Get Off the Dock

Get Off the Dock

I’ve been doing a lot of reading about anchors and boats these past few weeks as I prepared to speak at FCC Kissimmee for their Ladies Tea “Get Off the Dock.” Their theme came from Hebrews 6:19: “We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place.” I found it interesting that “as a rule, boats tied to the docks are at a GREATER risk than boats kept on anchors because a boat that is kept at the dock can’t face into the wind (weathercock) as a storm changes direction.” I thought the dock would be the safest place – close to shore, tied up tight. But it’s actually the worst place.

My dock is my lazy space when I can’t find time to read my Bible or do a Bible study.

My dock is when I don’t want to go to back to church because I don’t want to start over.

My dock is when an opportunity presents itself and I have to choose if I’m going to be a Christian author or an author who is a Christian.

My dock is when I don’t respect my husband, ignore my children, and get caught up in my own self-importance.

There’s no room for God on the dock.

When storms hit us in life, we can choose to tie up close to the dock, or we can trust in our anchor.

Don’t we have a lot of life storms hit us?

Marriages crumble.

We lose people that we love.

Our career takes a hit and we’re looking for work wherever we can find it.

Not enough money at the end of the month.

Crazy in-law drama.

Children get out of school for the summer in a few weeks.

For us, our docks are built on self-reliance and busyness and complacency. Our docks are crafted out of situations where we excel on our own strength.

I think that when I’m tied to my dock, that I’m being productive, but it’s the biggest lie that I tell myself. Because a ship is only fulfilling its purpose when it’s out on the waters.

So to combat the desire to stay tied to the dock, there are three things we must do.

I. Trust our Anchor

The theme verse reads “We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul.”

But what is the “this”?

If we look in the verses above, we’ll see that the Hebrew’s writer is talking about when God made a promise to Abraham. Which is one of the coolest stories ever!

If we jump back to Genesis 15, we have a Downton Abbey situation going on. Abraham doesn’t have a child, so the heir to his house is a guy named Eliezer of Damascus. Who, according to some sources, Eliezer is a steward in Abraham’s house and is the same Eliezer that eventually takes Abraham’s future son Isaac to find a wife.

Basically, all of Abraham’s estate will be entailed away to this Eliezer.  And Abraham is not happy.

Most of us know this part of the story. God takes Abraham outside and says, “look at heaven and count the stars. That’s the number of your offspring.” Basically, you’re going to be the father of many nations.  And Abraham believes and God credited that belief to Abraham as righteousness.

But there’s more to the story here. The “sure and steadfast anchor of our souls” is not because Abraham believed God and it happened. The hope we have comes from what happens next.

Instead of a sacrifice, with an altar or blood sparkling, God makes a covenant pact with Abraham. The Hebrew word here for covenant making literally means “a cutting covenant.”

A cutting covenant means that the two parties cut animals in half, lay them out, and walk between the pieces. if the person making the promise, breaks the promise, then the other person can do to him what they did to the animals.

He tells Abraham to bring him the animals. Then Abraham cuts them in half, and lays them out. That night, when it was dark, a smoking fire pot and flaming torch passed between the pieces.

This is the God that we serve.

He didn’t let Abraham walk through. Basically, God said, I take both parts of the promise.  It’s not just that God will do what He says He will do, He took it a step further and made it tangible and visual, swearing upon Himself that should He break His promise, Abraham would be within his rights to do to God what they had just done to the animals.

THIS is the “sure and steadfast anchor to our soul.”

THIS is why when the storms of life hit us, and they are hitting us even now, we don’t surrender to the docks of our own making, we throw that anchor into the water, knowing and trusting that we serve a God who keeps his promises.

