Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him
in the presence of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous,
for you must go with this people into the land that the LORD
swore to their forefathers to give them, and you must divide it
among them as their inheritance. The LORD himself goes before
you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.
Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
– Deuteronomy 31:7-8
Your greatest work includes setting other people up for success.
My biggest childhood soccer rival team was Apple Valley. There was a fierce charge in every game we played. The ‘just have fun’ message did not fully convince me (is my competitive athletic personality too obvious in that last statement?). You can imagine my surprise when the Apple Valley coach was the person who suggested to the Dartmouth College soccer program that they recruit me. His unexpected act was a true gift, and I am still so grateful. It can be life changing when someone is in your corner and helping you to find a place.
Joshua had huge shoes to fill as the successor to Moses. The handoff between these two leaders would be instrumental for the direction of the entire nation of Israel. Moses went out of his way to affirm, support, and pray for the young man. God’s Spirit worked through Joshua as Moses asked God to bless the new leader.
Unfortunately, many great leaders do not have this foresight or they may feel that their legacy will be threatened if they help their successor. Pride and selfishness often prevent solid transitions amongst leaders. Everyone suffers as a result. Moses saw the big picture, and his humility blessed millions of people.
America is, once again, at a crossroads. It is crucial for the leaders in all areas of our society (spiritual, political, educational, community, and family), to effectively manage the responsibility of passing the torch to the next generation. These are relational, moral, and financial decisions that will shape the opportunities for future generations. What would happen in our nation if we started to pray: “Father, by your mercy, come heal our land. Jesus, may more people experience your peace and wisdom. We need you Holy Spirit.”
Prayer leads to actions, and changes need to be made in our country as we look to the future. I encourage you to be mindful of what we can give to our children and grandchildren. Whether it is on our knees, coming alongside of an individual, or shaping the direction of a city, brave steps are required as we look beyond ourselves.
How can you wisely invest your time and energy to set someone up for success?
Loving Pastor Jesse Bradley’s inspiring words? You might also like Discovering Security.
Excerpt republished with permission from A New Season by Jesse Bradley c. 2013.