Getting Out Of Our Comfort Zone

I want to get uncomfortable and get out of my comfort zone.  I know I’ve talked about this before on this blog….but this topic stood out to me yesterday during the sermon at our church. 

We need to not only be okay with being uncomfortable, but I believe we should be searching for opportunities that make us squirm in our seats, fidget and want to turn and run.  Opportunities only God can turn around and use for good. 

Those times when you feel so led and so scared at the same time….THOSE are the opportunities God wants you to pursue and not because you can handle them alone, but because you can handle them with Him.  And when you choose to obey God and go down those scary, unknown paths….it is then that He knows how much you truly trust Him.

In my experience, when I show Him how much I trust Him, he turns around and shows me why.  Every single time.

If you aren’t uncomfortable right now in some way, or if you are not feeling a bit out of your element or stretched ….ask God where He wants you to focus.  Where He needs you and where He wants you.  Odds are, He is waiting on you to trust Him.  Don’t worry….what is scary and intimidating to you, is nothing to God.  He can handle anything and everything…if you let Him.

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Fear of Change

This morning I was reading in Matthew.  Specifically, I was reading Matthew 11: 2-19.  What stood out to me this time when I read this passage was how Jesus pointed out that sinners would criticize John when he was living for God better than anyone else.  Isn’t that just like us to judge and criticize others when what we really need to do is take a long hard look at ourselves!

The sinners did not want to change their lives so they justified what they were doing and then criticized John, and eventually Jesus. 

It’s sad.   And what is even sadder, is that it’s still so prevalent today.  How many times have you justified or excused something you’ve done knowing that it wasn’t glorifying God.  Sometimes we hold onto to that one sin we struggle with….afraid to let it go…..afraid to find out what it would really be like to live without it.   To me, that is a sign of not fully trusting God.  It means our heart is focused more on ourselves  than  on God.

What we should be afraid of, is what our lives will be like if we don’t let our sins go.  Give your sin to God. Our lives would be so abundant if we put everything we have into following Jesus.  Instead, many of us, put everything we have into justifying our sinful behavior, no matter the degree.

I think we have to look at where that gets us, what good is that doing in our lives.  Hanging onto sinful behavior may feel good for you, it may be “instant” gratification, it may be comfortable, but I can promise you in the eyes of God, it’s not  truly good for you.  He has so much more in store for you that blows away any instant gratification you could imagine.

After I read these verses in Matthew I read my Study Bible notes and this is what it says about verses 11:16-19.  “Too often we justify our inconsistencies because listening to God may require us to change the way we live”.

Amen!  It WILL require us to change the way we live, but in doing so we gain so much more.

Sacrifices

Yesterday our sermon was about sacrificing to make a difference.  It has me thinking a lot today.  Our high school pastor, Kirk Gentzel, preached in place of Mac.  He did a great job.

He talked about how God uses what we have to create something new, just like he made Eve from Adam’s rib.  God first created the earth and the sea and land out of nothing, but then He created animals and humans out of the dust or dirt.  He used what he had created to create more.

He can use us in the same way.  However, remember that he sacrificed a rib of Adam’s to make Eve.  He also sacrificed His one and only son for our sins and for us to have everlasting life. This was the one true sacrifice for God to give.  He gave everything because He loves us.

Kirk challenged us to sacrifice so that God can work within us and through us.  We must make sacrifices to live for God.  Each and every day.  Are you doing that?  I know I’m not.  I sometimes get so comfortable in my life that I only do the things that “fit” into my schedule or that “feel” comfortable.  That is NOT what God intended for my life.  He wants me to sacrifice my life so that He can live through me.

God wants me to sacrifice my comfort, my security, my time, my money and my life all for Him.  If I trust Him then He will make beautiful things from my sacrifices.  Whatever I give to Him he will turn to good one way or another.  Maybe not exactly how I see good, but good nonetheless.  God is always good.  Period.

I need to sacrifice my comfort most of all, to get out there and serve others in His name.  That is the ONLY way I can make a difference for His Kingdom.   Being comfortable and giving in to fear will get me absolutely nowhere.

I had a wonderful mentor once tell me to do something that scares me every single day.  That statement has stuck with me for the past 6 years.  Sometimes when I live that way I am amazed at what happens.  I have to admit though, that I do not practice that near enough.  I choose comfortable and comfortable won’t make a difference.

We must put ourselves out there , in vulnerable situations, in scary situations and watch God take over.  Trust Him and do not be scared because He is always in control.  He is just waiting for each of us to realize that.  Once we do He can show us what He has planned for us.  I cannot wait to find out what He has in store for me.  I am ready to be uncomfortable and to sacrifice my life to allow Him to do great things within me and through me.

Getting Uncomfortable

Yesterday during my Bible Study we talked about always being desperate for God and what that looks like.  At first we talked about times in our own lives where we’ve been desperate for God because of our desperate situation, and how trusting him helped us to grow in our relationship with Him.  Then we talked about what it means to ALWAYS be desperate for God, not just in those troubled times.

If you step out of your comfort zone and do things for God that seem a little scary, then you will need to rely on Him or be desperate for his help, right?  So, being desperate for God all the time should involve stepping out (in faith) and doing  things that God calls you to do that initially seem scary or uncomfortable.  Putting ourselves in these situations will require more faith and trust in God and will ultimately strengthen our relationship with Him. 

My goal this week is to put myself in an uncomfortable situation for the glory of God.  I told my Bible Study group this and they will be holding me accountable next week when we meet again.  At this point I’m not sure what it will be, but I’m leaving that up to God.  I’m going to pray, listen and obey no matter how scary it seems or how uncomfortable I feel.

I once had a Christian mentor that told me I should do something scary every single day.  He wasn’t talking about jumping out of a plane or white water rafting (two scary things for me) he was talking about this very topic, getting uncomfortable every single day of our lives and staying desperate for God.  I’m going to start with weekly, then I’ll move to daily.  I know God will give me the strength I need.  (and the words too)

We should be excited when we feel uncomfortable when doing something for God.  It means we are stepping out in faith and growing!