Burn the Ships


How did we get here?

How often in life do we have circumstances that lead us to ask that same question of God. “God, how did I get here?” And, “if it is too much for me to handle, can I turn back?” The answer is pretty clear...there is no turning back, no staying put, there is only moving forward.

In 1519, Explorer Hernán Cortés made history by destroying his ships when he landed in the New World. He didn’t burn them because they were diseased or broken, he burned them to send a clear message to his men: There is no turning back.

While we may not be traveling explorers of the “New World” today, we are certainly stepping into the world to share the love and truth of the Gospel...to bring “newness” and “wholeness” to the broken world.

This year, many Christians are excitedly crying out the words, “It’s A New Day!” We delight in this wonderful news, thank You Lord!

But...what does that mean exactly?

How do we know when it is a new day if we are still doing the same things we did yesterday? And, what if the Lord is calling us to put down many of the old things that we really like? Things that bring us comfort and security...things we know how to do, and have done for years?

We may sit back in our comfy chairs in our homes and declare, “It’s a new day! Have Your way with us Lord! We want the new!”  True, but are we willing to get rid of our former ways? They weren’t bad, they were actually great and the Lord used them abundantly. However, often we long for those nostalgic days of yesterday. But those ways were meant for that season. The Lord has a fresh outpouring for us, but, how can we receive it if our hands are full of what He gave us for our last season?

For example, when a calendar page turns we do not get to go put it back and say, “I wasn’t finished with Sunday...I want to keep going in this day...but I also want to continue to grow.”

It doesn’t work like that. When we tear the Sunday page from our calendars and step into the new day of Monday, we have closed the book on yesterday, carrying the things we learned, the joys we experienced, and the truth we plan to carry forward into tomorrow. Leaving things behind can be incredibly difficult and stepping into something new can feel scary and like a big blank unknown.

And, while It may be blank and unknown to us... the Lord has already been there and knows the way. He wants to lead us into the “new.”

Cortés made history by doing something drastic and unrepairable. Using this idea for their song “Burn the Ships” by For King and Country, the powerful chorus emphasizes this idea:

“Burn the ships, cut the ties

Send a flare into the night

Say a prayer, turn the tide

Dry your tears and say goodbye.

Step into a new day.”

See, Cortés knew that stepping into the “new” would leave his sailors scared and longing for home and the things that they were comfortable and confident in. So, quite literally and drastically, he burned his ships...actually HE didn’t burn them...He ordered his men to burn their ships. Doing this symbolized their commitment to the mission ahead and removed any option of retreat. Essentially, they were forced to fully commit to their goal (or calling) and wholeheartedly step into what was ahead of them.

Were there risks in this? Definitely. Was Cortés confident of his mission? Absolutely. Did certain challenges the men encountered along the way make them want to swim back home? Probably. But, that wasn’t an option. The burned-up ships were evidence of their total commitment to achieving their objective.

So, to all those who believe in Jesus, I want to say: Now is the time that we burn our ships. This “New Day” the Lord has promised is not just a catchy conference theme. And, it isn’t just a recommendation from the Lord to choose to stay or go. It is a command. There are things that need our attention right now, things that need leadership, transition commitments, and change.

It’s easy to not be committed when your ship is sitting in the harbor. The process of change cannot happen if we have an off ramp, an escape route.

When you look at your life or the faith communities that you belong to, small groups, etc. are there areas of “new” that the Lord has made clear to you but that you are also having a hard time committing to? Is it because your ship is still docked in the harbor?

Trust that the Lord has the map for our unchartered waters ahead, and He can’t wait to see us flourish. It is amazing what God will do when we remove our escape routes and trust in His plan.

Step into a new day, [you] can rise up from the dust and walk away... So Light a match, leave the past, burn the ships, and don’t look back.”



  1. Riekie Dalm on May 23, 2024 at 6:27 am

    Oh so true! Lord give us courage abd wisdom with a good dose of discernment to see the way❤❤🔥🔥

    • Janae Lovern on May 23, 2024 at 5:12 pm

      Riekie, Amen! And thank you so much for your comment. May the Lord bless you abundantly.
      – Janae

  2. Laurie Lischke on May 24, 2024 at 1:46 am

    Wow Janae,
    Incredible word! Sooo true and inspiring. I felt my heart leap as I read your words. You are doing an amazing job and I’m so proud of you and blessed to be close to you. Keep soaring girl!!! God has much for you to do in future days and years.
    Love you, Laurie

  3. Tammy Hendrix on May 26, 2024 at 4:15 pm

    This is an EXCELLENT article! Though I have served in Aglow almost thirty years, and am now concentrating on my elderly, long distance parents, I will always love Aglow! (Local chapters keep me connected, as well as yearly Aglow D.C. Prayer Journeys.) Aglow International has been “manna from Heaven” to me, over three decades. Praying the Lord stirs hearts of many to step out and step up to serve within the ranks of this awesome ministry..

    • Janae Lovern on May 28, 2024 at 7:04 pm

      Hi Tammy, Thank you so much for your reply! I agree that the Lord has provided Aglow has a blessing to many, myself included too! May the Lord bless you and your parents!

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