Stepping out of your comfort zone can be frightening. Nobody enjoys being uncomfortable. In fact, most of us despise it, and we will do anything to avoid it. The truth is, however, that our comfort zone can actually be the most dangerous place to be. Why you ask? Because when we are too comfortable, there is no inspiration to grow or move forward. We become content with where we are at in life. And while that’s not necessarily a bad thing…it’s not exactly a good thing either.
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God often calls us out of our comfort zones for this very reason. His heart’s desire is for us to grow. When we get too comfortable, we become lazy and complacent. Let me put it this way. When was the last time you noticed significant growth in your life? Was it at a time when everything was going perfectly? Or was it at a time when you had to completely rely on God for strength?
When we are too comfortable, we are less likely to move; and God’s plan for our lives always requires movement.
When God was preparing the heart of Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, He took him through a period of time when he was a stranger in a foreign land (Exodus 2:11-25). Moses worked for his father-in-law in Midian and spent 40 years away from his people in Egypt before he was ready to return and lead them out of slavery. Needless to say, Moses was out of his comfort zone.
God used this time, however, to soften his heart and to prepare him for his true calling in life.
When God is preparing our hearts for what He has called us to do, He often takes us through a period of time when we are uncomfortable. We will often feel like outsiders or foreigners in our own lives, and we usually lose our sense of control. Our first instinct will be to run for cover; but when we choose to trust God through our times of discomfort, two things will come out of the experience:
- We learn to completely rely on God. When we feel like an outsider in this world, our relationship with God becomes our comfort and He becomes our stability. We learn what it truly means to not lean on our own understanding but to lean on Him instead.
- We discover our true identity in Christ. The Bible tells us that as Christians, we are not citizens of this world, but we are citizens of heaven (Philippians 3:20). That automatically makes us foreigners. If we are truly living as citizens of heaven, then this world should make us feel uncomfortable. When God allows us to go through “uncomfortable” times in our lives, we are reminded of the fact that we don’t belong to this world. We belong to Him and His kingdom, and we should be living accordingly.
Learn to embrace the uncomfortable.
The Bible pretty much guarantees times of discomfort and struggle in this life:
Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation. – 1 Peter 4:12-13
Allow God to use you and mold you into who He created you to be. He has a purpose for your life that is far greater than anything you can imagine, and it’s never too late to begin your journey with Christ.
Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. – Hebrews 12:1
If you belong to Christ, then God has set a race path before you. Running a long race is never comfortable. It can be challenging at times, both physically and mentally. There is nothing better, however than crossing that finish line. Every challenging moment becomes worth it.
When we choose to embrace the uncomfortable for Christ, we are choosing to grow stronger in Him.
*Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.