Leadership Requires Persistence
Bible Studies for Life
The Bible teaches us about how God acts in the affairs of humanity. Sometimes these actions are miraculous, other times strange. Sometimes they are both. Remember the floating axe-head?1 Or the time Jesus rubbed dirt and spit in a man’s eyes to heal his blindness?2
As the old hymn says, “God works in mysterious ways, His wonders to perform.”
God’s Plan for Bringing Jericho Down
As Joshua lead God’s people to conquer Canaan (the “Promised Land”), one of the first challenges he faced was the walled city of Jericho, one of the oldest cities in the world. The city expected an attack by the Israelites, and had fortified itself.3 Almost certainly they expected an assault on the walls or a blockade whereby the Israelites would try and starve the population of the city.
God had another plan. And it was a strange one.
“The Lord said to Joshua, ‘Look, I have handed Jericho, its king, and its fighting men over to you. March around the city with all the men of war, circling the city one time. Do this for six days. Have seven priests carry seven ram’s-horn trumpets in front of the ark. But on the seventh day, march around the city seven times, while the priests blow the trumpets. When there is a prolonged blast of the horn and you hear its sound, have all the people give a mighty shout. Then the city will collapse, and the people will advance, each man straight ahead.”4
Joshua had not been the leader of Israel for very long. The unique nature of this command would challenge the faith of nearly any leader. I’m not sure what Joshua was thinking, but I have a feeling what many people would be thinking: “We have an army. Why aren’t we attacking?” “Why are we using our priests to lead the attack?”
Spiritual Leaders Leading the Way
But, Joshua most likely remembered God’s orders when the children of Israel crossed the Jordan River at the beginning of their journey into Canaan.5 It, too, featured priests leading the way.
God’s command to attack Jericho required time. It wasn’t a straightforward attack. It required persistence from Joshua. The longer God commands us to wait, the easier we can fall into doubt. The longer God commands us to wait, the more likely we are to get impatient and create plans of our own.
Are You Persistent in Your Leadership?
What do you do when your leadership gets difficult? When it seems like God has thrown you a curve? Are you persistent? Do you wait on God or run ahead of Him? Do you keep at it or give up?
Persistence requires us to trust the character of God that does not change, even when leadership situations change. And we need to trust God especially when God leads us to do something that doesn’t seem to make sense. Why? Because He is with us. Paul Jimenez writes about this, asking, “What was at the heart of God’s unconventional strategy?” Then answers, “His presence.”5
And God’s presence is all we need to lead with persistence.
1- 2 Kings 6:1-6
2- John 9:1-7
3- Joshua 6:1
4- Joshua 6:2-5 (All scripture HCSB)
5- Bible Studies for Life, Be Strong and Courageous, Paul Jimenez
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