A devotional thought I read this morning made reference to the Spanish Conquistador “Cortez” (Hernán Cortés). Some of you are likely familiar with his exploits – including his destruction of the Aztec Empire and his conquest of Mexico. For those of you who are not familiar with him, I want to share an interesting ‘factoid’ from the story. The year was 1519 when he and his modest force of 700 men landed at Vera Cruz to begin their conquest of Mexico. After they disembarked and brought their necessary supplies to the mainland, Cortez purposely set fire to his fleet of 11 ships. His men stood on the shore and watched as their only means of retreat sank to the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico. With no means of retreat, there was only one direction to move: forward into the Mexican interior – to meet whatever might come their way.
Perhaps you are wondering if I have a point? Indeed, I do. It’s this: In ‘counting the cost’ for being a disciple of Jesus Christ, we too must be willing and determined to purposefully destroy all avenues of retreat into the world. We must resolve that whatever the price/the cost involved for being His disciple, we will pay it. Think about it with me for just a moment: Jesus did not say, “If any man would come after Me…let him ‘get on the bus’ and find a comfortable seat.” He said, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” (Luke 9:23)
Quite clearly, “DAILY” is the key word. Our commitment to Christ – however genuine and wholehearted it may be today – must be renewed tomorrow, and the day after that, and the day after that, until the path comes to the proverbial ‘the end of the trail’ and find ourselves in His presence in eternity.
Let me conclude here with the famous and often quoted words of Jim Elliot, missionary and martyr: “He is no fool to give that which he cannot keep, in order to gain that which he cannot loose.”
“No man, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Jesus, Luke 9:62)