the character, capacity or competency of the person you are now stepping in the shoes of. You're probably also aware of the crowds expectations -or lack there of- concerning your leadership.
Joshua, the son of Nun was the person that followed the great Israelite leader Moses.
In Deuteronomy chapter 1 verse 38 we read: "Joshua the son of Nun, who stands before you, he shall enter there; encourage him, for he shall cause Israel to inherit it" (it referring to the land).
What stood out to me was how intentional Moses was with embracing his successor. Did you notice the two words right in the middle of the passage, "encourage him"? Moses knew that Joshua would be following in some huge footsteps and that he would probably face self-doubt and also a rough crowd.
I think one lesson that we can learn from this passage is when there is someone young/new in a position maybe you can seek to encourage him or her like Moses is suggesting here. I recall a classmate saying once, "you don't know what you don't know ." It took me a second to get what he was saying, but I finally figured it out ... After that, my mind started to change toward those that were new to a position. I started asking myself, "how did I come to know the things that I know now?" or "learn the things that I have learned?" In most cases it was because someone came alongside of me and helped teach me. They pointed me in the right direction and were a guide in my life. Similarly, it seems as if Moses is trying to get the people to positively surround Joshua as he leads them.
Another important lesson drawn from the scripture is how secure Moses was. Often times, as the seasoned leader goes and the younger leader replaces him/her there is a sabotaging affect. This is not the case with Moses however. Notice again how he is the initiator of the encouragement. He believes in Joshua and he knows the difficult task of leading the people of Isreal to the Promised Land. Dr. Martin Luther King understood this concept as he once said, "The hope of a secure and livable world lies with disciplined nonconformists who are dedicated to justice, peace and brotherhood." Moses was this kind of man.
1) A secure leader encourages.
2) An insecure leader initiates.
These are 2 really simple, yet powerful principles that if applied would improve all our lives.
A PRAYER: Lord, May I be an encouragement initiator to others, especially to those who have accepted God's calling in their life. Amen.
---Now go do it.
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