Everything We Have: Five Things You Have as a Leader


January 25, 2024
5 min read

If we want to give everything we have, we must know what we have.


Joshua’s life is a case study on maturing. What we find is that it’s impossible to be spiritually mature and remain emotionally immature.

When we open our Bibles to the first chapter of Joshua, we step into the middle of a story. This chapter marks a pivotal moment in time as Joshua steps into a leadership role after the death of Moses. In the first several verses of Joshua chapter one, we catch a glimpse as God honors and commissions Joshua to continue what He started with Moses. As he prepares to lead the Israelites, God tells Joshua, “Give it everything you have, heart and soul” (Joshua 1:7 MSG). 

God invites us to actively participate in His plans. He extends God-sized assignments and callings that require us to step out in faith and walk on water, planting our feet not on instability but on the solidity of His word. 

What do we have to do to be the kind of leader God chooses? He gives us the answer in Joshua 1 — we have to be willing to give it everything we have, heart and soul. How can we give everything we have if we don’t know what we have? It’s crucial to our ministry and leadership that we recognize what God has placed inside of us. Here are five things we have as leaders.

1. The Ability to Follow

Everyone wants to be a leader, few are willing to follow. It’s believed that Joshua was between 70-80 years old when he took his leadership role. He spent decades of his life as a follower — where Moses went, Joshua went. What Moses did, Joshua did. More is caught than taught, and if we want to grow as leaders, we must be willing to follow. 

2. The Choice to Submit

How we respond to correction or celebration will impact our dedication. We all have the choice to submit or quit. Submission will take us further in God’s kingdom than ambition could ever dream. Submission doesn’t mean we are weak or without opinion — it means we are willing to lay down our ambition for the greater good. It’s an opportunity to show our hearts once again that everything is unto the Lord.

3. A Willingness to Fight

When we read Exodus 17, the focus is often on the story of Aaron and Hur holding Moses’ arms while the Israelites were in battle. The real hero of this story is Joshua, who was down in the valley fighting on the frontlines. As leaders in ministry, we cannot stay on the sidelines. Ministry is messy because people are a mess — everyone brings their problems, history, dreams, and desires. We must have grit and a willingness to get into the battle. 

4. The Desire to See

Numbers 13, Moses sent a group of men to scout the promised land. While many reported only the giants, Joshua and Caleb reported milk and honey. Leaders see more than others, and leaders see before others. Our outlook determines our outcome. We have to develop vision competency — we must know the vision, understand the vision, communicate the vision, and produce the vision.

5. A Call to Stay

Joshua spent 80 years following, serving, plowing, and fighting before he spent 30 years leading. He died at 110 with the same people, same community, and same values while following the same book. Everyone talks about leaving, but have we considered staying? We never know what God might do, and sometimes, the only way to see is to stay.

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