It’s easy to get comfortable on the couch. Perhaps what you’re doing is difficult work. Perhaps it’s sacrificial. It’s likely worthwhile. You might have felt led by God to do what you’re doing.
But is it what you’re supposed to be doing in this season of your life? While there are often common threads throughout your life, the details frequently change. When we’re growing, our lives change. Sometimes there are big changes, and sometimes the changes are more subtle, but change will happen as you grow closer to God, seeking and responding to his will.
Consider how Naaman was unwilling to get outside his comfort zone. He was the commander of an army. He was mighty and brave and had great respect for God. He wanted to be healed of a skin disease.
Elisha sent Naaman a messenger who said, “Go and wash in the Jordan River seven times. Then your skin will be healed, and you will be clean.”
Naaman became angry and left. He said, “I thought Elisha would surely come out and stand before me and call on the name of the Lord his God. I thought he would wave his hand over the place and heal the disease.The Abana and the Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, are better than all the waters of Israel. Why can’t I wash in them and become clean?” So Naaman went away very angry.
Naaman’s servants came near and said to him, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, wouldn’t you have done it? Doesn’t it make more sense just to do it? After all, he only told you, ‘Wash, and you will be clean.’ ” So Naaman went down and dipped in the Jordan seven times, just as Elisha had said. Then his skin became new again, like the skin of a child. And he was clean. (2 Kings 5:10-14)
Naaman was asked to do something out of the ordinary. God’s response wasn’t what he expected it to be, and he didn’t like it.
How have you expected a particular response from God but was given a different solution or path? Perhaps you missed the best solution because you were so intent on what you thought the provision or guidance from God would be.
You don’t have to be a spiritual superstar to be required to get out of your comfort zone. If you’re a Christ-follower, you will be asked – required – to get out of your comfort zone. If you were allowed to stay right where you are, what kind of faith would you develop? Just because you stepped out of your comfort zone once to get to where you are doesn’t mean you’ll get to stay there forever. God is concerned about your relationship with him, not your comfort level. He wants you to trust him through every curve, turn, detour and shortcut.
So, how is God prompting you out of your comfort zone? You might not recognize it right away. You’ll need to ask him to soften your heart and sharpen your senses so you can hear and see him more clearly. Know your comfort zones, and consider the following possibilities.
- Walk across the room to talk to someone you would normally ignore.
- Invite your neighbor over for coffee or a meal.
- Take a co-worker to lunch.
- Support a new worship service or small group at church because it reaches people unlike you (which is why you don’t like it).
- Respectfully ask your pastor a question about an application of Scripture he teaches, because you sense a caution it’s being misapplied.
- Say “no” to yet another year in the same ministry so you can explore another ministry about which you’ve felt a stirring passion or interest.
- Reduce your hours at work (and make financial adjustments) when prodded to spend more time with your children or aging parents.
God wants you off the spiritual couch. Move. You’ll thank him in the long run.
People may make plans in their minds, but the Lord decides what they will do. (Proverbs 16:9)