Les D. Crause
The Joshua Juncture
Joshua 11:23 So Joshua took the whole land, according to all that the LORD [Yahweh] said to Moses; and Joshua gave it for an inheritance to Israel according to their divisions by their tribes. And the land rested from war.
The apostle is the highest ministry office of all. This means that apostles must be leaders. If you are to be at the top of the pole, everybody is looking to you for direction. And so, it is therefore very important that you understand as apostles and those who are called to be apostles, what it means to be a leader, how leaders behave, what they look like - all the qualities that are required in them.
As I looked to the Lord to see what I should emphasize from the life of Joshua that relates to the apostle, the Lord said to me, "Emphasize apostolic leadership." And so now as we look at the Joshua apostle, not only are we going to look at what the function and role of the Joshua apostle is, but we are going to see some very important qualities that are involved in being a leader in the Kingdom of God, as an apostle.
How is an apostle trained to become a leader? It is a very good question. And how is apostolic leadership displayed? Can you paint a clear picture? Could you look at a person and say, "Now that is an example of apostolic leadership?" Perhaps if you are a leader in this world and perhaps if you have been in management in a worldly organization or a managing director of a company or something like that, you may have a concept in your mind of what it is to be a leader. However, the world's concept of leadership isn't always the same as God's. There are things that overlap. So I want you to put aside all preconceived ideas of what it means to rise up and be an apostle and be a leader. Everybody wants to be an apostle, because an apostle is top of the pole.
"I want to be the big guy. I want to be the big shot. I want to be the one who calls the shots and tells everybody else what to do."
By the time you are finished looking at the life of Joshua, you might change your mind. Let's see how apostolic leadership is displayed from the life of Joshua.
Joshua is one of the apostolic types that we have already looked at, and he is of a category that I would like to call a mentored apostle. In other words, Joshua is an apostle who is trained through mentorship unlike some of the other apostles who have received their call and their training directly from the Lord without the agency of a mentor. Joshua is trained exclusively through somebody that God has already raised up into Apostolic Office. And so, we are going to look firstly at the call to mentorship and to training, and we are going to see how an apostle who is called to be trained through mentorship will be trained and will learn to rise up and take his place.
Apostle who knows Submission and Obedience
The first thing that such an apostle needs to learn is submission and obedience.
You say, "I thought I was going to be a leader."
That's right. If you want to lead, you first have to learn to follow. If you want to give commands you had better first learn how to obey them. Anybody who has been in the Army knows that. You don't start out as a General. You start out as a Private. You start out as a nobody, as a nothing. You begin by saying, "Yes Sir, no Sir, three bags full Sir," and you are saluting so fast at every officer who walks past that your hand nearly falls off! That is what qualifies you to rise up and become that leader.
Joshua is a classic example of that. The first appearance we ever see of Joshua is described in Exodus 17:9. It says this:
(9) And Moses said to Joshua, Choose us out men, and go out, fight with Amalek: tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in my hand.
Jushua Apostle has Obscure Start
We are not told where Joshua came from or how Moses came to know him. We are not given much of a background. We are always just told that he was the son of Nun, which means he didn't have any parents? Nun was the name of his father, I guess. We don't know whether he had a mother, because mothers are never considered important enough to mention in Scripture, and so he was the son of Nun, whoever Nun was. We don't know that either. He was just an obscure little nobody who came out of nowhere, and he was known as the servant of Moses. That was a great exalted title, a good way to start out as an apostle.
And so, here was Joshua. We are not sure what kind of relationship he had with Moses, but we know that as the Children of Israel were journeying towards the Promised Land, suddenly they were attacked by Amalek. Who was Amalek? He was a descendant of Esau. He was actually the child of Esau's son through a concubine.
Esau in the Scripture is always compared with Jacob, and the two are often allegorized, Jacob being the one that was blessed and Esau the one that was not blessed. Jacob being a picture of the Spirit and Esau being a picture of the flesh. So Amalek stands for everything contrary and anti to God's order and purpose. And so the first thing that happened as the Israelites tried to move towards the Promised Land is they were attacked by Amalek.
I am not going to go into a lot of detail on that, because we are going to deal with that later. But here were these Israelites who had been in slavery. They had never had a chance to do much except work very hard, so I guess they must have had good muscles. They must have been pretty tough guys, so they would have probably made good warriors, but they had never been trained to be soldiers. If they did they would have killed all the Egyptians and taken over. They clearly were not organized enough, otherwise they would have broken out of Egypt by themselves. They needed a leader to come and bring them out.
And so here was Amalek attacking the Israelites, Moses was the leader, and he was on the spot, because now he had to fight back. So Moses did what many seasoned leaders do. He passed the buck to somebody else and he said, "Hey Joshua, I've got a job for you. I want you to go and select men to go out with you, and I want you to go and fight these Amalakites. But don't worry Joshua, I'm right behind you. I'll be standing on the mountain watching you get killed!"
