Slaughter the oxen!

photo-1486590781073-2ad02b358578In 1519, the Spanish explorer and conquistador Hernando Cortez decided he wanted to seize the treasure the Aztecs had been hoarding. He took his soldiers and landed his ships on the shores of the Yucatan. Despite the large army under his command, he was still outnumbered by a huge and powerful empire that had been around for 600 years.

Some of his men doubted their chance of success and wanted to escape. Cortez did something that seemed insane. He gave the order to destroy his own ships. The path forward was clear—all or nothing, 100-percent commitment.

According to the legend, Cortez succeeded in getting the treasure because there was no going back.

To have success in your walk with God and in your ministry, you must abandon it all, like Elisha did in 1 Kings 19. He had a huge operation going which included 24 oxen running and 12 working plows. Elijah appeared on the scene, walked up to Elisha and threw his cloak around him.

This was the clear communication to Elisha, “God has chosen you to be my successor”.” Elisha’s response was unbelievable. He went back, kissed his parents goodbye, then took his yoke of oxen and slaughtered them. He burned the plowing equipment to cook the meat and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out to follow Elijah and became his servant. (See 1 Kings 19:21, NIV.) Like Cortez, he destroyed every possibility of ever going back.

There is no such thing as casual Christianity. Following Christ comes with a cost. What are the things in your life you need to kill, burn or leave behind to pursue the “treasure” God has for you?

The truth is you cannot follow Jesus without leaving some things behind, killing some things off and burning some things up. Peter, James and John left the fishing business. Matthew left tax collecting. Mary Magdalene left prostitution.

To truly follow Christ, you must kill some things off—entertainment, TV, movies, social media, electronic games. Any or all of these could be blocking you from an intimate relationship with God. Or old friendships or relationships could be pulling you back into alcohol, drugs or dirty lifestyles. It could be your horoscope, yoga, essential oils, or other demonic influences.

What do you need to leave behind, kill off or burn today?

Jesus said, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62, NIV).

Paul Wagorn,

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