Every leader on this earth has one thing in common. Our places of service may very. Some are pastors, some managers, some school teachers, some students and some youth or children. Some wash dishes and some lead nations. Our talents and skills will be different We have artists and athletes and administrators and speakers and writers and musicians and manual laborers. Some of us are hands while others are feet or eyes. Our contexts and life situations will be different Some of us have huge families, some have small families, some are single, some are in love, some have health issues, blindness, addiction, family struggles, and some are popular or have really, really good grades in school. God gives us places of service, whether we are commanders or not, so that we can lead people to Him; not to ourselves
In a sense, then, we are all leaders in God’s eyes even if we are not commanders according to this world. Our mission on this earth, and the end that God brought Joshua to, is to lead people into a deep relationship with the God of the universe. If we do not pursue this, we lead and serve in vain.
A long time after the Lord had given Israel rest from all the enemies around them, Joshua was old, getting on in years. So Joshua summoned all Israel, including its elders, leaders, judges, and officers, and said to them, “I am old, getting on in years, and you have seen for yourselves everything the Lord your God did to all these nations on your account, because it was the Lord your God who was fighting for you. See, I have allotted these remaining nations to you as an inheritance for your tribes, including all the nations I have destroyed, from the Jordan westward to the Mediterranean Sea. The Lord your God will force them back on your account and drive them out before you so that you can take possession of their land, as the Lord your God promised you.
“Be very strong and continue obeying all that is written in the book of the law of Moses, so that you do not turn from it to the right or left and so that you do not associate with these nations remaining among you. Do not call on the names of their gods or make an oath to them; do not worship them or bow down to them. Instead, remain faithful to the Lord your God, as you have done to this day.”
Here we see Joshua recognizing everything that God had done and pointing people to God rather than himself. As leaders in this world (all of us because we are moving now to God’s definition of leadership), we do not draw people to us but point them to God. Joshua urges the people to remain faithful to God and to follow the commands that God gave.
“Cling to the Lord your God, as you have done to this day.”
No mater what place of service we find ourselves in, we cling to God and use that service to point others toward God! Pastors point people to God, not draw them into their own sermons or create an environment where the local church depends on them. Schoolteachers draw students to God, not tout their own intelligence for the world to see. Students and youth point people to God, not try so desperately to escape their places of service. Remember, God will raise you up in His timing.
No matter our talents, we cling to God and use those talents to point others toward God! Athletes point people to God, not draw attention to self because of shear awesomeness. Speakers point people to God, not try to astound people with rhetorical genius. Musicians point people to God, not try to get people addicted to their sound or gain fame.
No matter our context in life, we cling to God and point others toward God from that context! Now, will you be a leader in God’s sight, or will you only strive to be a commander in this world? As for me, I will cling to God and point others toward Him no matter what else I do!
 Joshua 23:1-7 (HCSB)
How do we look at a leadership position as a gift from God rather than an entitlement or right?
o Do I have a right to be a leader, famous, popular, liked, or loved?
o I have to look at it this way, if I consider myself worthy to be a leader (or a commander), then I assume that I have the right to have authority over other people.
o As I read through Genesis 1 and 2, it seems to me that God gave people authority over everything; everything that is except for other people.
o He created us as equals. If I assume authority over other people, I mock God’s created order.
- In this fallen world, sometimes God will give us authority over others. This is a gift and a burden.
- We do not deserve it because we are not God and it will not last because God will restore the earth to His created order.
- So, I live as a servant no matter how much authority, fame, popularity, acceptance or love I have.
What’s the best way to overcome an addiction?
o Find a friend or elder you trust, share your struggles, and let them hold you accountable.
o There is no easy way to deal with addiction.
o The best way is to let someone we trust invade our live’s and to stay away from the things we are addicted to.
Did Jesus go to Hell after He was crucified?
o Luke 16:19-31
“There was a rich man who would dress in purple and fine linen, feasting lavishly every day. But a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, was left at his gate. He longed to be filled with what fell from the rich man’s table, but instead the dogs would come and lick his sores. One day the poor man died and was carried away by the angels to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. And being in torment in Hades, he looked up and saw Abraham a long way off, with Lazarus at his side. ‘Father Abraham! ’ he called out, ‘Have mercy on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this flame! ’
“ ‘Son,’ Abraham said, ‘remember that during your life you received your good things, just as Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here, while you are in agony. Besides all this, a great chasm has been fixed between us and you, so that those who want to pass over from here to you cannot; neither can those from there cross over to us. ’
“ ‘Father,’ he said, ‘then I beg you to send him to my father’s house — because I have five brothers — to warn them, so they won’t also come to this place of torment. ’
“But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; they should listen to them. ’
“ ‘No, father Abraham,’ he said. ‘But if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent. ’
“But he told him, ‘If they don’t listen to Moses and the prophets, they will not be persuaded if someone rises from the dead. ’”
o 2 Peter 3:18-20
For Christ also suffered for sins once for all,
the righteous for the unrighteous,
that He might bring you to God,
after being put to death in the fleshly realm
but made alive in the spiritual realm.
In that state He also went and made a proclamation to the spirits in prison who in the past were disobedient, when God patiently waited in the days of Noah while an ark was being prepared. In it a few — that is, eight people — were saved through water
o There are two prevailing thoughts on this subject that I know of.
o The first is that Jesus descended into Hades to proclaim some message of condemnation or judgment to the dead.
- This dead was at least those who lived during Noah’s time who were unrighteous in the Lord’s sight.
o The second is that Jesus visited this holding place “Abraham’s side,” to reveal the truth of the Gospel to those who placed their faith in God before He paid for all sin and ushered them into Heaven and into the presence of God, which was impossible for people bound in time before Christ’s death.
o My view on this is going to be a mixture. I think it is possible that Christ visited both Hades (the holding place before the Lake of Fire in the end) and Abraham’s Side (the holding place before heaven that most likely no longer exists) to reveal the message of the Gospel to those who lived and died before He, the Messiah, died as our substitute for the sinfulness of all people.
- I also have to say that we can’t know exactly for sure; but we can make an educated guess here.
- It may be the case that we discover something entirely different and mind-blowing when we meet Jesus in eternity and He makes a new revelation to us!