“The people served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who survived Joshua, who had seen all the great work of the Lord which He had done for Israel.” Judges 2:7
There’s never been a more powerful statement about a leader than what’s said of Joshua in today’s verse. His life had a profound effect on the Israelites’ faithfulness to the Lord, even after he was gone. But leaving a spiritual impact on our generation doesn’t require power or position. What if our goal was to have the Joshua effect on those in our sphere of influence? While Joshua’s life is full of positive examples to follow, two things in particular stand out.
First, Joshua stepped up during a challenging time. He was given the difficult task of leading Israel into the promised land after the death of Moses (Joshua 1:1-9). Joshua didn’t question the Lord or his own abilities, even when God told him repeatedly he would have to be strong and courageous. And his courage was contagious (v18)! Not only did he faithfully lead God’s people, he also led them to be faithful.
We certainly live in a challenging time to be a follower of Christ. As our culture walks further away from God, believers need to step up. Taking a stand for biblical truth requires strength of character and moral courage. You never know who will follow your lead when you choose to be courageous for Christ.
Secondly, trusting God’s promises gave Joshua confidence. At the end of his life, Joshua reminded Israel that everything God promised had come to pass (Joshua 23:14). His generation saw “the great work of the Lord” because Joshua trusted God. When the Lord said, “I will not fail you or forsake you” (Joshua 1:5), Joshua really believed it. As a result, he confidently led Israel to act on God’s promises by crossing the Jordan River into the promised land.
Today, many believers are eager to see a great work of the Lord. Well, it starts with taking God at His Word. Of course, that doesn’t mean the challenges of life just vanish. It does mean, however, that we have the confidence to act on His promises. The people who have the greatest spiritual impact exude confidence, not in themselves, but in the presence and promises of God.
Every believer can lead a life of lasting spiritual influence. So, what kind of effect is your life having on those in your home, church, and community? The Joshua effect requires consistent faithfulness to the Lord, regardless of the culture around us. That means courageously stepping up to the challenges of our generation and confidently trusting that all God’s promises are true. As we do, our courage and confidence might just be contagious!