* You can watch the video version of this message at: https://youtu.be/PhxQg9QOu1w
This morning we continue our series entitled, “Refined Focus”, with a mini-series within it entitled “Focusing on the Word”. We have been studying Joshua for a while now and the Lord won’t let me move on. I believe I am flowing in a vein He wants me to flow in.
The Lord made it clear to Joshua that his personal success and the success of the nation he was leading, was contingent upon his dedication to the Word. The Lord said to Joshua, “Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” (Joshua 1:8 NIV). In one succinct scripture the Lord instructed Joshua to keep the Word of God on his mind and in his mouth. Further, the Lord made it clear that he was not after lip-service. The Lord was not looking for someone who just “talked” a good name. No, the Lord’s instructions to Joshua were to have His Word in his mouth and on his mind, but only for the purpose of DOING what is says. In this way both he and the national of Israel would be prosperous and successful.
There was a responsibility on Joshua to lead and a responsibility on the people to follow. Joshua was supposed to hear from God and speak, and the people were supposed to receive Joshua’s words as God’s words and follow. Joshua would command, they would perform. Joshua would say, Israel would do. This was their God-given formula for success. The people were so committed to it, that if anyone refused to obey Joshua or if anyone became a deterrent to his leadership, the Israelites would kill the rebel. Because an attack against Godly leadership is an attack against all those the leader leads.
The Israelites were very committed to Joshua and every word that came out of his mouth. This reminds me of Jesus and His disciples. Jesus had 12 grown men following him around for three years. They left their families, businesses, and everything they knew to follow Jesus. One day, when Jesus spoke to a crowd about eating His flesh and drinking His blood, the people misunderstood Jesus and they all left. Jesus’s followers went from thousands down to 12 in just a few hours. Jesus did not run after the crowd. He actually looked at the disciples and said, “You can leave too!” To which Simon Peter answered, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” (John 6:68
). Did you catch that? The 12 disciples were following Jesus and living off of every word he spoke.
So what does this mean to you today? A few things about Godly leadership.
1. God leads humans directly, internally, through the Holy Spirit. But God also leads humans through other humans; through appointed and anointed leaders.
2. As a Godly leader, never underestimate the importance of your words.
a. Both in ministry and in the military I have had the privilege of following great leaders. I can recall multiple times when one word, one phrase or a simple conversation, with one of my leaders left lasting impact on my life. I have gone back to those leaders years later and thanked them for what they said, only to find out they cannot remember the conversation. Why? Because the conversation impacted ME much more than it did them. That’s an important aspect of Godly leadership to remember. Sometimes you don’t understand the impact God is making in the lives of others through your words and leadership.
b. God can give you ONE WORD that can change the course of someone’s life.
c. As a leader you should be prayerful daily concerning the words you speak. Those following you are hanging on every word you say.
3. Be cognizant of the words you speak. People are listening. God is listening. Satan is listening. Speak life and not death, blessing and not cursing, success and not failure - SPEAK THE WORD ONLY!
4. If you are a leader, embrace the grace to lead with confidence, courage and compassion. If you are the led, follow your leaders as they follow Christ. If you have ungodly leaders, pray and intercede for them. God has placed you there to be LIGHT in the midst of darkness. You may be the only Jesus people get to see.
Closing Confession: Father, this is a season of refined focus for me. No longer shall live my life in a way that is haphazard, unplanned, unorganized or unfocused. This year I bring my life into focus. I submit to You directly and I follow You by following those You have anointed to lead me. I also embrace the grace to lead with confidence, courage and compassion. As You speak, I say. As I receive, I release. Freely You give me. Freely I give. I am a human conduit of the divine. I am a God-carrier. You are IN me Father, and You lead me in the way I should go. I speak words of life and blessing that impact all those who are anointed to follow me. And I receive the words of life You have placed in the mouths of those I am supposed to follow. I meditate and medicate on Your Word day and night. I keep Your Word in my mouth and on my mind. And I observe to DO everything in it. In this way I shall be both prosperous and successful. I declare this by faith! In Jesus’ name. Amen.
This is Today’s Word! Apply it and Prosper.