Students of history may remember the story of Conquistador Hernando Cortez. In 1519, having run into trouble with the Cuban Governor, Cortez and a small army sail off to Mexico. Facing arrest or death if he returned, Cortez devises a new plan of action. He had heard of the fabulous riches and Aztec cities of gold and decides to conquer, settle and stay. However, his men, hankering for their homeland, began to grumble.
In answer, Cortez burns and sinks all the ships that they had arrived in. This controversial yet decisive action effectively shut down any mutinous ideas and focused his men entirely on succeeding at their mission of occupation of the new land.
While I am not in any way endorsing nor defending the treatment or destruction of indigenous peoples anywhere–onemust applaud the leadership decisions of this explorer. When one fires the ships or burns one’s bridges then immediately, all exit -strategies, contingency plans and alternate options or distractions are eliminated and achieving the goal now becomes preeminent. Say what you will about Cortez. He was totally committed to his vision.
Likewise, Fever Season characters, Jennette Tolliver and her Uncle Geoffry, are content to stay in the decaying conditions of post-war Mississippi until their situation suddenly became untenable and dangerous. Wanted for questioning in the murder of a Federal officer by the Regional Military government, what had been comfortable and familiar was now suddenly on the other side of their philosophical burning bridge and instantly any vagaries of frontier life in the wild Colorado Territory was now a waiting, golden opportunity. There is nothing like a little persecution to get folks motivated to move!
We are no different today than Cortez and his men or Lot and his unfortunate wife as described in Genesis 19. It is easy to be comfortable where we are. We know that we shouldn’t stay on the fence. We know that there is promised joy and unbelievable reward if we seek first the Kingdom of God ( Matt 6:33) Yet the old life, old habits or companions call us back, keeping us where we know we shouldn’t be.
Revelation 3: 14-22 gives serious warning regarding the “end-times” Laodicean Church. The Lord says He will spit them out because of their lukewarm complacency. They knew what they should be doing, but had convinced themselves that they didn’t need more of the Lord’s Presence. They were not seeing themselves as they really were. They were comfortable where they were and purposefully avoidant of leaving that comfort zone. The Lord tells them among several other things that they need help with their eyes. We all need to pray that God would open the eyes of our understanding and show us what our priorities really need to be in these times!
As Believers today, I think we have ample access to sound teaching if we seek it. If anyone is paying attention at all, they know, just by looking at Israel, that time is limited. We know what we should be doing and yet there are so many stupid, useless distractions. Even church-goers content ourselves with people- pleasing programs, or with supporting overseas missions (nothing wrong with missions…please don’t misunderstand my point here!) while our own neighbors have absolutely no knowledge of the Name of Jesus beyond that of an oft- growled curse word.
People, It is time to burn our ships and to get totally invested in the taking and occupation of our land! Jesus is coming back! He is coming back soon! He is coming back for a power-packed, miracle working, seriously loving, victorious Bride. there is no place for a Bride who sees no need to have oil in her lamp, is unprepared, lazy, lukewarm and happy as a clam with the place she has made for herself in this wicked old world.
Fire the ships! Burn your bridges! Luke 21:28 makes it very clear that ” When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near. “ It’s getting late.