Faint Not. Burn the Ships and Conquer the Land!

And let us not be weary in well-doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. Galatians 6:9 (KJV)

Off the coast of Spain is one of the world’s most well-known natural landmarks, The Rock of Gibraltar. It is often associated with strength, determination and stubbornness. When you see it, it’s easy to understand why. People will often refer to something that is difficult to move as a “Rock of Gibraltar.” If we consider someone to be especially strong, perseverant, or dependable, we may say they are like “The Rock of Gibraltar.”

The Mountain of Tariq

Gibraltar is loosely translated as “the mountain of Tariq”, and for good reason, too. In 712 AD, an Islamic mercenary named Tariq bin Ziyad stood atop the Rock of Gibraltar and made an astounding decision.

Tariq was a ruthless warrior who had been making his way across North Africa capturing land for the Islamic Empire. He and his seven thousand men set out for Spain offering a fake alliance with the reigning prince there. Tariq’s real motive was to conquer Spain.

Tariq was in the lead ship and when he landed, he quickly climbed to the top of the rock. As his soldiers began pouring onto the coast, he turned to his next in command and said, “When all the men are safely ashore, burn the ships.”

The officer stared at him in confusion. “But… but, Sir, how will we return?”

Tariq turned on him, “There is no plan to return! We will either conquer this land or perish. Burn the ships!” The soldiers did as they were commanded. As they watched their option of returning to their old lives go up in smoke, they realized the level of commitment that was being asked of them. No plan B. Conquer or perish.

With that sense of determination, the small army made short work of Spain, and Spain remained part of the Islamic Empire for many years.

No “Plan B”

There are many situations in life in which a “Plan B” is a wise thing to have simmering on the back burner. The things that are of sacred importance, however, will require a level of commitment and determination that leaves no retreat option. When we set out to conquer the land of our marriage, our parenting, the calling of God upon our lives, our holiness, our sanctification, our service to others, we must burn the ships that have brought us this far and declare to ourselves and those around us, “There is no plan to return. We will conquer this land or perish!”

Are you planning any retreats today? Are you up against some challenge and everything inside you says, “Let’s just turn around. This is too tough.” You must ask yourself, “Is this of sacred, infinite importance? Will turning back destroy the respect and confidence of those who truly love me?”

If God tells you to go forward, do not go backward. “Faint not.” Burn the ships and conquer the land!

Sarah Reeves

You can see all of the articles by Sarah on Sunday School Zone.

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