Digging Deeper: Joshua as a leader

This week we are digging deeper into our memory verse – Joshua 24:15

Each day will will focus on just one part of the verse. As we are digging deeper, begin with praying that the Holy Spirit will give you wisdom, to open your ears to hear Him speak to you, and to soften your heart so you can apply what He reveals to you.

The verse says:

Digging Deeper: Make it personal

Begin by reading the verse again but personalize it as Paul is writing to you:

As for [YOUR NAME] and the [YOUR LAST NAME] house, we will serve the Lord. — Joshua 24:15

Today we digging deeper into the kind of leader Joshua was.

Digging Deeper: Recap

Yesterday we looked at the first part of the verse that says, “As for me…” and ways to be a spiritual leader in your home. You can find Monday’s post here:

Digging Deeper: What kind of leader was Joshua?

Yesterday, we established that before one could be a spiritual leader, he must first be…spiritual. He must have a personal relationship with Christ and walking with Him every day. Joshua is an excellent example of a spiritual leader, but what makes him a good role model to follow? Well, he did have Moses as a mentor and he was specifically trained by Moses to take his place after Moses died. So he was trained well, but when we dig deeper into the book of Joshua, we can find nine ways that show Joshua was an excellent spiritual leader for men today to follow.

Joshua was Willing to Step Up

God chose Joshua to be the next leader of the nation of Israel after Moses’ death. But like each one of us has a free will to chose to follow God’s plan and path for our lives, Joshua had the choice to obediently follow God’s plan for him or he could have said, “It’s too much to lead these people,” and walked away from the task.

In Joshua 1-9, God commission Joshua. In verse 2 God says, “Moses My servant is dead. Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them – the children of Israel.” As read the rest of the book, we see that Joshua stepped up to the task and he lead with excellence.

Our homes need spiritual leaders willing to step up and lead their homes in a way that honors and glorifies God.

Joshua was Willing to Step Back

Sometimes to lead well, we need to step back and learn to follow well. In Joshua 1:7, God says, “Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the aw which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go.”

God did not want Joshua to stray a little this way or that but to stay directly on the path and course of God’s commandments that God had given to Moses and that Moses would have taught and instructed Joshua. Joshua couldn’t twist the commandment to fit what he wanted. He couldn’t conveniently forget the ones he didn’t like. Nor could he make any of them more rigid that what God intended. He needed to follow them exactly as God said. In doing so, he was willing to step back out of the seat of control and allow God to lead him so that he could then lead God’s people.

Our homes need spiritual leaders willing to step back and follow God before they step up to lead their homes.

Joshua was a man with a plan

Joshua’s plan was God’s plan for his people – to enter the Promised Land. He had a vision for the people to receive the promise God had for them. If you remember Joshua was one of the 12 spies that Moses sent into Canaan as spies. Ten of those spies came back and told the people who impossible it would be to defeat the people living on the land. They told the people that there were giants in the land and that the land was well fortified. Only Joshua and Caleb were brave enough, trusted God enough, and had enough faith that if God promised the land to them, then it was theirs for the taking, no matter what obstacles were before them. However, the people chose to believe the other 10 spies which cost them 40 years of wondering in the desert.

So Joshua had 40 years to envision and plan for this moment when God would lead the nation across the Jordan and into the land flowing with milk and honey. But the obstacle they faced was the Jordan River and then once across they would come face to face with the walls of Jericho. And so Joshua sought God’s plan and God’s plan became his plan. Joshua 1:10-11 says, “Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people, saying, ‘Pass through the camp and command the people saying, ‘Prepare provisions for yourselves, for within three days you will cross over this Jordan, to go in to possess the land which the Lord your God is giving you to possess.'”

Our homes needs spiritual leaders willing to obediently and completely follow God’s plan for their families.

Joshua was a man that was respected

No one will follow a person that is not respected. Especially when they are being asked to do what man would say is impossible. In Joshua 1:16, the people said to Joshua, ” All that you command us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go.” To follow like that, they would have had to respect Joshua as a man and as a leader.

To be a leader that is respected, one must lead by example, be willing to do the hard tasks that no one else wants to do, and have integrity. They need to lead with grace and love. And they need to be slow to anger. They need to be observers and listeners. Above all, they need to be walking closely with God, seeking his direction and wisdom in all aspects of life.

