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.