And His promises to us are this:

“I will never leave you, nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:8

“In all your ways acknowledge Me, and I will direct your path.” Proverbs 3:5-6

“Call upon me in the day of trouble” I will deliver you.” Psalm 50:15

“Those that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31

“The LORD will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.” Psalms 9:9

“God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able, but will make a way to escape” 1 Cor 10:13

“Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear…Your heavenly Father knows you that need them. Seek first His kingdom and righteousness, and these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:25-34

It’s interesting to me that even though God was willing to show Abraham how serious He was about the covenant that He made, God still ended up sacrificing Himself for us.

“For God so loved the world, that He gave his everlasting Son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

The easiest way to leave the “safety” of the docks is to have full trust in your Anchor.

Also – anchors back then were usually round disks made of stone or Rock – Jesus is our Rock. 

Now, the second thing we have to do after leaving the dock:

II. We have to preserve our lifeline. 

Hebrews 6:19: “we have this {God’s promises} as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul.”  What is our lifeline from God, our Anchor, to our soul?

Back in the day, anchors were attached to the boats by rope, usually the rope was made out of hemp, and it’s still used today. “It’s one of the strongest natural ropes in the world.”

Sailors took great care in preserving their ropes and would coat it with petroleum (our modern day Vaseline) to protect it from the damage caused by the water and the sun.

Just like the majority of a ship’s rope is underwater and unseen, our lifeline is only visible by our actions and the things we say. The lifeline isn’t tangible. It’s not something we can touch, but we have to make sure that we protect it at all costs.

A lot of it comes down to how we spend our time.

When I don’t spend time with God, it feels like a dark wall starts to build in my heart, and the longer I stay away, the more resistance I feel when I think about opening my Bible.

I know many of you will understand when I say that I constantly talk to God throughout the day. It’s like a never-ending conversation that racks up a giant phone bill. But that’s not the same as putting aside time to read God’s Word. God definitely communicates to us through the Holy Spirit, and we can “hear” him, but that’s only one way that He communicates.

I’m the worst person to teach on the importance of daily quiet time because I’ll do really good for a while and then it’s even longer until the next time I open my Bible. Sometimes it only takes five minutes of reading before God pulls at my heart, and other times it takes longer. What I can say is this, the days that I wake up early and have quiet time are WITHOUT FAIL the most productive and best days I have. It flows into every other area of my life, and often times, I’ll be engrossed for an hour or more if I’m working with a Bible study.

Quiet time with God is a habit of the women that I look up to. It’s a non-negotiable for them. And some of them are extremely busy women, and when I hear them mention their quiet time “a-ha’s”  I am sometimes surprised that they make it a priority with all that they have to get done. It’s encouraging and can perhaps be concluded then, that having daily quiet time with God is a secret of success, no matter what job position you have or what role you fill.

I’m also surprised when people claim to make their daily quiet time a priority and yet spend the rest of the day talking negatively about other people, teasing, and being generally nasty overall. Those aren’t the actions that overflow from a heart that’s pulling from God’s graciousness or His kindness.

We have to preserve our lifeline to our anchor, so we we need to make sure we’re studying His word. I think many of our decisions would be different if we constantly had Scripture running through our minds.

Get Up!

It’s a challenge to myself and I’d love for you to join me on this, to make this a priority every morning.

I hate getting up in the morning, but when I was dating Justin, I would get up early and go run at the Lakefront with him. When you like a boy, you do things that you don’t normally do. Now that we’re at the Air Force base, we’re getting up around 4:15 in the morning to go to the gym and lift weights. I guess when you love a man,  you still do things you wouldn’t normally do. 🙂

We have to be careful what we’re putting into our hearts. The amount of junk on television and at the touch of a button on our phones is crazy. It’s funny how we all have a different “line” about which shows are okay and which ones are “no-no’s.” A lot of movies are following this trend where they’ll put a rush of language or naughty content right in the first five minutes. It’s like they have to get it out of the way before they continue with the plot. And we’re left holding the remote thinking, I know this is a great movie that will start being awesome as soon as they get this part over with. And we have to make a choice.