Our homes needs spiritual leaders that are respected.

Joshua was a man that led through the impossibles

So God has promised the land to Israel, but how does the nation get across the Jordan River and how do they bring down the walls of Jericho so they can possess the land? Two very big impossibles for the nation. Joshua doesn’t look at the problems, throw up his hands and say, “There’s no way!” then quit. He seeks God and God tells him exactly how to solve the problems.

In Joshua 3:6 we find God’s solution to the problem of the Jordan River. “Then Joshua spoke to the priests, saying, ‘Take up the ark of the covenant and cross over before the people.” So they took up the ark of the covenant and went before the people.” In verse 8, God says, “You shall command the priests who bear the ark of the covenant, saying, “When you have come to the edge of the water of the Jordan, you shall stand in the Jordan.'” What happened? verse 17 tells us that the waters parted and the people crossed over on dry land.

When they reached the walls of Jericho, God’s instructions were to march around the walls one time for six days and on the 7th day they were to march around the walls of the city 7 times and on the 7th time, the priests would blow the horns and when they did the walls came crashing down.

When you choose to lead through the impossibles, God will do the impossible. Our homes need spiritual leaders who will lead through the impossibles.

Joshua was a man that challenged others

In chapter 18, we find that seven tribes of the nation of Israel had not yet received their inheritance. Joshua says to them in verse 3, “How long will you neglect to go and possess the land which the Lord God of your fathers has given you?” However, he didn’t just challenge them and then go back home, he gave them a plan to get them moving in the direction they needed to go.

Our homes need spiritual leaders who will challenge his family to surrender their lives to God and then follow God’s plan for their lives while helping his family members to move in the direction God has for each of them.

Joshua was a man that allowed others to explore

As leaders, we need to give people boundaries, but they need to feel safe to explore within those boundaries and grow and develop. In chapter 18, verse 8, Joshua says, “Go, walk through the land, survey it, and come back to me.” They did so and wrote a book in seven parts by cities and brought it back to Joshua. Joshua could have gone out and surveyed the land himself and come back and told the 7 tribes what they land of their inheritance looked like. But by sending them out to see it for themselves, they could begin the first steps of taking ownership of the land, grow excitement within them, and give them the stepping stone they needed to step into what God had for them.

Our homes need spiritual leaders that will give safe boundaries but allow his family to grow and develop in all aspects of life.

Joshua was a man that spoke up

When we go back to Moses sending the 12 spies into the land, we find that Joshua was a man who spoke up about his convictions – even when the majority had a different opinion. Ten of the men said taking the land was impossible. Joshua and Caleb alone said, “We can do it with God on our side because he has already given us the land.” But as so often happens today, the people listened to what the majority said and the nation was sent back out into the wilderness to wander for 40 years and only Joshua and Caleb would live from that generation to see and take possession of the land God had promised.

Our families need spiritual leaders who will speak up for God and lead in the way God wants even when the majority says something different.

Joshua was a man of faith

If we learn anything at all from Joshua, it is that he was never content with a timid faith. He was courageous and had great spiritual influence. And the biggest key to his success as a leader was his faith in God. Under Joshua’s leadership, Israel learned to step out by faith against overwhelming opposition and crossed the Jordan River into the land God promised to Abraham. By faith they reestablished the rite of circumcision, conquered Jericho, and then much of the rest of the promised land in a relatively short time. What could you lead your family to do with a courageous faith and great spiritual influence in your home?

Our homes need spiritual leaders who are men of faith.

Digging Deeper: What kind of leader are you?

As you are digging deeper into understanding the kind of spiritual leader God has called you to be for your family, go back through the nine ways the Joshua made an example to follow as a leader. Which of these are true about you? Which do you need to add to how you lead your family? Spend some time in prayer and asking the Holy Spirit to help you be the spiritual leader God has called you to be.


NEW! Now you can download a free printable pdf file for this week’s memory verse which will print four copies on a page that you can cut apart and place in prominent places (such as your bathroom mirror, the visor in your car, at your work station, and on your refrigerator) to help you memorize the verse. Get the download here:

Joshua 24:15b Memory Verse

But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. – Joshua 24:15 

#memoryverse #spiritualleader #Asforme #Joshua24:15#WCM

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