What Does Spiritual Leadership Look Like?

Jon Burgess


“So the Lord said to Moses, “Take Joshua son of Nun, a man in whom is the spirit of leadership, and lay your hand on him. Have him stand before Eleazar the priest and the entire assembly and commission him in their presence. Give him some of your authority so the whole Israelite community will obey him.” ‭‭Numbers‬ ‭27:18-20‬


God isn't asking Moses to give his authority away to anyone and everyone but specifically someone with a track record of faithful leadership. What does the spirit of leadership look like? Following God's Leadership- It was only Joshua who partly ascended the Holy Mt Sinai when Moses climbed to meet with God and receive the 10 commandments (Ex. 24:12-18). Joshua loved the presence of God so much he stayed behind at the Tent of Meeting even when Moses left (Ex. 33:11). This was a man who followed Gods lead because He pursued Gods presence personally. Following Moses' Leadership- The first mention of Joshua in scripture is when Moses asks him to choose some men to fight the Amalakite and "Joshua did as Moses said of him" (Ex. 17:8-16). Joshua was chosen as one of the twelve to go and spy out the Promised Land because of his leadership. Where others came back in fear for the giants, only Joshua and Caleb had the courage to follow God and Moses right then and there into battle (Num. 27:18-23). Others Followed His Leadership- the old saying goes that if you're a leader but no one I following behind you then you're just taking a walk. Whether it was against the Amalakites or into the Promised Land, Joshua had people following his lead as he followed Gods lead. Moses puts it this way: The Lord your God Himself crosses over before you; He will destroy these nations from before you, and you shall dispossess them. Joshua himself crosses over before you, as the Lord has said." (Deut. 31:3)


I'll never forget the moment at our 20 year Anniversary service here at New Hope. My family and I had recently moved from Big Island to Oahu to become the campus pastors of our Sand Island campus. Pastor Wayne, the Senior Pastor of our movement, talked about the importance of passing the baton of leadership to the next generation. As he said that the Lord told me to start looking for my replacements and to begin to invest into them now. What am I looking for? The spirit of leadership as seen in the life of Joshua. Do they follow Gods leadership? Do they follow my leadership? Do people follow their leadership? Then, it's time to give them some authority in leadership.


I continue to be amazed that You would honor me with this position of leadership at New Hope. This passage reminds me its not about holding on, but letting go of the authority. It's not about bolstering my position but raising up others into positions of leadership. This room where I'm journaling is filled with spectacular leaders with the spirit of leadership upon them. Help me to serve them well and release them into all You have called them to be.

Devotions for February 28

Numbers 24,25,26,27
1 Corinthians 13

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