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Burn Your Boats


I was on my phone scrolling through my Twitter feed when I came across a tweet from the Notre Dame football account which said, "@NDFootball: "When traveling to a new land they would burn their boats so they had no option but to succeed." Something about that tweet stuck with me as I thought about you and this message.

I did a little research and here’s the story. At least as far as I can discern.
It was the year 1519 and Hernán Cortés, with some 600 Spaniards, 16 or so horses and 11 boats, had landed on a vast inland plateau called, Mexico. The Span­ish con­quis­ta­dor and his men were about to embark on a con­quest of an empire that hoarded some of the world’s great­est trea­sure. Gold, sil­ver and pre­cious Aztec jew­els were just some of what this trea­sure had to offer any­one who suc­ceeded in their quest to obtain it. 
But, with only 600 men — none of whom had any pro­tec­tive armour – con­quer­ing an empire so exten­sive in its ter­ri­to­ries could only be under­taken by a man with a death wish. In fact, for more than 600 years, con­querors with far more resources at their dis­posal who attempted to col­o­nize the Yucatan Penin­sula, had failed. Hernán Cortés was well-aware of this fact. And it was for this rea­son, that he took a dif­fer­ent approach when he landed on the land of the Mayans. 
Instead of charging through cities and forc­ing his men into imme­di­ate bat­tle, Hernán Cortés stayed on the beach and awoke the souls of his men with melo­di­ous cadences – in the form of embla­zoned speeches. 
His speeches were ingeniously designed to urge on the spirit of adventure and invoke the thirst of life­times of fortune amongst his troops. 
As great as his speeches were, however, it would be just 3 words which Cortés’ stated that would change the his­tory of the New World. As they marched inland to face their enemies, Cortés ordered, “Burn the boats.” 
It was a deci­sion that should have back­fired. For if Cortés and his men were on the brink of defeat, there wasn’t an exit strat­egy in place to save their lives. Remark­ably though, the com­mand to burn the boats had an oppo­site effect on his men because now, they were left with only 2 choices — die, or ensure vic­tory. And fight they did, becoming the first men in 600 years to suc­cess­fully con­quer Mexico.
Since I read that tweet I have kept coming back to this question, "What boats do we need to burn Lord?"

I am convinced that many people are not experiencing the benefits and the beauty of having the presence of God in their life because they have yet to burn their boats.

Would you consider with me for a moment what boats the Lord Jesus is asking you to burn today. It is a great question to ask the Spirit often in prayer. Or to discuss with your small group. Or work through in your journal. Whatever space works for you to hear from God and respond. 

Simply ask Jesus, “What boats do I need to burn?” “What things am I holding back in case this whole faith thing doesn't work out?”

You and I cannot live a completely devoted life, we cannot experience the full and fulfilling presence of God when we maintain boats on the shorelines. We must actively engage and we must guard the presence of God dwelling in our new hearts of flesh, as we push forward daily becoming more like Jesus and making him the Supreme Lord and Treasure of our hearts.
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