Burn the Ships - Glasshouse Christian College

Burn the Ships

  • November 9, 2023

Burn the Ships

In the year 1519, Spanish explorer Hernán Cortés arrived on the coast of a mysterious new land in far-off America. Accompanied by eleven boats and some 600 Spaniards, Cortés was determined to succeed in this new frontier. Knowing all too well the realness of possible failure, Cortés’ next move became something of legendary proportions. He ordered his ships to be destroyed, coining the term ‘burn the ships’. As the men watched their plan B disappear into the depths of the sea, they realised their mission had now become all-or-nothing. They had no choice but to continue moving forward.

I wonder, if we were standing on the shores with Cortés, how would we have reacted? Would we rejoice at the freedom from our past, or would we cower at the fear of new territory and the unknown?

As we come to the end of 2023 and begin 2024, for many it is more than just the turning of a calendar year, but rather the marking of a new start. A time to set new goals, to try new things, and to create change. But in order to move forward, there are moments in life when we need to burn the ships of our past. A moment where we let go of the hurt, and the disappointment and we declare that sailing back to the old world we left behind is no longer an option. We need to burn ships named; Bad Habit, Past Failure, Regret, Guilt…

By keeping these ships in our lives, we sabotage our chances of success. We don’t heal properly, we don’t forgive completely, we don’t love wholeheartedly, and we don’t see the potential our Creator has gifted us. In Philippians 3:13-14 speaks to this, “…but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” When we hold onto the things of our past, it keeps us from truly experiencing the satisfaction we find in Christ.

Is there something in your life that you need to burn? An action, an attitude, an opportunity? I encourage you to spend some time reflecting on what may be holding you back. What is stunting your relationship with God and is that thing really worth it?

Jacqueline Newell, Primary College Pastor

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