Most people give up too soon. In fact, many people give up even before they begin. They have a plan to quit. It’s called an exit strategy; a common, acceptable reality of the politically correct times in which we live, even though the consequences of such actions have been proven again and again to be destructive to ourselves and to our contemporary culture.
Rather than being the result of prudent planning and careful calculation, exit strategies, in far too many instances, have become one of the more deadly and damaging decisions one can ever make. Why? Because your success is strangled from the start by a prearranged plan to quit.
For example, a prenuptial agreement is signed before a wedding so each person can protect, and hopefully get back what is rightfully theirs when the marriage goes bad. Whatever happened to “for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, until death do us part?” (By the way, if someone asks you to sign one of those agreements, take some incredibly good advice and find yourself another fiancé.)
Exit strategies will stymie your success.
That’s why, in 1519, when Hernan Cortes landed at Vera Cruz, Mexico, with a small army of about 700 soldiers, he purposely scuttled all eleven of their ships in the harbor. Some historians say he burned his ships and did it at night so everyone, including the formidable foes facing them, the Aztecs, could see it. Others say he sank his ships. Either way, he destroyed them. His own men watched the only means of retreat and the only hope of return to their homeland sinking to the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico. No exit strategy there. Historians agree that as a result of what Cortes did, they achieved a great victory.
JESUS didn’t encourage exit strategies. In fact, Luke records JESUS saying, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62). Let that sink in for a moment.
Rather than being the result of prudent planning and careful calculation, exit strategies, in far too many instances, have become one of the more deadly and damaging decisions one can ever make.”
The Apostle Paul didn’t encourage exit strategies either. In Galatians 6:9, he encouraged just the opposite. He said, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
Ever wonder why some churches, Christians, marriages, businesses and people get into trouble and fall apart? This is going to surprise you, but it's absolutely true – someone got tired of doing what they knew they ought to be doing and quit. Consequently, they missed the blessings God had prepared for them.
Friend, you can help yourself to the harvest by just staying at your post, sticking to what you know is right, and remaining faithful. William Blake said, “There is no mistake so great as the mistake of not going on.” Put another way, the price of hanging it up is always higher than the price of hanging in there. What’s worse, if you quit, you miss the harvest.
After receiving the call of God to be the successor to Elijah, Elisha burned all his farming equipment, killed his 24 oxen, cooked the meat on the fire and served it to the people. He literally burned his bridges.
He was following God without an exit strategy, which is an excellent example for all of us.
Let me encourage you to follow JESUS wholeheartedly, without an exit strategy. In fact, let me encourage you to do everything you do that way. Be a conqueror, not a quitter. Be someone who finishes and is faithful to the end, rather than someone who is flaky and fizzles out before the task is done.
Like Cortes and Elisha, if you’ll eliminate the possibility of exit strategies in your life and ministry …
… You’ll be surprised at the success you’ll start to enjoy.
© 2021. Barry L. Cameron
Barry Cameron is a devoted father and husband, bestselling author, dynamic communicator, and Senior Pastor of Crossroads Christian Church. Crossroads has a gorgeous, 150-acre campus in Grand Prairie, Texas. More than 8000 people call Crossroads their church home. Barry’s latest book, The Road to Financial Freedom, came out in the fall of 2020 and is available on Amazon. It’s another game changer for individuals and families who want to fix their finances once and for all.
Barry and his wife, Janis, have three children: Katie, Matt and Kelli. A daughter-in-law, Lindley and a son-in law, Johnny. They also have two grandsons, Will and Levi. Their family has been completely debt free since November 15, 2001.
Crossroads Christian Church has been debt free since November 9, 2008.