Fulfilling God’s Calling Means Letting Go of Comfort Zones
It’s freezing here today at the ministry center in South Africa.
Temperatures have plummeted, the rain has brought the cold weather. Wrapped up in layers of thick clothes and cuddly blankets, I am almost unable to move.
The walk down from the office to the kitchen to make hot coffees, has become a more frequent one. I am already on my second cup and we haven’t even reached lunchtime. Note: I usually only drink a cup or two a day. Just as well it is caffeine free.
Anyway, besides all my dramatic get up here; I love the cold weather. I feel comfortable in it and was looking forward to this season. While others love the stinky hot temperatures that summer reaches under the African sun, I am one of those that truly battles with the heat. It dates back to where I come from, as Switzerland never had such intense or draining heat waves. Not even in Mexico, where I lived for over 7 years, did we reach such scorching temperatures.
So you bet, I was the one praying for the cold front to arrive. And yes, my prayers were answered to the dislike of about 99% of South Africans.
Leaving Comfort Zones = Growing in God
Now I am not here to bore you with a weather update, but rather want to show you a couple of principles with my illustration.
1. We can’t always have what we want in life
2. Comfort zones are rarely there in God’s plan for your life
Number 1 is very much self-explanatory. No need to major on that point, right? It’s a fact. And if you get started on this journey of being trained for ministry, you very soon will know about this one.
Point 2 is something that many don’t quite expect, when it comes to reaching out to be used by the Lord. We often talk about paying the price for your calling. Laying down your life so He can be lifted up instead. Leaving one’s comfort zone.
Perhaps you are going into a good season right now, one that you are comfortable with. Good for you. But perhaps, you are on the brink of facing a stretch that you aren’t so sure about. Like me in the natural, you are battling with the heat that is spiritually on you. I don’t blame you for it and I understand.
However, here are a couple of things to keep in mind as you are facing this stretch;
- That stretch will only last for so long and then it will be over. You will have grown to adapt to it and reached the next level. Come on, you can do it!
- Kicking against it won’t help. If God is leading you into a new season, then rather embrace it and ask Him for help to face what you are afraid of
- Staying back in comfort zones means you are stopping the growth He wants to accomplish in you
Yes, you might fail and stumble around for a while when leaving your comfort zones. But don’t you think the Lord took that already into account? If He has set before you a new season, and the temperatures are either rising or falling, He has prepared you for it. Spiritually speaking, you have what it takes to face whatever lies ahead.
Change the Pictures Within
It’s time to change the pictures within. The old, stale, unpleasant and outdated pictures in your soul (or your subconscious for that matter. You know those, that you have stowed away over all these years). You see, the Lord sees you as someone “that is capable”. He sees you as fit to embrace this next step of your journey. I know, some may want to tell you that you aren’t ready. And you yourself perhaps even agree in some way with these negative talkers, because of the memories of your past.
But, that doesn’t change the fact that God pushed you into a new season – out of your little nest called comfort zone. If He did so, He believes in you and He has a greater picture of you than the one you are busy looking at.
So don’t waste time trying to change the way you feel. A little hint; it won’t work! Instead, begin to change the pictures in your mind. Ask Him for a revelation and to show you clearly who you are and who He made you to be.
Then, gaze on that image. Meditate on it continuously and don’t allow anything else to fill your mind.
What if someone else tries to tear it down with their words again?
Be ready, for it will happen. But don’t let it discourage you from pressing in. Instead of listening to what they say, concentrate on what the Lord IS SAYING. One voice being replaced by another, that is how you will overcome and stay with the right image.
Don’t try to ignore it and pretend it didn’t hurt or bother you. No, run to the Lord and ask for a fresh touch and assurance of His Word and image. No matter how intimidating people’s words can sound, when you hear His Word spoken to you, it will feel like thundering noise that cancels out every other beeping sound.
Don’t let your heart and mind be moved by the wrong noise. Forgive, let go and move beyond. Soon those voices will be in the far distance as you press on with the call that God has put on your life.Share the Love
Comfort zones are rarely there in God’s plan for MY life!!!…..wow….thank you for this wisdom….I am remembering my cries for comfort zone and how I rarely had those answered…I would cry like the disciples “ Lord are you going to now restore the kingdom”….if only me and them ( I guess) have read this, wouldn’t have stopped the growth so many times. Bye bye comfort zones
Haven’t we all been there, Moemedi? Bye bye to those old comfort zones! Good to see that this article blessed you and caused you to take the next step/jump forward. Growth is awaiting you!
Larry W Perry
Wow good word, leaving a comfort zone is painful, after 2 years of being drawn by the Holy Ghost we left our comfort zone over 12 years ago and step in to a ministry I felt I wasnt qualified to do. ( I wasnt qualified, but God gave me His ability ) Now I sense a new direction somewhere and it does scare me as I feel the same unqualified feeling I had years ago, I dont know when but I know I may have to leave what is comfortable to me presently, in my younger days I could take on any challenge, but now its so different, I have to lean on Him for almost everything and I wonder if He waited till I had gotten to this point before He could allow me to step into the destiny He has for me
Thank you so much for giving me HOPE….indeed comfort zones are rare but when you find one, leaving it can be a challenge 🙂
As I am going through that right now and I didn’t know what to do but now through your wisdom I now see the challenge that has been in my mind.The old stale pictures in my mind have been the obstacles between me and my next step to embrace what God is doing,they have been lying to me confirming the voices I heard that indeed I’m not ready for this next season and I’m not capable.. .
But now I am so excited that I now know that God has already prepared me for this next season and I am capable ,I just need Him to reveal that true picture of who I am and who He sees me as and meditate on it day in and day out till I see it and feel it and leave it ……Thank you so much Nadine for the Wisdom ,indeed God led me hear for a reason….when I was led to read this I felt weak and had mixed feelings but now I feel Strengthened and I feel so much Hope and Light in Me ,I’m actually excited and feel so much joy in Me I feel something good is already happening in me .Thank you so much for blessing my day.Stay blessed😘😊🙏
Lesedi, the Lord has great plans for you in store. The change you are going through is going to lead you to an amazing place in Him and you will impact many from there! I look forward to seeing you rise up and taking these steps.
Glad to hear this article encouraged you and gave you the final push towards the new freedom and peace that He has for you!
Nadine this is an excellent article. God is much more interested in our growth and relationship with him than our comfort level isn’t he?! Few years back I started praying the Jabez prayer desiring increase but didn’t expect the hard times and intense attacks that were to follow with losing everything meaningful in my life including all access to my dear young daughters. But it’s made me 100 percent dependant on God as I’ve experienced and felt great resistance where I have only been able to survive keeping him as my rock. I am declaring breakthrough, reconciliation and victory daily. I am expecting this is all preparing me for a ministry to help others as I believe God doesn’t have us suffer unnecessarily. I would appreciate a prayer please and any insight the Lord gives you on my relationship with my girls who I raised from babies and missing beyond words can express.
Thank you Larry, for such an awesome and real comment. I completely agree with you, leaving those cozy comfort zones comes with a price. It also always comes with mixed feelings (such as excitement, fear, unsettledness, joy… you name it!) I agree with you, there is something new ahead of you – in the Spirit I see new gates waiting to be opened up before you. And a new path being constructed behind them.
The feeling of being inadequate or unqualified always comes with a greater vision. Often God has to bring you to the place where you finally get the point ‘that you cannot do it without Him’ before He can lift you to that next level. So you are right on track, I would say.
I will keep lifting you up and pray for the road ahead to reveal itself and for you to be filled with the strength and power you need to walk it out. You got this (in Him)!