Burn the Boats

Burn the Boats

Will you follow God without turning back? It requires sacrifice and it's not easy. You can choose to stay in the comfort or you can decide to follow God into everything He has for you. No turning back.

In the year 1519, a Spanish conqueror named Hernan Cortes commanded his men to burn the ships and fight for victory. It's a strange and profound command. These ships were the soldier's only form of transportation back to their home. Back to their family and loved ones. Burning these ships meant burning any hope of turning back. It meant they had to claim victory or else they would never see their families again. Can you imagine what that would be like? Visualize yourself on the shores watching as your only hope of return is burned to ash. However, you now have a new perspective. You are willing to give it your all. There is no looking back because it's not an option. You are all in.

When God asked me to do something, I wouldn't fully surrender

I'd like to tell a little bit of my story to give you some perspective on what it means to burn the boats in your own life. When I did my DTS, I thought it would only be a gap year. It wasn't much of a commitment and didn't require much effort on my part. During my school, I felt God tugging at my heart to stay in LA and staff with YWAM. However, I didn't want to make a big commitment, so I went home from DTS in February thinking I wouldn't come back. Oftentimes, people would ask me if I was going to staff and I would say, "Umm . . . I don't know" or "Maybe, I still don't know". I wasn't willing to completely surrender to God's will for my life.

When I went home, it didn't feel right. Eventually, I decided to do a secondary school with YWAM, but still wasn't sure about staffing. In April I started the School of Transformational Business. Throughout this school I constantly felt God telling me to staff, yet I still wouldn't say yes. I wasn't willing to go all in. For about a month, I was still seeking other job opportunities or options. I could go to college and end my gap year I planned on taking. During this time I got a lot of opportunities handed to me. For example, I got an opportunity to travel overseas and be a part of an internship doing something I love. It sounded perfect, but I knew God wasn't calling me to do it. He was asking me to staff, but I kept saying no. After months of Him prompting me to staff, I finally surrendered to Him and applied for staffing. It was scary, but felt so right. Right away, I knew this is what I'm supposed to do for at least two years. I chose to burn the ships and go all in.

Burning the ships means going all in

Burning the ships means letting go of everything that is holding you back. When the soldiers were burning the ships, they realized they couldn't hold back now. The ships were comfortable and safe, but the battle seemed daunting and impossible. After turning the boats to ash, I'm positive they fought with all their strength and determination. In my own life, I decided to say yes to staffing and burn the ships. I had to burn the ships of other career options or my own plan for my life. Instead, I decided to say yes to God without looking back. I lit the match and set fire to my comfort and safe place.

You may be at a crossroads right now. Maybe God has spoken something to you, but you are fighting it. You are holding onto the hope of returning to your ships instead of burning them. Yet, God is asking you to burn the ships. He's asking you to let go of what is holding you back. 

Burning the ships means letting go of what is holding you down 

What is holding you back from living fully as a son or daughter of God? Not only can comfort or other opportunities hold us back, but sin also has a way of not letting us live fully into who we are meant to be. Constantly we give excuses for our sin and tell God we can get rid of it eventually. Again, we choose not to burn the boats. It feels comfortable for us to do this, but what if God wants much more for us? He wants us to burn the boats and follow Him wholeheartedly. 

You may be holding on to some sin right now. It keeps coming up and you choose not to deal with it. Everyday you choose not to burn the boats. It's holding you back from so much God has for you. He wants all you. He wants you to be all in. 

When we follow Jesus, there is no turning back

To end, I want to share a few verses from the song I Have Decided to Follow Jesus.

I have decided to follow Jesus;
No turning back, no turning back.

The world behind me, the cross before me;
No turning back, no turning back.

Though none go with me, still I will follow;
No turning back, no turning back.

My cross I’ll carry, till I see Jesus;
No turning back, no turning back.

Will you decide to follow Jesus without turning back? Will you burn your boats that tie you down? God is inviting you to so much more. He may be asking you to do a DTS. What are the boats that hold you back? Is it an addiction? Past friends or your past life before God? Maybe it is the comfort of staying home and not following God's voice outside of your comfort zone. You could have so many opportunities at your feet, but God is asking you to burn those boats and follow Him. Will you do it? No turning back.

By Sarah Davis | October 3rd 2019 | ywam los angeles, obedience, burn the boats, sacrifice

About the Author: Sarah Davis

Sarah Davis

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