I was born a leader and I don’t mean that as a self-paid compliment. I literally didn’t have a say in the matter because my parents had three boys after me. Thus positioning me as the oldest of four and posturing me as the leader (babysitter) to them. In the book of Joshua, Joshua didn’t really have a say in the matter, either. Especially when the Father above all Fathers called him into his leadership role! In Joshua 1, God literally speaks to Joshua and says, “Moses my servant is dead. Therefore, the time has come for you to lead these people.” Growing up, I had to lead my brothers a lot because both of my parents had to work; but I only had to lead three of them for a few hours. When God called Joshua to leadership, he had to lead more than two million people into a foreign land. There are a lot of leadership characteristics required of such a fete, but as I read Joshua 1, there was one that stood out: courage. In this one chapter, where God calls Joshua to his newfound leadership and mission, “be strong and courageous,” is used four times. And of those four, God delineates further, and in verse 7 says, “be strong and VERY courageous.” Courage got the “very,” as in, the further emphasis. In today’s emojis, that would be like a fist bump, a bicep, an exclamation point and prayer hands. Courage is essential in leadership, from leading three brothers in a home to leading millions into a strange land, and everything in between. It took courage to lead my three brothers during midwestern tornado warnings. It took Joshua courage to lead the Israelites through enemy territory. It takes courage to lead a marriage through a violation of trust; it takes courage to lead a child through rebellion; it takes courage to lead a business through a bad economy; it takes courage to lead oneself through an addiction. Someone once said, “Leadership isn’t the absence of fear but the courage to walk through it.” WHERE are you leading but lacking the courage to walk through it? WHO you are leading but lacking the courage to walk through it? The lion asked the fictional Wizard of Oz for courage; but we ask the true Lion of Judah, King of Kings and Lord of Lords! Commit to asking God for courage! Commit to asking God to remove your fear. Don’t know how? It’s ok! I had to learn too. Here’s a prayer you can commit to praying each day, based on Joshua 1: “Lord, help me to be strong and courageous! Don’t let me be afraid or discouraged. Be with me wherever I go. Amen!” I hope this encourages someone today!

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