Updated: Aug 3
Recently I had the privilege of hearing the meaning behind a song by for King & Country called Burn the Ships and it has sort of become one of my anthems lately.
I've mentioned before how God seems to speak to me in themes, well this is the abundantly clear theme of this season, and it's not an easy one. I haven't really been in a place where I've felt like sharing much lately, but I spent some time with the Author tonight, and was reminded that it is time to "shake myself from the dust and arise.." (Isaiah 52:2) - it's time to burn the ships.
The story behind this song speaks of a captain who was eager to explore a new land, but all his crew wanted to stay aboard the ships. Not because it was better there, but because it was easier, more comfortable, familiar. So the captain ordered all his men ashore and then gave the signal for his officers to burn the ships. Their option to go back was now completely gone, their only choice was to move forward. Everything they were used to, everything they clung to, everything that kept them just one step off the shore, devoted to complete destruction.
This is the theme God has been speaking to my life lately, that it is time to burn my own ships. To be emptied of myself, my fears, my doubts, my hurts, my sin, my bad habits, my struggles; everything which weighs me down, all that which holds me back from walking fiercely and confidently in the abundant life which God has called me to.
It's all gotta go.
I thought of the people of Israel, when Moses was leading them to the promised land. He told them that God would make a way for them to take possession of it, but that when He gave their enemies into their hands, they had to devote them to complete destruction, they could no longer serve other gods, or even have pity on them, "for it would be snare" to them (Dt. 7: 1-26). It made me think about those things which no longer serve a purpose in my life, and therefore no longer have a place in it. I can't entertain them on occasion, or leave them in a box in case I need them one day, they have to be devoted to destruction. Otherwise, they are taking up space for something much more valuable that God needs to put in their place.
Recently, I was reading the story of Gideon in my Bible. I've read this story before, in fact, I did an entire Bible study on Gideon, but isn't it amazing how God opens the eyes of your heart to new things every single time you read His word?! #Ahh! As I read about Gideon's defeat over the Midianite army, a word popped out at me that gave me an entire new perspective on Gideon's story.
"Arise, for the Lord has given the host of Midian into your hand. And he divided the 300 men into three companies and put trumpets into the hands of all of them and empty jars with torches inside the jars." (Judges 8:15-16)
Empty was the word that struck me.
Because when we are emptied of ourselves and everything which isn't serving God or us, we then become vessels through which God can work, just like Gideon's empty jars.
Inside the empty jars, the Israelites had torches (Judges 8:16) and how amazing that when we allow ourselves to be emptied and completely surrendered to God, then all of that empty space becomes a place which God's fire can burn bright within us!... Did I tell y'all that I love God's word yet? 'CAUSE IT'S AMAZING! When the Israelites attacked the Midianites, they smashed the jars and blew their trumpets saying "For the Lord and for Gideon!" (Judges 8:18)
The weapons to win their battles were being emptied so that they could be full of Christ and shouting praises to the Lord as they ran right into the fight. WOW!!!!
"..It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives within me..." (Gal. 2:20)
The more I make it a point to seek God, the more He opens my eyes to the absolutely beauty that is taking place because of His work within me. God isn't interested in a quick fix, He loves us way too much for that, He wants the WHOLE enchilada. He wants to get messy, to unravel, to dig down deep to the very root of my hurts, rip them up, and heal them so that new life can grow. He makes beauty from ashes, He redeems and restores, He breathes new life into dry bones; but first, the old must be cleared away, so that there is room for Him. So that I can become a beautiful reflection of His love and help carry out His work here on earth, and how incredibly amazing is that?!?
"Behold, I am doing a new thing;now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert." (Isaiah 43:19)
Somehow, even in the midst of healing and heartache, God has begun to speak into my heart the beauty and absolute power of His redemptive work over my life. I am beginning to see this season through eyes of gratitude, understanding that God is transforming my mess into a powerful message for His glory and my good. He is stripping away every layer of me that no longer serves me or Him, every weight that I no longer need to carry, everything that fights to take first place in my heart where He should be.
It's scary... to burn the ships, to not have a way back to what I know and trust, even if it doesn't serve me any longer, but God knows the way forward, so the more I know Him, the more I can trust in His leading, even when my eyes cannot see what's ahead.
"For we walk by faith, and not by sight" (2 Corinthians 5:7)
Lord, Help me to lay it all at Your feet, and trust it all into Your good hands; give me the courage and the confidence in You Lord, to burn my ships and walk boldly to all that You have called me to. To leave the heaviness and step into the abundant life You give. Help me to walk in Your grace and extend it to others and to seek You first always.
In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.
All My Love,