November 3rd, 2019

In 1519, Hernán Cortés, arrived in the New World, and upon arrival with his 600 men, he issued an order we hear today. “Burn the ships.” The message was clear to his men, ‘there’s no going back.’ Today, we have For King And Country singing the same song, and the message is clear. Quit going back. We have a hard time with hedging our bets, leaving escape routes, and making sure our path of retreat is clear. And while that may be wise in some arenas of life, by and large, it isn’t. Because the message that it sends, not just to others, but especially to ourselves, is ‘if this doesn’t work out, I can always go back.’ As a result, we spend much of out time looking back at where we used to be, thinking about how much easier, better, whatever it was. All you have to do is look at the Israelites in the wilderness. They had just escaped from slavery. Forced to labor for Egypt, a nation that was intent on keeping them down by any means possible, and within a few days of leaving, they wanted to go back, because they ‘had it better’ in Egypt. And many times, we as Christians are no better. The fact is that the Christian walk is not easy, it is not simple to leave behind an old way of life, to leave behind coping mechanisms, to leave behind security blankets, ‘safe’ places, and things that we know. But, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, them, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”- Galatians 5:1. Paul’s message? Burn the ships! Don’t look back at where you came from, don’t lament how good those days were. Focus solely on where Jesus is taking you! It may not be easy, there WILL be battles, there will be rough days, and there will be times when you want to give up, and feel like you can’t go on. But, if there is nowhere to go but forward, urged on by the knowledge that “I can do all things through him who gives me strength.” – Philippians 4:13, then we will push through, and fight on. When there is nowhere to go but forward, we will go over, go under, go around, go through, but never give up, knowing that Jesus is with us every step of the way! For most of us, the idea of burning the ships is scary, but in the end, it is probably the most liberating action we can take, because in that moment, we tell ourselves, and those around us, “I am not going back to where I came from!” “Through the Power of God, I am going nowhere but ahead!” That act, removes indecision, and gives us direction. So, what ship(s) do you need to burn today?