I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again. If you’re following Jesus because He’s comfortable, you’re probably following the wrong Jesus. Did you know that the word “comfortable” is not in the Bible one time?! Uncomfortable is there one time. You can look it up. Out of context, the verse is funny. Anyway, comfortable. Definition, providing physical ease and relaxation. It’s not in the Bible. So, how did we get the idea that things God said or asked us to do would be comfortable?
Lets start with a list of some of the things that are not comfortable to me.
1. Love your enemies
2. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other to them as well
3. If someone sues you, give them your coat too
4. Pray for the people who persecute you
5. Forgive, AS THE LORD FORGIVES (really?!)
6. Caring for poor and widows
7. Trusting the supernatural
8. And, if I’m being real, I hate praying out loud. HATE IT! It makes me seriously uncomfortable.
Now, as if what God asked wasn’t uncomfortable enough, lets look at a verse talking about some examples of people of faith from the past. Hebrews 11:35-38 “But others were tortured, not accepting release, to obtain resurrection to a better life. And others experienced mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, sawed apart, murdered with the sword; they went about in sheepskins and goatskins; they were destitute, afflicted, ill-treated (the world was not worthy of them); they wandered in deserts and mountains and caves and openings in the earth.” Have I sold you on being a follower of Jesus yet? Sawed apart?
Ahhhh, but sweet relief, there is a silver lining. Have you ever heard the phrase, “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone”? (If you haven’t, I’m sure you could look it up on Pinterest and find uncountable amounts of Photoshop versions.) It is such an adventure spurring phrase! And, what if it’s true? What if living isn’t at all what we first thought it was? What if bored wasn’t supposed to be in our vocabulary? I don’t mean bored like, I have nothing to do, bored. I mean bored like, life is uninteresting. Are you ready for some interesting? Check out the verses also in Hebrews next to all of the scary stuff above. This is from Hebrews 11:33-35, “Through faith they conquered kingdoms, administered justice, gained what was promised, shut the mouths of lions, quenched raging fire, escaped the edge of the sword, gained strength in weakness, became mighty in battle, put foreign armies to flight, and women received back their dead raised to life.” What?!! I’ve read that verse 5 times in the last half hour and I get excited teary every time! I want you to read that again, putting a “If we/I got uncomfortable, we/I could…” in front of each of those things listed in the verses.
If we got uncomfortable, we could conquer kingdoms!
If we got uncomfortable, we could administer justice!
If we got uncomfortable, we could gain what was promised!
If I got uncomfortable, I could shut the mouths of lions!
If I got uncomfortable, I could quench a raging fire!
Are you getting it?! “The world was not worthy of them!” God has called us out of our comfort zones! Lets get uncomfortable! What is the comfort zone you are in that God is calling you out of? Is it a new Bible study you should start with your co-workers? Maybe it’s going to your first Bible study outside of a Sunday morning service? Is it a new style of worship in your church that makes you uneasy, or maybe a new pastor that asks you to go to the nursing home after church on Sundays instead of going out to lunch? Maybe yours is a huge change, like adopting or fostering a child, or starting to talk with your kids about faith when you’ve never done it before and they’re 14 already. If we get uncomfortable, God will do what He promises. Lets get uncomfortable!!
There is something I think God is asking me to do right now, and I’m scared to death. I’ll save that for another day, but I’d love to hear about your comfort zones and what God may be asking you to step into. Remember, our weakness is God’s strength. Lets get uncomfortable.