“Jesus replied, ‘No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.'” – Luke 9:62 NIV
In 1519 with some 600 men, 16 horses, and 11 boats, Hernan Cortes landed on a vast inland plateau now called, Mexico. They had come from Spain to the New World in search of some of the world’s greatest treasure. With only 600 men and no protective armor, conquering an empire so extensive became a highly unlikely affair. Instead of charging through cities and forcing his men to immediate battle, Cortes stayed on the beach and awoke the souls of his men with emblazoned speeches ingeniously designed to urge on the spirit of adventure and invoke a thirst for lifetimes of fortune amongst his troops. His orations bore fruit, for what was supposedly a military exploit now took on an extravagant romance in the imagination of the troops. Ironically, it was not the eloquent “preaching” that led to the ultimate victory of those adventures; it was just three words that would change the history of the New World. As they marched inland to face their enemies, Cortes ordered, “Burn the Boats!”
They did and thereby eradicated any possibility of retreat from the minds of the troops. They had to commit themselves unwaveringly to the cause—win or die. Retreat was no longer an option.
Putting aside the violent nature of the example of Cortes and his conquest, we can observe the power of the “no turning back” approach and the disposition of the Christ-Follower who is serving to advance the Kingdom of God.
When there is no possibility of retreat, we will find the faith to leap forward and to stay the course in fulfilling God’s high calling for each of our lives. The disciples were entrusted and empowered with the advancement of the kingdom of God. Jesus expected them to respond to this call with ardent resolve and tenacity and any one who did not “keep his glance forward” after placing his hand on the plow was not a candidate for the Kingdom of God. Pretty sobering stuff isn’t it?
May the Lord Give Us His Grace to Plow a Straight Course!
On Mission With You,