Thursday, July 31, 2008

Burn the Ships #2

Yesterday we talked about how Hernando Cortez and his troops landed on the shores of Mexico and when his men began to complain because of fear and fatigue, he told them to "burn the ships." (If you haven't read yesterday's blog, please do so by CLICKING HERE. )

I came across a blog by Lee Kemp that really inspired me. Please allow me to share some thoughts with you from his blog concerning Cortez. I hope it "spurs you on" as much as it did me.

For Cortez, the answer was easy. It was all or nothing! A Complete and Total Commitment. Here's how Cortez got the "buy in" from the rest of his men. He took away the option of failure. It was conquer and be hero's and enjoy the spoils of victory…or DIE! When Cortez and his men arrived on the shores of the Yucatan he rallied the men for one final pep talk before leading his men into battle, and utters these three words that changed the course of history. "Burn the Ships".

He met with resistance from his men. "Burn the ships," he repeated. He then uttered these words "if we are going home, we are going home in their ships". With that, Cortez and his men burned their own ships, and by burning their own ships, the commitment level of the men was raised to a whole new level. A level much higher than any of the men, including Cortez, could have ever imagined.

Amazingly, the men conquered the Aztecs and had succeeded in something where others had been unsuccessful for six centuries. With the victory Cortez and his men took the treasure. Why did they win? They had no escape. No fall back position. They had no choice! It was "succeed or die". Their ships were burned. They had no way to get back. Their backs were to the wall.

To "really succeed" you must have an attitude much like that of Cortez and his men. Cortez and his men did not have a "crutch" or "fall back position". They frankly didn't have any options. It was simply "succeed or DIE". Pretty strong position, isn't it? How would you like to be engaged in fighting someone with that level of motivation and commitment?

This is the level of motivation and commitment you must have. The "BURN YOUR SHIP" level of motivation and commitment. Take away your crutches and excuses and burn the ships that are keeping you from achieving your goals. Identity the ships in your life that are keeping you from accomplishing dreams. I hope that we will begin to think and speak, when we come up against an obstacle in our lives… "Burn the ships" to remind us of the commitment that we must have to be successful and accomplish anything great for God!
You see, whatever prevents you from achieving your goals and dreams are ships that must be burned. Not dismantled, or run ashore…but burned and destroyed.

If we know that our ships are still out there, when things get tough we instinctively head for our ships so we can escape. It's just human nature. The path of least resistance. This level of thinking and commitment sees sacrifice as a positive thing, not something weird or impossible, but something to be cherished and fought for. Cortez didn't allow himself or his men to have the option of going back to Spain. By removing this option, Cortez and his men were forced to focus on how they could make the mission successful.
And so it is with you. How can you make the missions in your life successful?

This is really a story about commitment. Commitment is the foundation of success. Not a single accomplishment is ever achieved without it. By focusing on commitment, we seal our future. Are you ready to "burn the SHIPS?" Are you ready to really accomplish something big for God? Then it's time to step out by faith! Blessings!

Pastor Rusty