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Burning Your Bridges Behind You

(22)

Sermon shared by Johnny Carver

November 2005
Summary: I came across a story many years ago concerning General George Washington during the time of the birthing of this country. It was customary to burn the bridges as they crossed over them to prevent the enemy from slipping up on them from behind
Denomination: *Other
Audience: General adults
Sermon:
Scripture: Exodus 14:22 – 31

Title: “Burning Your Bridges Behind You”

Introduction: I came across a story many years ago concerning General George Washington during the time of the birthing of this country.

General Washington was approaching one of the fiercest battles of his campaign.

He and his troops had crossed over a bridge as they were nearing the battle when one of his officers came to him and asked whether or not to burn the bridge behind them.

(It was customary to burn the bridges as they crossed over them to prevent the enemy from slipping up on them from behind & to prevent soldiers from running away from the battle when it became to hot to handle.)

The great General Washington looked toward the battle and then looked back to where they had come from and then back toward the battle and then gave his answer.

“Burn the bridge, it is either victory or death.”

I. NO LOOKING BACK.

1. The Bible lists many occasions when God was displeased with people desiring to go back to where they were before God delivered them.
2. Gen. 19:17 – God instructed Lot & his wife to leave Sodom & not look back or they would die.
3. “But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.” Gen. 19:26 – Lot’s wife just couldn’t stand the thought of not looking back just one more time.
4. In Luke 9:62 Jesus said, “And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”
5. God has very clearly set the standard of not looking back with desires to go back to the old sinful ways of our past.

(Page 2)

II. THE TRAGEDY OF LOOKING BACK.

1. When Lot’s wife looked back she died in her tracks. – Her progress stopped.
2. Looking back to where we used to be ERASES our USEFULNESS for the work of God’s kingdom.
3. Looking back changes our direction. – Taking your eyes off the road will cause you to change lanes. – Trying to dial a number on a cell phone will do the same thing.
4. Looking back influences other around you.
5. Looking back & desiring to go back shows where our hearts are.
6. We can never become what God has designed us to be with our chins hung over our shoulder.

III. BURNING OUR BRIDGES.

1. God knew the ROAD across the Red Sea had to be closed to discourage people from returning to Egypt. – And to keep the Egyptian enemy from continuing to pursue God’s people.
2. People tend to want to go back to their old stomping grounds when the GOING GETS TOUGH! – “What have you done Moses brought us out here in this desert for us to die?” Ex. 14:11
3. The HUMAN PART of us will want to go back when things get boring and they will get boring at times. – The “Good Ole Days” can begin to look pretty good sometimes. (By the way, they weren’t really that good!)
4. When we continue to visit the places we used to go to when we were in sin the BRIDGE is left open for TEMPTATION to come and give us a visit.

Conclusion: How many things has God put His finger on this morning as you have listened to this message?
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