The smell of smoke fills the nostrils and tears up the eyes. The view on the beach is disturbing, the ships are on fire as the smoke coats the air and blocks out the sun at mid-day. A sense of panic strikes at the heart of the sailors now marooned on this foreign soil. Soon, realization will set in. To find their way home, they have to move forward.
Infamous conquistador Hernando Corte’s 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 Cortes’ 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. It’s forward and never backward.
In a very practical sense, we ought to consider burning the vessels of doubt that reside within our faith in God. 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! We are either all or nothing; doubt can’t exist in the same place as our faith.
If we have doubt and fear present, perhaps it’s time to burn the ships. One might argue that fear is a part of our faith, rightly so…but it ought to be the fear (reverence) of the Lord not the fear of what the world might do to us within this cause for Christ! These two types of fear are different. Doubt on the other hand is something Jesus even confronts His disciples on… “Oh you of little faith, why did you doubt?” (Matthew 8:26)
Burn the ships…move forward in your faith and trust in the Lord for guidance, protection and strength! He will never leave us or forsake us! (Deut. 31:6)