In this area of what we read, and watch, and listen to, I think there are shows and movies and music that definitely fall into the “This is not okay” category. There are shows, movies, and music that are so pure, that no one can say anything against it. Piano music is one of my favorite things in the whole world.

The “Paul Zone”

But there is a bigger category that is hard one to navigate, and I think this is the area that we need to give each other some grace. I call this the PAUL ZONE. The Bible says, “I have the right to do anything, but not everything is beneficial. Not everything is constructive” (1 Cor 10:23). Some of us love The Office, but hate Grey’s Anatomy. Or we love Downton Abbey but turn our noses up at shows with similar plot lines or character flaws.

When I spend more time with God, I find that I become more sensitive to what I hear and see on TV, and when I spend less time with God, the more I’m willing to shrug off.  This is why our lifeline is so important to preserve and protect. These little “it’s not so bad” things will slowly eat away at our rope.

Sound Box

This week, my sons downloaded the Sound Box app, which has noises ranging from a doorbell, to a dog barking, to all kinds of noises that little boys love to giggle at. I’ve been tricked by the doorbell noise more than once. Two days ago, my middle boy runs upstairs and says, “Mommy! Josiah (who is five) said a really bad word.” So I said, “You can tell me what it is,” thinking it was “stupid” or “shut up” which are naughty words in our house.


This was truly a naughty word. Four naughty words, in fact.

I think my jaw fell open. I said, “Where in the world did he hear that?”

The Sound Box app was promptly deleted from electronic devices.

I’m pretty strict on the words the boys are allowed to say in front of me. We have a double standard when it comes to this. Some words are okay to say with Daddy, and those words should never be said in front of Mommy. This list is almost entirely made up of bodily functions. Being the only girl in the house, I see this divide between the sexes, and my husband will roll on the floor laughing at the same juvenile jokes that make the boys crack up.

I don’t get it. 

But what we’re teaching the boys is that somethings don’t need to be said to everyone. They can talk to me about anything, and if they’re being serious, we have all the discussions we need to have, but there is a way to communicate that is respectful, and if they want to talk to me about their body issues, they know they need to use the appropriate words.

There was a beautiful image that got shared on Facebook this past week. It was a picture of hand that had been henna tattooed with words like grace, love, yes please, thank you, give, peace. The caption read, “If the words you spoke appeared on your skin…would you still be beautiful?”

And I died for a moment, because there is one word that I swore to give up when I got pregnant with our first son, and while it fled my lips for a while, it has come back. And it’s not even a curse word or a word that many people would think twice about, but it’s not entirely ladylike.


Why do we draw lines? I can easily excuse my language as non-offensive because it’s not as bad as the majority of things that people say. The Bible says “A good man brings  good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks.” Luke 6:45

I didn’t like that the word came to mind, and now when I find myself saying it without thinking, I make a mental note to try to delete it from my vocabulary.

I want the words that flow from my mouth to be words that heal and encourage. I want my kids to always know how precious they are and my husband to hear how much I adore him. I don’t want to regret not saying beautiful life-giving words to people, and I always regret the times that I choose to be bitter or hurtful.

The lifeline that we have to the Anchor is really a spiritual one. We see the results of someone’s walk with God based on what they do and what they say. Here’s my dating tip that I have to throw in here — psychologists say that you can fool someone for about six months, and after that, the true person starts to reveal itself. Always have your eyes wide open when you’re dating someone and watch what they do and listen to what they say, and carefully line it up to what the Bible says. Take your time dating and know that it takes a while to really get to know someone.

Hebrews 6:19: “We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul.”

And the third thing we have to do after leaving the dock:

III. Keep the Boat Exclusive.

If I’m going to be a boat, then I choose to be a yacht. They are usually equipped with staff, great food, and bathrooms. You are a Yacht. You are expensive. You were bought and paid with a price.

