They answered Joshua, “Everything you have commanded us we will do, and everywhere you send us we will go.” (Joshua 1:16)
When or for whom are we willing to go this far, claiming “everything” and “everywhere” for someone? The next verse reminds us of Joshua’s reliable authority because of his faithful obedience to God as he led. But Joshua was still human. And no matter how much we want to claim godliness in a leader we follow, we need to think about what we’re doing and where we’re going. We ultimately need to trust God the most, and sometimes that will involve following people He’s placed in leadership in our lives. Sometimes that will mean boldly and respectfully disagreeing.
We need to be careful of whom we declare as our fearless leader “no matter what.” We can easily find examples in our current political elections. We may choose to follow a candidate because of an issue or precedent, to fight for an underdog, to prove a point, or to jump on a bandwagon. None of those reasons are sufficient. When you find yourself trying to justify a stance, take a step back. You might be on shakier ground than you care to admit. You might claim allegiance (or rejection, which is still a type of allegiance) for the wrong reasons and with the wrong attitude.
It all takes discernment. Each step we take as we follow, lead, speak, listen, persuade, consider, and change.