I don’t know who said it, but I love this quote: “Great things never came from comfort zones!” It paints a picture of a truth, we like to ignore. When we are in our comfort zones, we are not in a place that is readily available to God.
Faith is risk. We have to be willing to act on what we believe, trusting God to take care of us. But it really is more than that. We have to act knowing God is capable of stepping in and intervening, but willing to praise Him even if He doesn’t.
When we are in our comfort zones, we are not in a place that is readily available to God.
There are two stories in the Old Testament, that demonstrate this truth. One is in Daniel 3. Three young Jewish men refused to bow down to the idol the king had erected of himself. Ultimately the king was furious and ordered the furnace heated seven times hotter than usual. But Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego would not bow saying to the king, “We do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”
That is what I call taking a “Faith Risk!” Being thrown into a blazing furnace is not a comfort zone. These three guys were willing to act, believing that God could rescue them. But even if He didn’t they were willing to do what God was calling them to.
The second story is in Esther 4. Esther had become queen through a pageant. But the king had chosen to elevate a man with evil in his heart to second in command. Haman wanted to kill her cousin (who had raised her) for not bowing down to him in worship. I am sure you see where this is going. So not only did he want to kill Mordecai, he wanted to kill all the Jews who lived in the kingdom. When all was said and done, Esther was willing to risk her life to save her people as she said, “I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.”
Being killed just for entering into the king’s court without being summoned, is not a comfort zone. Esther took a “Faith Risk!” Esther was willing to act, believing God could intervene but acting even if He didn’t.
What Faith Risk are you facing? Okay, maybe you are not going to be burned alive or executed if you chose to follow Jesus, but what choice do you have in your life right now that requires you stepping out of your comfort zone?
Several years ago, I was serving in a church in rural Indiana. I was praying that God would show us what He wanted us to do next as a church? It was strange, I sensed Him saying, “Feed the poor.” “Lord,” I said, “The church at the end of the block is doing that.” But the answer again was, “Feed the poor!” I didn’t know what to do with that, but I tucked it away and let it steep. A few weeks later our missions coordinator came to see me. She had been contacted by the church down the street. They were closing their doors and wanted her to take over their Food Pantry ministry. She wanted to know what I thought… “Feed the poor!” came to my mind. I told her my story.
She eventually said yes to God with the church family behind her. She was willing to take a chance. She stepped out of her comfort zone to become available to God. As of the writing of this post, she and her faithful husband have led the food pantry ministry for about fifteen years.
What Faith Risk are you facing?
- Will you choose to step out of your comfort zone and become available to God?
- Will you choose to follow whether He intervenes and makes it easy or He doesn’t?
- Will you choose to make a difference in the lives of others through your obedience?