Green Valley Bible Camp - Well, here I am again, at camp. This is only the second time in 23 years of full time ministry that I have gone to camp as a counselor...both have been at Green Valley.
Despite the lack of “creature comforts” (like air conditioning, a generous supply of hot water, and the like) everyone seems to be having a good time (easy for me to say, since technically. I have not even left yet, its only Thursday, July 2).
This year, for our session, the theme is “Burn the Boats.” The idea comes from the story of Hernándo Cortés and his conquering of the Aztec Empire and claiming Mexico for Spain in February, 1519. Just before his men began to march toward war, Cortés had them burn their boats...the same boats that had seen them safely from Spain to Cuba to the shores of Mexico.
By burning the boats, Cortés and his men were now 100% committed to victory: they had no choice, there was no way of retreating. To put it in the words of Colonel William Travis some 317 years later (February, 1836 at the Alamo), “Victory or Death!”
The reason so many great leaders of the past (before Cortés) had failed to conquer the Aztecs was they always left an “escape hatch” of sorts. Cortés burned his escape hatch!
In Hebrews 12:1, the writer tells us, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”
That’s the point of this week at camp: burn your boats! Throw off those things in your past that are keeping you from being 100% committed to Christ; throw off the current temptations that you are struggling with that seeks to entangle you; and run with perseverance the race God has prepared for us.
Most of us like to have a safety net. Most of us like to leave ourselves a way out. Most of us are unwilling to burn our boats.
But if we don’t, we will never reap the untold riches and rewards that only those who are 100% committed to Christ will reap.