Joshua in the Bible: Character Profile, Story and Lessons

by Crystal McDowell · Print Print · Email Email

What does every successful leader have in common? The ability to focus on the task at hand and execute with thoughtful precision. A strong military leader in battle can’t have success if he or she allows the everyday cares of life to load them down. They must find their zone in which they block out everything not relating to their mission. Joshua’s life and decisions serve as a model for all believers engaged in spiritual warfare.

Joshua’s Story

Joshua followed after Moses since his youth. As Moses’ assistant, Joshua had the experience of being in close proximity to the Lord. After Moses would finish meeting with God, Joshua would remain the tent.

Joshua was among the 12 spies Moses sent out into the land of Canaan. Only Joshua and Caleb came back with a positive report admonishing the people to have faith in God. They were threatened with stoning because of their testimony. The other ten spies were killed by plague and everyone over the age of 20 except Joshua and Caleb would wander the desert until the last one died.

Joshua was a warrior for God. He was first mentioned in the Bible when Moses called upon him to lead the Israelites in a battle against the Amalekites. In this amazing struggle he was victorious as long as Moses’ hands were lifted. His incredible faith was also revealed in the extraordinary miracle of the sun holding still so that he could finish the battle. Under Joshua’s leadership the mighty fortress of Jericho was reduced to rubble. After his conquests for the Lord, the entire nation of Israel was at rest from their enemies.

Joshua was gifted with the spirit of leadership to take the Israelites to the Promised Land. God confirmed his position with the miraculous crossing of the Jordan River. At the end of his life, Joshua encouraged the people to choose God over all else. He did everything that God commanded Moses to get done. Under Joshua’s leadership “Not one of all the Lord’s good promises to Israel failed; every one was fulfilled” (Joshua 21:45).

Wouldn’t it be great to see every one of God’s promises fulfilled in your life as it was with Joshua and the Israelites? God hasn’t called His people to live sorrowful, defeated lives, but rather for us to rise up and conquer our enemies. We need to be in the same zone of spiritual warfare as was Joshua.

The Zone of Faith

“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him” (Hebrews 11:6).

A zone of faith in God is vital for your spiritual strength in this fallen world.

A zone of faith in God is vital for your spiritual strength in this fallen world.

The ten spies saw giant men and great fortresses, while Joshua and Caleb saw their enemies’ lack of protection because God was with the people of Israel. We are also faced with many battles that require faith in the midst of giant complexities of life. Just as Joshua we have the ability with the power of the Holy Spirit to envision our situations with God on our side. “If God is for us, who can be against us?” should be our battle cry each and every time. A zone of faith in God is vital for your spiritual strength in this fallen world.

Question to Ponder: Are my words and actions reflecting faith in God?

The Zone of Fight

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12).

Joshua was told seven times to “be strong and courageous” from God, from Moses, and from his officers. Every battle was won in the strength of the Lord and not by the hands of men. As long as we try to win our battles in our mental, physical, or emotional strength—we will lose. Yet if we choose to recognize how God gives us power against our spiritual enemies, we would be mighty in battle. “‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty” (Zechariah 4:6). A zone of fighting in the Spirit through prayer will demolish and destroy our enemies’ influence over our lives.

Question to Ponder: Am I a fierce competitor against the enemies of Christ in prayer?

The Zone of Favor

“May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us—yes, establish the work of our hands” (Psalms 90:17).

Joshua’s life reflected an incredible favor of God—he was given youthful strength in old age, he lived to see all of God’s promises fulfilled, he was given victory over all his enemies, and he was respected among the people. Joshua’s favor was rooted in his intimate relationship with God. The favor of God isn’t about living a long life in wealth with no worries, but rather it is the mark of a man or woman who invests much time in God’s presence. “Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve…but as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15). The zone of God’s favor is on all those who put their trust in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

Question to Ponder: Does my life reflect the divine favor of God even in the midst of adversity?

Get in the zone! Stay focused as a warrior of Jesus Christ by taking steps of faith, fighting the good fight, and receiving the favor of God in your home. Be strong and courageous just as Joshua in prayer, Bible study, and fellowship. If you do, the gates of hell won’t prevail against the advance of the kingdom of Christ.

Resource – New International Version Bible, The Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright© 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblca, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Judy Hanks June 16, 2013 at 6:39 am

Wow, wow, and wow Crystal! There is so much power in the truth of this lesson. I intend to use it with those I counsel to help set them free from wrong thinking. Thanks for pressing in and pressing on to share this word.


Crystal McDowell June 17, 2013 at 11:04 am

Thanks Judy!


Erik June 18, 2013 at 7:52 pm

Thank you for this article. It has been a blessing for me to read and meditate on.


Crystal McDowell June 24, 2013 at 3:56 pm

I appreciate your words of encouragement.


sherisa ambush September 4, 2017 at 10:05 am

Thank you. This just helped me with my leadership training homework. God bless you women of God.


Mark January 7, 2018 at 6:52 am

God led me through a series of steps that you were a part of. I was instantly connected with your article from the start. I wish I could better share how God used you today but I’m still in devotion. Thank you for taking time sister. May the God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob richly bless you for your labor and your family for their sacrifice as you labor. I pray the car or van you need reveals itself and the resources to purchase it cash overflow


Projeto Gospel November 19, 2019 at 2:32 pm

Thanks for Content, nice


Bernice May 4, 2020 at 2:19 pm

This article helped me to get a good Over all understanding of life of Joshua.


Tracey M Brown May 24, 2020 at 10:05 am

Such an awesome article full of inspiration and insight for a time such as this! God Bless you Crystal!


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