And Elisha sent a messenger unto him, saying, Go and wash in the Jordan SEVEN TIMES, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean. But Naaman was wroth and went away, and said, Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the Lord his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper. Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? May I not wash in them, and be clean? So he turned and went away in a rage.”
II Kings 5:10-12
Our example is found here in the Old Testament of someone needing to get out of their COMFORT ZONE is when Elisha, the Prophet told Naaman, captain of the host of the king of Syria, to dunk 7 times in the Jordan River, and he would be healed. HE DID NOT LIKE THAT! He thought he knew of better ways he could be healed than going into the Jordan River, but he needed to get out of his comfort zone (and likely some PRIDE), and into OBEDIENCE, he went to the Jordan and was healed. See II Kings 5:1-16.
An example in the New Testament is when Jesus spit on the ground, made mud and put the mud on the blind man’s eyes. I’m sure the blind man may have been UNCOMFORTABLE on his walk to the pool of Siloam, but he obeyed and was healed. See John 9:1-7
WE, TOO, NEED TO GET OUT OF OUR COMFORT ZONE.
This past year, I have personally had to “get out of my comfort zone.” This isn’t the first time God has had me get out of my comfort zone, and it won’t be the last for sure!
Hopefully, relating my situation will help encourage some of you to “get out of your comfort zone.” Just last week I shared this with one of our BibleFood members as she shared about God bringing her out of her comfort zone.
So I would like to share my recent situation that happened a little over a year ago when my wife and I moved from Acworth, Georgia (near Atlanta). This move was prompted by the LORD, as He was leading us to take a small church. Now, let it be said here, I love the warm weather of Georgia (hot), and though I grew up in Connecticut (cold), I ALWAYS hated the cold. In the 1980's, I pastored a church in Connecticut, then moved to Georgia in the 1990's and said I would never move back to Connecticut (too cold). So where does God call us to, but to the small town of Kane, Pennsylvania, (population 4,000) where it is COLDER than CT. It is called the "Icebox of Pennsylvania" due to its cold winters. On top of that, we left all our grown children and grandchildren (hard), not knowing one person in Kane. We sold our home (another story) and moved here without a home. We stayed in a member’s nice cabin out in the mountains for the first 2 months, then rented a house. As for the pastorate, we came up here knowing I would have no salary (nada) to start with, but that was fine as the LORD would provide. Still a year later, I am not on salary but do draw a small housing allowance (my wife works as transcriptionist). Our financial situation has been tight to say the least for the past year.
Even though we “stepped out of our comfort zone” to be in the will of God, we still have some trying moments. With that being said, may this next thought be the one that sticks with you all and encourages your heart:
IT IS GREAT TO BE WHERE GOD WANTS YOU!
WE WOULDN'T TRADE ANY OF IT AS WE KNOW WE ARE IN THE WILL OF GOD.
So what is your “Comfort Zone”?
Here are a few areas to consider:
YOUR COMFORT ZONE may be being in a church where you
are NOT spiritually growing, but you have been there ALL of your life,
and the LORD is telling you to move on to a BIBLICAL CHURCH (not like you’re USED to).
YOUR COMFORT ZONE may be that God is calling you
to ANOTHER area of ministry than where you are presently.
YOUR COMFORT ZONE may be going from a two-income family
lifestyle to living on ONE income for the children’s sake or for some other reason.
YOUR COMFORT ZONE may be that you need to SACRIFICE
something that you really enjoy but you KNOW it is God (it will be WORTH IT!).
Jesus’ methods to get you and me out of our COMFORT ZONES and watch over our lives are oftenNOT the way we would do it, but OBEDIENCE to God’s ways will bring about His desired RESULTS and FRUIT in our lives.
Proverbs 16:9 says it so well,
“A man’s heart plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps”.
Whatever God tells you to do that affects your comfort zone,
it is for the GREATER GOOD OF YOU and the Body of Christ. God is NOT telling us to get out of our COMFORT ZONES to make our lives miserable.
HE IS TELLING US TO GET OUT OF OUR COMFORT ZONESO HE CAN DO A FRESH WORK IN OUR LIFE.
So open your heart to what God has for you and get out of your comfort zone.
If you sense God is leading you “out of your comfort zone”and whatever that means for you, be OBEDIENT to Him.
If that is where God wants you, it is the BEST place to be!
In His Service,Jim (firstname.lastname@example.org)