January 19, 2016
I was recently challenged to step out and take on a task that was new to me, out of my comfort zone. I’m often asked to do just that … by my staff, other ministries, a family member, or friend. Sometimes I say ‘yes’ because of an obligation I feel towards the person proposing the idea or because of my close relationship with that person. Or even because part of me knows it’s the right thing to do. But this time, I made excuses. The skill was out of my comfort zone. I believed I didn’t have what it took to accomplish the task. And most importantly, in my mind … I didn’t feel like doing it.
Sound familiar? How often do we use that excuse as a fallback position, “I don’t feel like it!” Looking at those words in print, I can see it’s so lame. In fact, it’s the type of statement I might call to someone’s attention by saying, “And how often have your feelings led you to a sound decision?” If it were up to my feelings, I wouldn’t get out of bed till 7:30 everyday, and would never eat a vegetable. I would probably yell at people a lot more, blurt out hurtful comments, and buy unnecessary items. What was I thinking? Why did my feelings become the default mode for my decision? My faulty reasoning was the result of a trap, a trick, a lie. And for a short time, I actually bought it.
Eventually, I actually did complete the task. What turned around the situation? Prayer … a conversation with God in which I asked Him to show me the right decision to make. His answer came as I was reading about Abraham in the Bible. God told Abraham to leave his hometown and go to a place he didn’t know, and Abraham did it. As soon as my eyes passed over those words, I stopped reading. I knew I was to leave my comfort zone and take on the task. I felt comforted, affirmed, loved, and protected. I told God I would do it.
Just as the Lord was with Abraham, you can trust Him to be with you and guide you. The God who knows and loves you won’t hang you out to dry. His words and promises are the solid rock on which you can build every decision. He’s faithful and true. Unlike human feelings, He doesn’t change … ever. So the question is, “Will you choose to trust His call to follow Him out of your comfort zone?”
Today, just like every good parent, God is actually calling you out of your comfort zone. Identify one area of your life in which He is stretching you. Now try to really dig inside yourself and examine why you won’t follow. What feelings do you fear? What feelings drive your me-centered decisions? You see, the truth is, your comfort zone is the least comfortable spot compared to the place to which God calls you. Your true “comfort zone” is in His hands. Whether you venture out and follow God to the land of milk and honey or you stay put in that false comfort zone leading to your destruction and uneasiness is your decision, so choose well.
Thank You, God, for hearing and answering my prayer. Thank You that You are a God who is holy and who does not change. I am so glad that You, the all-powerful God of the universe, are also the God who cares about the details of my life. Help me overcome my fear of the unknown, to overcome my reliance on feelings to determine what You desire for me. I trust You to be with me and to guide my steps. Teach me to call out to You, to listen for Your answers, and to rely on them. I pray in the name of the One who went way out of His comfort zone for me, Jesus Christ, and all God’s children say, Amen!
The LORD had said to Abram, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you.” Genesis 12:1
By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. Hebrews 11:8
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1Peter 5:7