Joshua’s life illustrates the three big stages of Israel’s journey so far: Egypt/bondage (40 years Joshua is there of the 400), Wilderness (40 years), and Crossing Jordan into Promised Land (25-30 years). We tend to think of Joshua as young, strapping commander, but Joshua is 80 when he leads!
Joshua was a leader whose leadership emerged after eighty years! I remember when I was in my twenties, I wanted to lead now, and I forced a lot of things, but then I met a teacher who taught me a leadership principle about how leaders emerge over time, like Joshua.
If we prepare ourselves, I believe God will use us to lead at the right time. For thirty years I’ve been collecting leadership principles. Joshua exemplifies the “Oak Tree Principle” taught to me by Dr. Phil Slate. When God wants to create an oak tree, it takes fifty years. When God creates a squash, it only takes a season. Do you want to be a squash of a leader or an oak tree? Joshua was an oak tree leader.
Greg Taylor preaches for The Journey: A New Generation Church of Christ. Greg’s wife, Jill, teaches math at Broken Arrow High School and Tulsa Community College. Greg and Jill have three adult children, Ashley, Anna, and Jacob. Greg is the author of many books, including his latest co-authored with Randy Harris, Daring Faith: Meeting Jesus in the Book of John.