Yesterday I wrote not knowing the direction I was going but I eventually got lost in thought about how we get stuck in our comfort zones. After I posted my blog; I started thinking of times I have gotten lost in my comfort zone and times when God has asked me to step outside of it.
When I was 18 years old, I went to a Bible Study at my church and during the study, this question was asked: “What if God called you away from your comfort zone, what if He called you to leave it all behind? Would you go?” I did not think much of it at the time nor did I know what the next few months would hold for me. Not more than 6 months later I was sitting at basic training in Fort Jackson, SC and I received a letter from one of the gentlemen who was in my Bible Study. The note was simple but touching. All he really said was “you said yes.”
Unfortunately, that was not a trend I would follow for the next few years. The next few years saw me live in my comfort zones and very rarely get outside of them. When I joined the Army, I knew that God was opening a door for me, but I did not really think too much about it, I just did it. Sometimes that is the key to getting outside of our comfort zones – stop thinking about it and just do it. The more you allow yourself to think about it the more likely you are to stay put.
If you ever feel God calling you or see a need and your response is “but I am comfortable where I am”, then you are stuck in a comfort zone.
Following God was never about comfort; it was always about stepping out of the boat.
Jesus said to “Follow Me”. He did not say to just stay where it is comfortable and watch Him; He said to FOLLOW HIM. Peter had to step out of the boat to follow; the disciples had to leave everything to follow. It was not easy for them and it will not be easy for us. If you sit back and think to yourself that being a Christian is easy, then I would suggest you get closer to God.
If you truly want to get out of your comfort zone then you will have to look for opportunities to minister to those who do not look like you, talk like you, and act like you.
To be truly honest, getting outside of your comfort zone can be a bit scary. I am not a fan of the unknown, never have been. I like to have a plan and know how things are going to work. That is probably a reason I enjoyed the structure of the Army so much.
We are selfish by nature; we cannot help it and not being selfish is something we have to learn. This is why comfort zones are so tricky. Getting out of your comfort zone is not about you. It is about serving the needs of others and meeting them where they are. Our selfish nature tells us to sit back and wait for them to come to us but that isn’t ministry.
Usually, we hear the term “comfort” Christianity and think about those churches that skip the tough parts of the bible and don’t hold their members accountable for sin. However, it is possible to be part of a bible-thumping, toe stepping, gospel-preaching church and still be inside your comfort zone.
If God is asking you to leave your comfort zone and to GO, then here are a few excuses we should avoid.
- It is not safe in that part of town – It was not safe for Jesus to talk to the woman at the well, but He did, and it changed the town.
- There are needs right where I am – Yes there is, but if God is calling you somewhere else, then that is where He needs you. We do not get to pick which needs God calls us to fill.
- I’m not equipped – You are right, you are not equipped. God will provide for you and He will work through you in a way that prevents you from taking credit. Remember God does not call the qualified He qualifies the called.
- I’m too young – See David and Goliath.
- I’m too old – See Abraham