“And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend. And he turned again into the camp: but his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, departed not out of the tabernacle.”
We often ask ourselves, where are the great leaders of today? The answer to this question is that they are following their leader right now. Most great leaders were not seen as great leaders when they were young, but what they did while they were young is what made them a great leader.
I am reminded of two men who became great leaders after they followed a great leader. The first person I think about is Joshua. The verse above is the epitome of Joshua’s life in that he would not leave Moses’ presence. When Moses was at the top of Sinai for forty days, Joshua stayed in the middle of the mount waiting on Moses to come down. When Moses entered into the tabernacle when the glory of the LORD appeared, Joshua “departed not out of the tabernacle.” There is no doubt in my mind that Joshua became a great leader because he stayed close to his leader.
The other man who comes to mind is Elisha. While the sons of the prophets followed afar off, Elisha wouldn’t leave Elijah’s side. Elisha was more interested in studying the man of God up close than he was with being with his buddies afar off. The early years of both of these men epitomized several things that made them into great leaders.
First, they were not seeking a name for themselves. We live in times when young people are trying to make a name for themselves more than they are with trying to learn from the older generation. Great leaders are selfless. Instead of trying to build a name for yourself, you would be wise just to get busy doing what you are supposed to do, and you will find that when God is ready for you to lead that He will know where to find you.
Second, they didn’t think they knew more than the previous generation. It is interesting that both Elisha and Joshua were not interested in trying to correct the previous generation; rather, they were more interested in copying what the previous generation did to get God’s blessings. You don’t have to destroy the works of the previous generation for God to do something through you. My friend, you will find that you will have no problem learning from the previous generation or try to malign them when your motive is not to build a name for yourself. The lives and works of the previous generation are filled with many lessons to help you as you live and lead if you will get over yourself.
Third, they followed their leader. If there was one thing that both of these men seemed to do was that they followed their leader everywhere. These men wanted just to be around their leader. If you have any desire for God to do something through you, you would be wise just to get around your leader and learn everything you can from them. Are they perfect and sinless? No, but they do have wisdom and insight that you could learn if you spent time studying them.
If someone were to ask me where the great leaders of the future are, my answer would be that they are following their leader. My friend, you will have plenty of time to be a leader, but while you have a man of God to follow, you would be wise to get around him as much as you can so you can learn everything from him.