Burn the Boats

August 12, 2019

When my husband and I moved to Seattle to start a church, it was (and is) with the intention of staying put until we either die or the Lord returns for His Church. It may sound a little extreme, but we knew that it would take commitment, endurance, and simply staying to see the revival that God has for our city. 


Sometimes it’s hard to do. 

Sometimes other opportunities present themselves, or you get tired, or the grass looks greener somewhere else. And sometimes it just gets hard or lonely. 

Our church just celebrated five years, and in that time we’ve experienced all of the above in some way.

But staying put is important.

And staying put means eliminating the backup plans. You know, the options we think about just in case this happens to falls through.

Here’s the thing, when it comes to following God: Plan B isn’t an option

It’s a safety net of our own making, as if God needs a little help from us. I mean, His plans fall through every now and then, right? 

Of course not! He’s God! 

The reality is, we’re human and we don’t like facing the unknown. Stepping into something that seems uncertain is a little scary! 

Yes, Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 5:7 that “we walk by faith, not by sight,” but walking by faith isn’t always easy to do.

In 1519, Hernán Cortés began his conquest of Mexico. When Cortés and his men landed on the coast, Cortés commanded that the ships be destroyed. Most people believe that his order was to burn the boats. It seems like a crazy thing to do, but it eliminated any other option but the one to move forward. 

Cortés couldn’t know what the future held, but he knew that in order to complete his mission, he had to stay. He had to get rid of any way out.

He had to burn the boats.

By doing that, he and his men were more determined to succeed. 

What would you do differently if you had no backup plan? 

How would you live, think, and act? 

Would some decisions be easier to make? Like saying no to some things that would take you away from your purpose, and saying yes to things that will propel you forward?

What is it that God has called you to do that requires you to trust and walk by faith?

For us, it’s church planting, but only you know what God has asked you to do for the Kingdom. 

Whatever it is, you have to run into it with no intention of turning around. You have to trust that He will make a way, even where there seems to be no way. You have to believe that He will catch you every time you take a leap of faith.

Thankfully, we can often find great examples around us of people who’ve made the decision to burn the boats. Look for the people who’ve been successful in living for God and doing what He’s called them to do.

In the Northwest, I can look to several successful church planters who simply stayed. It wasn’t a quick or easy work, but they saw revival because they chose to stick it out and remain faithful to what God called them to do. They way they lived was proof that they had no intention of turning back.

Luke 9:62 says, “And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”

In God’s Kingdom, there can be no escape route and no backup plan. We must put our hand to the plow and trust that He knows what’s best. We must be intentional about walking by faith every single day.

Whether it’s in your calling or in simply living for God, I challenge you to be faithful and fully committed. What God has in store for you will produce a greater, more fulfilling story for your life than any Plan B you could come up with on your own. 

Make the decision to burn the boats.

You won’t regret it.