Jeremiah 2:19 & I Kings 18:21
“Burn the Ships” has become a metaphor for any decision where retreat is no longer an option. It is a point of no return.
A Culture in Chaos: In our postmodern and post-Christian culture, citizens no longer share common ideas of right and wrong based on God’s unchangeable Word. God placed His servant Elijah in the middle of a similar culture. The pagan influence of Ahab and Jezebel flourished in a nation that had arrogantly separated itself from its spiritual heritage. Their faith was rooted in fear and fanaticism.
Jer. 2:19. When it comes to making decisions about your relationship with Him, it is best to burn your ships and commit yourself completely to Him.
Elijah’s Burn-the-Ships Message-Follow God Completely:
The overarching issue in I Kings 18 is the question, “Who is the true God: The Lord or Baal? The Israelites wanted the best of both. They wanted to straddle the fence. It was time for a burn-the-ships decision. Many Christians today are trying to straddle the fence between following God and following their idol of choice. We don’t need halfhearted commitment.
Elijah Faithful and Fearless: He was a man who burned-hot for God.
Elijah Followed God Faithfully: He had a steely resolve to transform his culture. How did Elijah keep from being conformed to the world? He made obeying God-rather than pleasing people-the focus of his life.
Elijah Obeyed God Fearlessly: That fearless obedience would eventually lead Elijah to the summit of Mount Carmel and a showdown with the prophets of Baal.
He answered God’s call and never turned back.
Obadiah: Faithful but Fearful:
I Kings 18:9-12. Obadiah did not want to reveal to Ahab that he was a follower of God. He found a comfortable compromise.
Ahab: Faithless and Fearless: Ahab knew the drought and famine were the result of divine judgment for leading the people into idolatry.
He hardened his heart toward God and toward God’s people. The days were desperate and dangerous.
Ahab and all of the Israelites needed a reminder that the God of Heaven is the supreme God.
The People: Faithless and Fearful: How did the people respond to Elijah’s burn-the-ships message? With deafening silence. The people did not answer him a word.
Jesus Burn-the Ships Message: Follow Me Completely.
What does it really mean to follow Jesus?
1. Get your priorities straight.
2. Get rid of prejudices. Our commitment to Christ is determined by our faith, in and obedience to Christ, not our politics, our intellect, or our skin color.
3. Get your pleasures aligned. We must submit to His power over our lives. We must surrender our desire to control our lives to God’s control.
A Dedication of Discipleship:
I won’t give up, shut up, let up, until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up, paid up, and preached up for the cause of Christ.
I am a disciple of Jesus, I must go until He comes, give until I drop, preach until all know, and work until He stops me. And when He comes for His own, He will have no problems recognizing me, my banner will be clear.
That’s the kind of burn-the-ships commitment God requires from anyone who wants an extraordinary life.