Comfort zone. If you’re anything like me, my comfort zone doesn’t extend much outside of my footprint. Some of us are introverts – being around people tends to drain us. Some of us are extroverts – we love being around people and it recharges our batteries.
Whatever type of battery charger you’ve got programmed in your God-given brain, we all have comfort zones, and we all have times when we put COMFORT way too high up on our priority list.
If there’s any part of our comfort zone that we guard like a high security prison, it’s the deep, dark parts of our lives that we don’t share with anyone. Those areas of our lives where we wrestle with intense pain, grief, or hardship. Our struggles with sexuality, our struggles with oppressive addictions and the crippling bondages of sin. It’s the outermost parts of our lives – the parts that never see the light of day!
When we consider Jesus – He stepped out of His comfort zone. The King of Heaven, seated on His all-seeing, omnipotent throne – stepped down, and came to this earth as a helpless babe, born in the lowest of places. His body was broken and his blood was shed so that we could have forgiveness of sins and eternal life with God. This is the very thing that we are always to remember, and it’s the reason we partake of communion. We take the bread and remember his broken body, and we drink the cup and remember his shed blood. He paid it all to save not only you and me – but also the people that we are most uncomfortable being around!
After his sacrifice, Jesus rose to life on the third day, and returned to his Holy Throne, giving us the authority to reign in abundant life here on earth. And it doesn’t stop there! He sent his Holy Spirit to comfort, guide and EMPOWER us to be witnesses. Acts 1:8 captures the last words that Jesus said before he ascended:
But ye shall receive power after the Holy Ghost is come upon you; and ye shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” (21KJV)
The outermost is not just some place really far away that we send missionaries. The outermost is everywhere in between! It’s that dark place of the soul that is desperate for the light of the love of God.
We are empowered to go there! Not just to far off lands, but to go there in people’s lives, just like Jesus did. Motivated by God’s love, and empowered by the Holy Spirit, we can go there! We can go to the outermost with people. Just like Jesus did.
When you’re ready to go, remember these two things:
–Know before you go! Always remember why Jesus came. Remember his sacrifice, and allow that remembrance to lower the priority of comfort in your life. Also remember how we go – empowered by the Holy Spirit! We will find it difficult to get outside of our comfort zone – but with God, this is both possible and inevitable. God cares more about the lost than your comfort zone.
–Give first, expect last! Lead with giving, not with expectations. Here at SLFG, we have a recovery ministry called “Compassion Connection” – where we lead with compassion and grace. It’s not called “Get-it-together Connection!” We lead with love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, kindness… You’ll notice these things are the fruit of the Spirit. When we keep in step with Him, we’ll be giving first, and expecting last.
Go with God, just like Jesus did.