We’ve all been at square one. First day of school, week one at a new job, starting a company, engaging in new hobby, the list goes on. While these first seasons are challenging (and intimidating), there are plenty of insights and instruction out there to get you going. Schools have orientation, companies have on-boarding meetings, there are books, resources and coaching for whatever new stage is beginning in your life.
Many of the business leaders I coach aren’t necessarily at square one, yet they haven't arrived at step 100 either. Many are well into the journey, but are still in process. They believe that while life is "up and running" for them, that God has much more in store. They have greater goals and aspirations they are passionate about achieving.
Life at another level
So, where do we go for good insight and advice to “take things to another level?” How do we all the more effectively and strategically grow?
The insights found in Joshua chapter 3 are incredibly helpful for people in this position. Here Joshua has already enjoyed a level of success: he’s the established leader, the people are confident God is with them and the spies have come back confirming how terrified the people within Jericho are of the Israelite army.
However, before they start conquering, God has some very specific instructions for them. His desire (like Joshua) is that they succeed and enjoy another level of fruitfulness. So, what does God emphasize? And how can it help you grow? I believe these four frameworks will help:
1. Obey all the more carefully.
God says in Joshua 3:4:
“When you see the Levitical priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord your God, follow them. Since you have never traveled this way before, they will guide you."
Where are you currently? Have a full pipeline? Customers happy? Money in the bank? It’s so easy to take your eye off the ball when things are going well.
Or are you in the starting stages? When every penny counts? It’s a different story here: the prayers, the penny pinching and the long hours.
When things do start rolling we all tend to take our foot off of the gas. Now, on some levels this makes sense. The pace at the beginning probably isn’t healthy or sustainable. However, carefully hearing what God’s calling you to and implementing accordingly is crucial and necessary no matter what stage you find your business in.
2. Keep getting healthier.
In Joshua 3:5 God says to his people:
“Purify yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do great wonders among you.”
We’ve all heard the the quote: “Great leaders are lifelong learners.” And in many regards it’s true. Research shows they are the ones who are continually committed to getting better. Joshua is saying the same thing to his leaders here. And while it’s important to relax and rest after the start up season, we must eventually get back on the wagon and ask ourselves: “How do I need to grow next?” As the slogan of Lowe’s says: “Never Stop Improving…”
3. Increase the Faith
God tells Joshua that he's going to cause the Jordan river to stop up so they can all cross on dry land. Now, the Israelites had heard about the parting of the Red Sea from their parents and grandparents many times before, yet they had all passed away. However, here was an opportunity to increase their faith, see God at work and choose to believe He’ll follow through. Even with the waters at the highest they would be in the year, God was fully able to come through for them. (Joshua 3:15).
As you look to the next season, here lies your opportunity to increase your faith as well. Will you believe in God for greater things?
4. It’s about team and vision.
Joshua is quick to gather his leaders and share afresh the vision God has for them and their role in it. This is an important practice that we can imitate. Regularly gather your core team, recalibrate vision and share the part they get to play. This is a crucial practice for a team that keeps focused, disciplined and in good spirits.
Do you find yourself in the place where things are going well, and yet you are hungry for more? Try reading Joshua 3 and 4 using these four insights for reflection.
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