If someone wants to join you on your yacht journey, they have to pass muster. There is a red carpet leading up to the entry way, and velvet ropes keeping people at bay. No body gets a free pass into your life, unless their your family, and you still have options at that point. Proverbs 13:20 says, “He who walks with wise men will become wise.” If we hang out with the wrong people, we’ll never meet the right ones.

On Facebook, there was another image floating: “I’d rather have four quarters than one hundred pennies.” Same goes for friends.

You are the captain of your ship. You’re the one watching the North Star for direction. You’re responsible for everything.

As I see it, there are a few different kinds of people:

Your Co-Captain

Crew Mates




Your Co-Captain

Remember, God is our Anchor here. He’s not your co-captain, he’s your North Star if you need to think of that as well. Your co-captain is the person you’re hooking arms with on your life journey. This can be your spouse. It can be your mom. It can be your BFF.  Whoever knows you the best, has your best interest at heart, and someone who is truly doing life with you. This person ideally should also be a Christian, because only another Christian truly understands the most important part of you.

Choose this person carefully, especially if you’re dating. If you’re dating, your boyfriend is NOT your co-captain. NEVER. NEVER. NEVER. NEVER. NEVER. He hasn’t earned it. He may be with you on your journey. You may be totally in love and it’s forever and Bethany, you don’t know what you’re talking about, blah blah blah blah blah.

I do know what I’m talking about, and so does everyone woman here who wasted time on a guy who was not worthy to be with her. Trust us. Boyfriends do not get husband privileges. Amen.


We have to be careful who we let be our crew mates, because no captain can afford to have a mutiny. I posted in your Facebook group a couple of weeks ago a question about how many people were in your inner circle. Several answers were five or less. Jesus followed a similar pattern. He had thousands of disciples truly, but we narrow it down to the twelve apostles. Even then, Jesus had a tighter relationship with just three: Peter, James, and John.

Same with Daniel in the Old Testament. He had Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.


People in the life-boat are people you’re willing to hitch your boat to. They don’t drag you down, they can keep up because they have oars and can row themselves. These are people that you mentor. People that you keep up with on Facebook. These are your colleagues, your friends.


Stowaways are your friends only when it’s convenient or if they want something.

They are people who are there just along for the ride. They don’t add anything to your journey, just hide in the background sucking up your time.  These are the people it’s hardest to let go of because you feel guilty.

The majority of kids in your high school, many coworkers, and some extended family members that stress you out are stowaways.


If a bestie becomes an enemy, you’ve got to kick her off the boat. She is now a Pirate.

Pirates are there to plunder and take. They can be charming like Jack Sparrow, but in the end, they are the takers, and they can wreak havoc.

You can leave her on an island so she can catch passage on someone else’s life, but too often we feel responsible or Un-Christian when we don’t get along with someone and we let them continue to be negative and pull us down. Sometimes it’s the fear of not finding another friend that keeps us from moving on, or we think the person will get worse and we may be the most positive influence on their lives.

Anchor Lights

Let me tell you this. There is something called “anchor lights” which all ships are required to carry with them if they drop an anchor. Just because someone is no longer in your boat, it doesn’t mean that you’ve lost influence. Your anchor lights are still shining. Your God-lights are still shining. Sometimes we miss out on friendships because someone that would be a really good friend to us is smart enough to stay away from a bad seed, so we are “guilty” by association.

I think we need to hold close the people that are restorative and speak truth into our lives and lead by Godly example and we need to not be afraid to pull back from those that suck the energy out of us. It doesn’t help our family or ourselves when we’re drained because we gave someone else control and permission to run our lives.

Hebrews 6:19: “We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul.”

As we embrace life’s journey and leave our docks in the distance…

Trust your Anchor.

Preserve your lifeline.

Keep the boat exclusive.

It was a pleasure being here with you this morning.



**Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Bethany Jett

Bethany Jett loves sipping coffee and jamming in her planner while raising three boys with her college sweetheart Justin.

May 10, 2016

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