Burning Your Ships
by Ryan Duncan
“In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.” – Luke 14:33
Every now and then, when I’ve got some time to spare, I’ll turn on the History Channel and let myself get lost in the past. Recently, I started watching a documentary on the Age of Exploration, when the kingdoms of Europe were sending out ships to explore the Americas. To the Europeans, the New World was a place of limitless promise but also great danger. Faced with new cultures, strange animals, and deadly plagues, many explorations returned home in failure.
Then in February 1519, an explorer named Hernando Cortez was commissioned by the Spanish Crown to sail to the Yucatan and conquer it in the name of Spain. Cortez and his army set out at once, and when they reached the shores of the Yucatan, Cortez turned to his men and said,
“Burn the boats.”
Cortez refused to let turning back be an option. For the sake of his mission, it would be all or nothing. To many of us this may sound a bit extreme, but as it turns out, Jesus had the same principle when he started his ministry.
“As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, "I will follow you wherever you go." Jesus replied, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head." He said to another man, "Follow me." But the man replied, "Lord, first let me go and bury my father." Jesus said to him, "Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God." Still another said, "I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say good-bye to my family." Jesus replied, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.’” -Luke 9:57-62
Being a true Christian is something bold and dangerous. We live in a world that loves compromises, and teaches us that we are free to pick and choose what parts of religion we want to follow. Christ is different. When we become his followers, he tells us to take up our crosses and never look back. To follow him is all or nothing. So take some time today and renew your relationship with Christ, because God never claims a victory until he finally gets it all.
Intersecting Faith and Life: Are you holding onto something that is keeping you from God? Take some time to consider.
The Characters of Christmas is a podcast created to help you take a fresh look at the Christmas story by getting to know the minor characters that played a part in Jesus’ birth. It is the companion to Dan Darling's book "The Characters of Christmas: The Unlikely People Caught Up in the Story of Jesus."