Moses was forbidden by God to enter the Promised Land because of his failure to glorify God at the rock. God chose Joshua to lead the children of Israel into the Promised Land. He chose Joshua not because of his skills as a warrior and leader, but because of his service to Moses. Joshua stayed at Moses’ side ministering to him. Joshua is an excellent case study on the rewards of being a servant to a leader. Not once in Scripture do we hear of Joshua doing something without instructions from Moses while Moses was the leader.
When you serve without looking for recognition, reward or promotion, God will allow you to receive the mantle and anointing of the leader you serve. From the day that God told Moses he could not enter the Promised Land, Moses began training Joshua as the leader of the people. Notice that Joshua remained faithful to Moses for twenty plus years knowing that one day he would replace him, Joshua did not run ahead of God’s timetable, but he waited for God.
After spending forty years wandering in the wilderness because of unbelief, the sons of Jacob now come to the entrance of the Promised Land, and Moses their great leader is preparing them for life without him as their leader. He speaks his final words to Joshua empowering him for the task ahead. Read what Moses said to Joshua:
“So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.” Deuteronomy 31:6 (NLT)
Joshua is faced with a daunting task; he has to lead people who are fickle, and who have seen and heard about the many miracles God has performed on their behalf. Their faith is somewhat shaky; they are no different from their fathers who turned on Moses when confronted by adversity. To make matters more complicated, Joshua is replacing Moses the Lawgiver, the one who talked face to face with God. Imagine leading these people after Moses!
Moses gives Joshua a command, “be strong and courageous!” To be a good leader, a man of character and integrity you need to be strong and courageous. A Spiritual Ironman® cannot be weak. Moses then gives him a warning, “Do not be afraid and do not panic before them.” Finally, he gives God’s promise to him, “God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.” What a reassurance, the same God who was with me will be with you! Joshua, you were a witness to how God was with me, now this same God will personally go before you, not His angels but Jehovah God Himself will go before you. Not only will He go before you, but He will also be with you! That’s a word for someone who needs to know that God has gone before you all you need to do is walk!
In this writing, I want to focus on the warning Moses gives to Joshua: “Do not be afraid and do not panic before them.” I want to focus here because Joshua had already proven himself to be strong and courageous. He had led the children of Israel into battle under the leadership of Moses and was quite successful. The fact that God was personally going before him was not something he could control, all he needed to do was follow.
However, Joshua could only control his fear and panic. The natural tendency for most people when confronted by the unknown, a new environment, or a new position with more responsibility, is to experience some degree of fear and panic. Fear is a spirit and Moses warned Joshua against it. A great leader does not allow these spirits to influence his life, and neither should the Spiritual Ironman®. Fear paralyzes your decision-making ability; it makes you weak and indecisive, and it also allows those who follow you to lose confidence in your leadership ability. The spirit of fear leads to panic and panic is the sudden uncontrollable anxiety, which alters rational behavior. When you are in panic mode, it causes you to do things you normally would not do.
To the Spiritual Ironman® who will read this blog, I speak this word into your life: “Be strong and courageous!” God is going before you; He will subdue every enemy, and all you need to do is follow as He leads. When adversity and hardship confront you, don’t allow the spirit of fear to dictate the flow of your life and never panic, because when you panic it questions your faith in God and causes others to doubt your ability to lead.
I rebuke the spirit of fear and panic out of your life!
Your Iron Coach,
Bishop Roberto Jemmott