Burn the Ships

What does burning the ships really mean?  A few weeks ago, our pastor talked about it being time for our church to move forward and do it with the concept of needing to burn the ships that brought us here.  It really made me think about my own life and why this concept is a difficult one for me.

You see, I’ve spent most of my life operating with a Plan A and a Plan B.  Plan A was what I hope to accomplish, but Plan B was my escape route.  Meaning that, if things went wrong with plan A or times got tough, or I got offended, or  a change happened that I wasn’t happy with in my Plan A, I’ve operated my life on the premise that if that doesn’t work I can always bail out and move to Plan B.

The danger of this kind of thinking is that you don’t really commit and you hold back, you hedge, because you’re afraid of getting hurt, losing money, your reputation.  So this really led into another  thought for me which is “The reason I have a plan B is that I have fear.”  This fear goes really deep.  I have a fear that I’m not going to have enough money.  I have a fear that if Plan A doesn’t work that I’ll lose my good reputaton.  I have a fear that there’s going to be some major changes to the lifestyle I’ve so carefully crafted.  I have a fear that I’ll lose my voice and my authority in the spheres in which I operate.  And finally I have a fear that I’m going to lose my creature comforts, my things.

As I was writing this, I thought about a song that Misty Edwards put on her first album that kept repeating the chorus “Lay it all down”.  The song was really all about don’t be afraid of where this journey is taking you.  We need to surrender everything and lay it all down.  Fear is a powerful thing when it comes to burning ships.  The opposite of fear is trust.  This whole idea of burning ships is about trusting God and where He’s taking us and not being ruled by fear and not always counting on your Plan B, your escape route.

Burning the Ships, means it’s the point of no return.  It can be a very very scary thought or it can be a very motivating thought, depending on how you look at it.

The motivating thought is, “Hey, I’m all in.  I don’t have a choice.  I have to keep moving forward and there’s no turning back.”  This can apply to both your personal life, and or your business or organization that you’re involved in.  The place that we need to get to is to not let our thoughts and our energy get consumed by what we’re leaving behind but letting our thoughts being consumed by what’s ahead.

You could get stuck if you don’t embrace the good that could come out of this.  Imagine the men who have landed and the captain shouts “Burn the ships!”  Maybe some of the men froze.   They agonized over the fact that they were never going to be able to run back on that ship and head home if things didn’t go right.  Maybe some of the men were suddenly filled with bravery and this helped them to say “I’m all in!  Let’s conquer this land!”

Where have your thoughts taken you lately?  Do you have a Plan B?  Do you think about it often?  Or are you all in? Is this the time to burn your ships?


Note from Robbie:

Last Friday we held a baptism in our home for Michael and Melody Hickerson!  What a time of celebration and joy.  They took the dip in our pool, then Brian and Coleen Garcia’s daughter came to receive her baptism as well.  Then came another of their family member and then the Garcias’ decided to do a family baptism!  What a lot of joy we had and I know the angels were celebrating along with the Lord.  I’m afraid I was so excited I totally forgot to take pictures, but I’m calling all friends, to please send in any that they might have to add to the collage!

Hope to see you Friday at the office, as we pray for the marketplace and tell stories of burning ships and baptisms!  Isn’t this the most exciting adventure?


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  • Elizabeth Herder

    This is SO good. Your vulnerability is stellar leadership – I am challenged! Thank you!

  • Charity

    Wow, this is great insight! Thank you for sharing! As I was reading this post, Psalm 20:6-9 was brought to mind. “Some trust in chariots, some trust in horses, but we trust in the Name of the Lord”. His Name is higher than all other names! :) You are an amazing man of God!! What a privilege to serve you! :)

  • Vanessa

    Thank you for sharing, Mike. I too am highly strategic and usually have a Plan B. However, the only way to hold on to relationships and work through issues that develop in life is to actually “burn the ships.” Many blessings to you in your continued journey. You are wonderful example. Thank you for adding so much to my life.