This may sound a little sick, but I’m glad some of the greatest leaders in the bible were fearful on occasion. One leader I’ve considered in particular is Joshua.
Joshua evidently wasn’t just a little fearful – he was terrified. Not only did God tell him three times to be courageous, but the people he was about to lead joined God in delivering the message (Joshua 1: 5-18). Poor Joshua must’ve had some shaky knees! But Joshua’s nervousness is understandable, isn’t it? Consider…
Fear of the unknown. Joshua was about to take a couple million people somewhere (geographically and experientially in every other way) they had never been before. Joshua and one other person had visited this land, but all the others had not.
Fear of the opposition. Joshua was about to take God’s people into a land where they would fight against new enemies. Joshua had seen the giants with his own eyes!
Fear of the reaction of his own people. Being around Moses as much as he was, Joshua knew that fighting the giants in the Promised Land was going to be difficult – but dealing with the agitation of the Israelites might be more difficult.
Fear of being rejected. Moses led a certain way and he did so for over 40 years! He carried around a stick and through him the impossible became possible! Moses had created his own leadership culture. Moses wasn’t perfect, but who else could compare? Joshua was Joshua, not Moses. Would he be enough?
Against all this was the simple promise from the Lord to Joshua, “I will be with you.”
Local churches need leaders like this today; people with clarity about what they are supposed to do and the courage to do it – in spite of all their fears.
Like Joshua, our mission is clear – make disciples.
Like Joshua, God’s promise is ours – God is with us (Matt 28:18-20).
May God help us take courage and refuse to accept anything less than His will.
Praying for you and your church,