Burn Your Ships

Burn Your Ships


I reposted my testimony earlier this week as it was the 10-year anniversary of my conversion. Reflecting about that made me think of the struggles that come along with trying to live as a “new creation” in Christ.

I know it’s not easy trying to leave old habits of sin behind. In my own decision to live a new life, I realized that there were times that sin still had a strong attraction.

It makes me think of the exodus of the people of Israel from Egypt. They, having been delivered from slavery, looked back and complained that things were so much easier before! They doubted the choice to leave the old life behind. 

The journey to the Promised Land is no cakewalk.

When the Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés arrived on the shores of Mexico in 1519, he discovered that he was up against a powerful empire. With 600 men and a few horses and canons he was to face the Aztecs, a vast empire whose capital was larger than any city in Spain, and whose bloody religious festivals saw tens of thousands of human lives sacrificed in a weekend.

His men were justifiably terrified. They wanted to hop back in their ships and sail home.

So Cortés burned the ships.    

Amazingly, they somehow prevailed against the Empire, but only after there was really no possibility of turning back. 

We need to have this same mentality when faced with the temptation to go back to the old life. Are there sins that still hold allure to you? You need to sever those ties! If you find yourself looking back with fondness for some sin, say a prayer that God will give you grace to strengthen your resolve, that you may walk in the light of life. (I am speaking to myself here as well.)   

Therefore, if any one is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come. (2 Cor 5:17)

There was a moment of crisis a few months after my conversion. I was wrestling with understanding my identity because old habits of thinking and acting die hard.

“Who am I? Am I the person I was, or the person I am trying to be?? I was the person I was for so long; is this new man for real, or am I just fooling myself?”

In a moment of true desperation I picked up the Bible and begged God to tell me something that would confirm that I wasn’t just lying to myself and everyone else. That there was hope for me.

I opened up the bible to this passage.

The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands. (Psalm 138:8)

We are the work of his hands. We don’t have to do our conversion alone. He helps us so much along the way. So rejoice!

But we still have to burn the ships.


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