Apostle Does the Dirty Work
Poor Joshua. He was Moses' servant and he was going to rise up. He was going to be Moses' right hand man, and the first thing he got was the dirty work that nobody else wanted. Do you want to be trained to be an apostle? Start by being the servant and get used to the idea that you will do the donkey work that your senior guy doesn't want to do. You are going to get your hands dirty when he doesn't feel like it. And you are going to moan and groan and complain and say, "But that's not fair!"
Take your choice. Do you want to rise up? Do you want to become that leader? That is the first price you will have to pay. Why? It is because if you are to rise up and be a leader, as an apostle you will need to have worked your way up from Private. You need to know every rank. If you are going to rise up and lead a company in business, you need to know what every single employee in that company does. You need to know how they think. You need to know how they function. You need to have been in their shoes.
You will find the guy who just gets handed it on a platter from his dad and takes over the company is a little hotshot, and usually by the time dad disappears so does the company, because he has never learned to understand the employees. He doesn't know what is involved in running this company. But you see the guy who started out as the janitor and he worked his way up and eventually became the managing director of the company. This is a man who understands the employees. He understands the jobs. He understands every aspect of the company because he has been there and worked his way up through it. He is the guy who makes the best leader of all.
Do you want to be an apostolic leader? The most efficient you will ever be is if you are prepared to submit yourself in humility and start out as the servant and do all the dog work and dirty work that nobody else wants. I know Craig has shared in his testimony how he came out with these great big visions, and the first job he got was to do the garden. Yup, it takes a lot of the nine gifts of the spirit to do gardening! Do you want to learn to be an apostle? That is where you start - doing the dirty work.
Need Covering of Protection
And so here was Joshua, doing the dirty work. But you know, Moses didn't just sit back, send him off and wait for it to happen? Moses went up that mountain, he took the rod of God and he said, "Joshua I'm right here with you. I'm standing with you. I'm watching you. I'm here for you!" Moses held up his rod. And as Moses held up his rod he gave that covering of protection to Joshua, and Joshua couldn't lose. The moment Moses became tired and let down the rod, Joshua started to lose. You see, it wasn't Joshua's wonderful skill that was making him succeed in this very first job. It was the backing of his mentor! It was having somebody over him watching him, protecting him and speaking power on him that gave him the ability.
And so while you are out there doing the dirty work, don't forget that without the covering and protection of your master or your mentor, you will fail even in that. You have to learn to trust your mentor. You have to learn that when he gives you a job to do he has a reason for giving you that job. You have to learn that if he says, "I'm going to be there to back you," that he is there to back you, although you cannot see him. You have to trust him, because if you cannot trust him you are not going to learn to trust the Lord that he represents to you, because he is God's representative to you at this time. So Joshua had to learn to trust Moses implicitly and to do exactly as he was told.
Apostle has Natural Leadership Temperament
Now Joshua was not a weak guy. He was a strong driver temperament. You have to be to go out on the battlefield and take charge of a lot of men and go and kill the Amalekites. He was not a wimp. Joshua was a tough guy. He was probably a young six foot six inch type of person who played football. He was very strong. In the natural he was ready to go out there and let them have it! In fact, he was very zealous as all driver/expressives are - ready to just go out and kill.
That can be a good quality to be a leader. But you know what? That is what the world calls natural leadership. God doesn't necessarily need that natural quality to make you into a leader. And sometimes that natural quality actually becomes an obstacle to your leadership, and the Lord has to deal with it and bring you to a place where you don't depend on your natural strengths.
And so we see a little bit later as Moses called out the seventy elders, and God took of the anointing that was on Moses and put it on the seventy. The Scripture says that two of them didn't come out. They stayed in the camp. And when the anointing came on the others these guys who didn't come out for the official meeting still received the anointing. They were prophesying there in the camp. Moses and Joshua were together when the news came saying, "Hey, these guys who never bothered coming to the meeting are prophesying!"
Joshua got on his high horse and said, "Moses! You can't let them happen! Tell them to shut up."
Can you see the expressive driver in him? He was just ready to go and give them a smack.
"How dare you guys prophesy? You didn't bother coming to the meeting!"
He wanted to zap them. Doesn't this kind of remind you of Moses in Egypt when they first started out? He was so zealous.
Moses just smiled to himself and said, "Thank you for being so zealous for me Joshua, but hey, I wish everybody was a prophet. Don't stop them. Just hold your horses and calm down. I've got it under control. You don't need to help me out on this one Joshua, because I have it in hand."
The disciple sometimes thinks the mentor has become a doddering old fool and says, "We've got to help him out! Man, this guy just has no backbone. He's just letting the people ride all over him. He's become old and he can't handle this anymore. He needs somebody young and full of strength and energy to go and fight for him."
