One Old Testament story that I have always been drawn to is that of Caleb, Joshua and the Spies in Numbers 13-14. To me it has always been an example of Biblical leadership and a life that is focused on God’s promises despite what is taking place around me.

One Old Testament story that I have always been drawn to is that of Caleb, Joshua and the Spies in Numbers 13-14.  To me it has always been an example of Biblical leadership and a life that is focused on God’s promises despite what is taking place around me.
Just as a reminder, Moses sent 12 men of Israel out to spy the land of Canaan, the land Israel had longed for since the days of Abraham generations before.  As the company of investigators returns, they stand before Moses and people with their report of the land.  All of them agree that the land is bountiful, flowing with milk and honey.  The land is everything God had promised it would be.
But there is one major obstacle.  You might say it is a “giant” obstacle.  There are inhabitants who already possess the land, a people who are large and strong.  This strikes fear into 10 of the spies, a feeling that quickly reverberates across the nation of Israel.  O, how quickly God’s people are to doubt and fear their circumstances where he has placed them.
Caleb and Joshua stand up and make a different recommendation to the people.  In Numbers 14: 9 they challenge their audience with these words: “Only do not rebel against the Lord.  And do not fear the people of this land…the Lord is with us.”  
I do not expect most people would consider me a visionary or revolutionary.  But as I read this passage, three types of leadership start going through my mind.  The first trait is confidence.  There are those who lead out of confidence, not driven to doubt the task set before them.  Another is courage.  Many lead courageously, not letting fear define their behavior.  Our culture applauds those who lead with confidence and courage.  But what I see in this passage is leadership by conviction, those who are driven by faith and a willingness to trust what God has called them to do.  Sure, confidence and courage are a part of the equation, but in this case, Caleb and Joshua refuse to cave in against their conviction based on God’s commands.
Conviction is not always applauded in our world.  But as a husband, father, pastor and leader, I would be thankful for a life lived by conviction and Godly truth.  May we be a community led by Biblical conviction.

Sean Pratt writes a column for the Neosho Daily News.