Infamous conquistador Hernán Cortés is well known for his brutality when conquering and claiming the Aztec lands for Spain. He will forever go down in the annals of history as a conqueror that nearly wiped out an entire civilization in his day, but there is one saving act of leadership that begs to be examined. When Cortés’ ships landed in the new world, to prevent mutiny he ordered his ships burned and sunk. Imagine for a second being a sailor on one of those vessels and upon landing in this foreign environment your leader burns the only mode of transportation home. Your world comes crashing in, and the only way home is forward without retreat.
Here’s the lesson: Retreat is easy when you let it be an option.
In a very practical sense, we ought to consider burning the vessels of doubt and fear that reside within our faith in the Lord. These modes of transportation will only move us backwards into our old sinful lives instead of transporting us forward into a deeper relationship with our Father in Heaven. Burning the ships of doubt has a motivational value that boldly declares that our purpose and our faith is all or nothing. As an Ambassador for Christ in this world, there is no escape route or exit plan to abandon the cause of Christ.
If doubt and fear are present in our lives, perhaps it’s time to burn the ships. One might argue that fear is a part of our faith, and rightly so…but it should be the fear (reverence) of the Lord and not the fear of what the world might do to us within this cause for Christ (2 Timothy 1:7).
So let’s burn our ships…let us move forward in our faith and trust in the Lord for guidance, protection and strength!