FAITHFUL IN THE TIME OF PREPARATION
As I stated earlier, it is clear to me that Joshua must have passed this same kind of leadership test. How do I know? Well, let me ask you again: What do you think it would have been like to work for Moses?
As we’ve already seen, Moses didn’t like to delegate authority to others, and he was impatient to the point of throwing a temper tantrum in the sight of God. If Moses lost his temper with God, we can be sure that he also lost his temper with people at times.
Furthermore, if Moses’ judgment was ever questioned, he could always truthfully say that he was the only man to speak to God face to face and that he knew more about God and His ways than anyone else. His response to someone who questioned him may have sometimes been accompanied with the attitude, Who are you to question me?
Moses could truthfully say that God had used him to bring plagues on Egypt, part the Red Sea, destroy Pharaoh’s army, and deliver the Ten Commandments to the children of Israel. Can you imagine working for a man with all those credentials? What could young Joshua ever tell the spokesman of God that he didn’t already know? If anyone was a know-it-all, it would have been Moses. Yet through the years, Joshua refused to budge from his God-called place beside Moses.
He served faithfully through every kind of problem, including rebellions and insubordination, negativism and evil reports, disagreements, and even temper tantrums. No matter what, Joshua continued to be faithful, assisting his leader in any way that was required.
Joshua passed the leadership test! He could have become disillusioned with the flaws he saw in Moses’ life and left the faith altogether. He could have been bitterly disappointed that the man of God wasn’t always perfect. He could have even tried to overthrow Moses. But Joshua did none of these things.
As a result, God didn’t reach for a newcomer to fill the gaping leadership hole that Moses left when he died. Instead, He personally elected Joshua to a position of great responsibility. God knew that because Joshua had learned to submit to a challenging man, he would be able to submit to an invisible God and do whatever was required of him.
If you want to be used by God in a leadership capacity, don’t despise where you are right now.
What you’re doing right now may seem small and insignificant. Yet the right actions, attitudes, and faithfulness you’re cultivating in this present season will become the foundation of your future usefulness to God. Jesus said that if you were faithful over the little things, then He would give you rule over much (see Matthew 25:21).
If you’re serving in a subordinate position in a church, organization, or business, you may feel like you’re not being fully appreciated, even though you’re doing exactly what you’ve been told to do. If that’s the case, make a firm determination to be patient and to keep doing the very best you can to fulfill your present assignment with excellence. In the long run, you’ll look back at this time and recognize how much God was working in you “...both to will and to do of his good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13).
When God works good things into you, He is simultaneously weeding out your wrong motivations and character flaws. This is an important time in your life — so don’t despise the experience! Someday, you’ll thank God for every moment of it.
When God works good things into you, He is He is simultaneously weeding out your wrong motivations and character flaws.
This is an important time in your life — so don’t despise the experience! Someday, you’ll thank God for every moment of it. When God works good things into you, He is simultaneously weeding out your wrong motivations and character flaws. A word of caution, though: If you find you have a critical spirit toward those in leadership over you, you’re not yet ready for a leadership mantle yourself.
If your expectations of other leaders are beyond reason, you need to realize that God uses real people just like you. Don’t let their humanity send you into a tailspin of disillusionment or despair!
If you show mercy now, someday when you’re placed in a greater leadership position, people will show mercy to you in spite of your failures and flaws.