And the commander of the Lord’s army said to Joshua. “Take off your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And, Joshua did so.
Joshua 5:15 (ESV)
I have chosen this verse, because of the magnificent story in the entire book of Joshua. Although, I only use this verse as the proposition of my writing on leadership this week, it is my primary goal not to take it out of context. For this reason, I always revert to at least one Bible commentary as guide, before I begin a leadership blog with a Bible verse as its premise.
The Book of Joshua’s story is remarkable in the context of leadership. We know him as the successor of Moses. In governance, he caused the downfall of Canaan. Joshua’s style of leadership is defined by forms of intellect and purposeful skills. He also knew these comportments would not have been possible without his complete reliance on God. Joshua’s qualifications were immense because of his association with Moses and his own prudence. He was a warrior, but most of all he was faithful.
The verse above is an important one to dissect. It is not a complicated verse, but within it, there are several aspects to glean. The commander of the Lord’s army is possibly a part of God’s broader tradition of lessons to those who do not listen (see Exodus 23:27-28). Only the task given to Joshua this time, came with precise instructions. This commander is the leader of God’s heavenly army (Deuteronomy 33:2). He has no name; he only has authority.
The request made by the commander to Joshua, is a direct quotation of a request made by God to Moses in Exodus 3:5. Which, most likely served as a reminder to Joshua that God is in control of all things. If Moses trusted with utmost faith, so did Joshua. He was obedient… and he took off his shoes.
Joshua’s work continued with perfect and complete instructions from God. In everyday faithfulness and obedience, the conditions, guidance, and rewards of Jesus Christ are revealed through His grace, gentleness, and mercy. The duty of any leader is to uphold grace in processes, speech, and in action. My duty when assisting women in Christian administrative leadership, is to only apply the grace of Jesus Christ.
In faithful leadership, as in the case of Joshua, obedience to God and following His lead also come with the Commander of the Lord and his troops, who consistently encamps to protect the dutiful from the enemy and to serve as reminders in time when major decisions are made and implemented.
In daily leadership responsibilities, it is imperative to collaborate with God at every step. Ask Him questions and go to His words to find much needed answers. Do not rely on your imagination or what you believe He has told you, because He has clearly stated that to hear Him and to know Him, this can only be accomplished through the reading of His words (Exodus 19-24; Daniel 9:10; Jeremiah 9:13). Only the Bible can offer you theological audits if you are uncertain of what you hear externally from yourself and from others.
In leadership, give God every opportunity to coach you. Do not become so self-driven that this simple step is forgotten. In coaching sessions, again, read His words and apply them to daily life.
Allow God to compliment you. He longs for this relationship as a Father to His child. Again, His praises come in His written word. Remain focused and remember the praises of men will never stick. Acclaims from man, are usually transient. However, God’s compliments remain.
Allow God to occasionally be your “sift”. In sifting you, He helps to remove behaviors, speech, ideas, and blinded thoughts. Allow Him room to sift out the enemy from daily creations, instead of providing room for the enemy to sift out your belief and faith in God. For believers, the Bible tells us that the enemy can provoke evil deeds (Luke 22:3). And, for unbelievers, the enemy blinds the mind (I Corinthians 4:4). This gentle sift of God, again, can only be found in the Bible. Stay steadfast in it.
As in the life of Joshua, leadership-wisdom and perfect faith comes from God. Always invite Him into your leadership governance and circles.