Success Principles from the Life of Joshua

04 Pic 5// Bill Ray

I'm going to share some principles for success from the life of a man whom God chose and used to lead Israel into the Promised Land. I'm talking about Joshua.

The Bible says that the experiences the Israelites went through are examples for us today (1 Cor. 10:11). Looking at Joshua's life will help us succeed at what God has given us to do.

Keep Your Eyes on the Good Report

The first principle we can learn from Joshua is that to succeed, we're going to have to keep our eyes focused on what God has promised.

About 40 years before Joshua led the Israelites into the Promised Land, Moses sent him and 11 other men to spy it out. God had promised them the land. He promised them success and prosperity.

When the spies reported back, they said, "The land flows with milk and honey just as God said," and they showed some of its fruit (Num. 13:26). Then 10 of the spies said, "There's a problem. We saw huge giants in the land!" Those 10 spies let the giants they saw block the good report of what God had promised them.

Joshua kept his eyes on the good report (Num. 14:6–9), and because he did, he entered the Promised Land. We choose whether we will focus on the good report. If we focus on the "giants"—the problems we face—we'll let those problems talk us out of our blessing. But if we concentrate on God's good report, His promises, then His blessing will come upon us. To be successful like Joshua, we must learn to focus on God's good report.

Be a Good Follower

The second principle for success we can learn from Joshua is to be a good follower. Before Joshua was ever a good leader, he was a good follower. Numbers 11:28 (NLT) says Joshua "had been Moses' assistant since his youth." He was Moses' helper. When God said to Joshua, "Moses my servant is dead. Now you're going to lead the people," it shocked him. He was trembling in his boots! He had been happy and content serving Moses.

That's a key to why Joshua was such a good leader. How well you follow now is an indication of how well you can lead later. When you're asked to do something, how well are you following? If you'll learn how to be a good follower, God can bless you to lead and help someone else.

Have Courage

A third success principle we can learn from Joshua is to have courage. Joshua wasn't expecting to take over after Moses' death. When the Lord told him to lead His people, He said, "Be strong and of good courage" (Joshua 1:9 NKJV). God had prepared him a little by giving him some of Moses' authority. But Joshua had to be courageous to lead the children of Israel.

Courage is the ability to operate with the absence of fear. To accomplish anything that God gives us to do, it takes courage. People won't always agree with it. Things will challenge our integrity. The enemy will try to get us to lie, cheat, and take the easy way out. But when we stand our ground and hold firm in courage, God will see us through!

What can we learn from Joshua? We have to find and focus on the good report—God's promises—and not on our circumstances. We need to be good followers, knowing that good followers become good leaders. And we need to have courage. If we'll practice these principles, they will help us succeed in what God is calling us to do.
[Editor's Note: Bill Ray is a Rhema Bible Training College instructor
and an associate minister at Rhema Bible Church.]