He had the great zeal of a typical young apostle in training and wanted to conquer the world. However, God has to deal with some of that in you and calm you down a little bit, otherwise that temperament will control you instead of the call of God. And so Joshua learned through submission and obedience and let the Lord deal with all of his natural strengths.
Blessing Through Association
Then Joshua learned through his association with Moses. The next experience Joshua had was climbing the Mountain with his mentor. In Exodus 24:13 it says:
(13) And Moses rose up, and his minister Joshua: and Moses went up into the mount of God.
Joshua was glued to Moses. He went wherever Moses went. Part of the reason for that I believe is that Joshua was actually Moses' bodyguard. If you were going to pick a bodyguard, would you pick a small weak little guy? That is how I know that he must have been quite a tough guy. I could just see little Moses walking along, probably about my height. I like to think that Moses was insignificantly small. Then you have this six-foot six guy walking next to him. If you came across Moses and just wanted to swat him you took a second look at that big guy next to him and you thought, "Not today!"
Joshua went wherever Moses did, and you didn't tangle with a guy who looked like that. So when Moses went up the Mountain he took his bodyguard with him for protection. I mean, you never know what you might find up the Mountain! Moses took Joshua with him wherever he went, and as the disciple learns to stick to the mentor he will receive an opportunity to enter into some of the blessings that his mentor is going to experience.
And so as God called Moses to go up the Mountain, Joshua was the only one out of everybody who got to go up the Mountain with him. Some of the other elders, and even Aaron, only went a part of the way up, but Joshua went all the way up with Moses. He was the only one who was given that opportunity.
Now we don't know whether Joshua actually went directly into the presence of the Lord with Moses. The Scripture doesn't tell us whether as God communicated directly with Moses, Joshua was right there and whether he experienced it as well. But Joshua experienced something up that Mountain that nobody else had an opportunity to experience.
If you want to rise up to be an apostle, God has given you somebody to be your mentor, teacher and trainer, and you stick to him like glue even when he is giving you dirty jobs to do. When you come back from finishing the dirty work you go there and say, "So, have you got anything else for me to do then?" You stick to him, and when you do that your association with him will cause you to experience and receive some of the same blessing that he is getting.
It is very important. It reminds you of Elisha and Elijah doesn't it? Remember where Elijah said to Elisha, "I'm leaving and I'm going," and Elisha said, "I'm going with you. I'm not leaving you behind." It is going to take that kind of commitment even when the mentor starts to become an impossible person and becomes senile and ratty, and he flies off the handle because he is in a bad mood. There is nobody else to fly off at except you, because you're there. What a price to pay! Have you ever been there? You have to take the good with the bad, but ultimately you are heading for the same place as your mentor.
This Apostle Desires More
Like all good disciples Joshua was not satisfied to get just what his mentor had. He thought, "That's great. Moses is doing a good job. He's got a good anointing, but I want to be better. I want to be greater. I want to have more." It is the quality of a good disciple. Elisha was like that. When Elijah said to him, "So what do you want?" he said, "Twice what you have."
"Don't be greedy now!"
Joshua's aspiration was to exceed Moses. How do I know that? It tells me in Exodus 33:11 that Moses took Joshua with him also once he had set up the Tabernacle of Meeting where they would go into the presence of God, and Joshua went with Moses into His presence. Now the Scripture does tell us exactly what happened! As God spoke to Moses face to face Joshua was there witnessing it. It says in this Scripture:
(11) And the LORD [Yahweh] spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. And he returned again to the camp: but his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, did not leave the tabernacle.
Joshua had a mentality that said, "More Lord! Moses was happy to sit there for an hour, but I'll stay there for a couple more." Joshua was determined to get as much as he could. It was not enough just to be there while Moses spoke with God. He stayed on a bit longer.
I'm sure he just cried out to the Lord and said, "Can't you speak to me too? Lord, I want what Moses has. I want to spend time in your presence. I want as much as you have. I want everything you've got! I want it all!" There was a driving force. He was not going to let his mentor leave him behind. He wanted to grab everything that he could. There was a very important reason for that which we will see as we go on.
In his association with Moses alone Joshua was beginning to rise up as a leader. And in your association with a senior apostle of God, just by remaining close and faithful to him, watching him, being with him and emulating him in everything that he does, you are already beginning to accumulate some of the anointing that is on that man or woman.
However there are tests to pass. Before you can qualify there are tests that you must pass. Your mentor will test you and God is going to test you through him. They are not always pleasant, but you have to pass the tests in order to qualify to rise up and be a leader in your own right. Until you do, you remain purely an extension of your mentor, and nothing more.
This Apostolic teaching was taken from the Joshua Juncture book.
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