So they answered Joshua, saying, “All that you command us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go. Just as we heeded Moses in all things, so we will heed you. Only the Lord your God be with you, as He was with Moses. Whoever rebels against your command and does not heed your words, in all that you command him, shall be put to death. Only be strong and of good courage.” Josh 1:16-18
Continuing from last week, we see further that in Joshua’s company:
3. Everyone was willing to accept his authority. How can someone tell you what to do and you shall be obligated to? That can only be because you have been able to TRUST the person under God to provide you with leadership and direction fully recognising the place of authority in God’s system. It was this recognition of authority that caused Jesus to be impressed with the centurion in Matt 8:5-12. He understood authority (a crucial factor in the kingdom of God); He submitted under authority and knows to exercise authority (YOU CANNOT CONFIDENTLY OPERATE OR EXERCISE AUTHORITY WHEN YOUR OWN OBEDIENCE IS WANTING); He expects (and he can legitimately) THE BLESSING OF AUTHORITY WHICH ONLY FALLS TO THOSE WHO DULY RESPECT IT; He therefore had the potential (even as an outsider) to partake in the coming kingdom while the real heirs of the kingdom were gazing like outsiders and shall be thrown out according to the words of Christ. Why would they be thrown out? They will be thrown out for their rebellion, the opposite of submission.
4. Everyone believed the best of Joshua and supported him, especially in prayer that God will be with him. It is a responsibility to believe the best of the leader that God has caused you to recognise. BELIEVING THE BEST OF HIM IS SYNONYMOUS TO EXPECTING THE BEST THROUGH HIM. The extent of the devotion and the responsiveness of the followers is the extent of their privileges from a leader. The exceptionally committed ones were those in Christ’s innermost circle during His earthly ministry. It takes believing the best of a leader before you can listen to him in all things. Instructing and leading in all things as a leader in within the bounds of the charge received by God. God does not delegate a leader to usurp people’s personal responsibility. It is important to also support a leader. The support is not for him but for the good of the group, especially in prayer that God will be with him.
5. The took a stand against division and rebellion within the camp. Division can be seen from two angles, the functional and the dysfunctional. While a functional division is a functional part of a group that runs with a mission that is subordinate (sub-mission) to the group, dysfunctional division is the rebellious, seditious, conflicting part of a group. Every group that will win against all odds must ensure that a stand is taken against such insurgence; If not that will be a quickest way to defeat. Why was the devil sent out of heaven? His rebellion and the need to forestall further defilement. It is better to be out of a team/group than to constitute defilement on their feast of love and unity.
- They encouraged him the leader in all sincerity. Good followers serve as channels, not source, of joy, strength and of courage to the leader. The body language, words and willingness of the people constituted encouragement to Joshua. This we must do with our all. Heb. 13:17
The essence of the group is for winning; it is for geometric effects. Even where God is in charge, he has never left His people without a leader. When they did not have a king after the culture of the nations, he gave them judges who were their captains. The reason for a captain in the army is for winning. If we operate with this spirit, our campaigns will be successful to our corporate and individual good and to the praise of God. This context just showed that the kingdom of God is a functional structure and not dysfunctional mass.