Moving out of my comfortable bubble!

Posted: 18/12/2011 in God
Tags: , , , , , ,

This morning in Church, our pastor spoke on getting out of the comfort zone and into the God zone. He was predominantly speaking about tithing but he referred to more than just financial giving; the giving of our resources, time, gifts and abilities and believing that God could and would use them in order to advance his kingdom. Am I willing to step out of the comfort zone and into the God zone as far as these things are concerned?  To be honest I actually feel like I’m in a twilight zone and not a comfort zone but even a twilight zone can sometimes seem more comfortable than allowing God to do his thing. Why is that? Sometimes I have these “light bulb God moments” and this morning was one of those. I identified three areas in my life that stop me from stepping out of my comfort zone and into the God zone.  

PRIDE: Pride is a nasty character defect and comes in all forms. It’s often said that humility is the opposite of pride but this is not true. Whether we think we’re better than other people or worse than them, worthy or unworthy, loveable or unlovable, whether we think everyone’s looking at us or people are not paying us enough attention; it’s all pride. Pride is self focus, it’s thinking about yourself more than you think about others and how everything affects you. So whether you’re puffed up or metaphorically beating yourself up, yours eyes are still on you. A humble person is outward focused not inward focused and a humble Christian is God reliant rather than self-reliant. When I allow pride to rule my thinking my mind goes into overdrive and suddenly the focus is off God. How can I possibly know what the God zone is when I’m looking at my zone? Pride is not healthy and is counter-productive to the work of God.  First pride, then the crash— the bigger the ego, the harder the fall (Proverbs 16:18 MSG).

CONTROL: I like to be in control of everything and even when I’m out of control I delude myself into thinking I’m still in control. Handing our will and our lives over to God is a hard thing to do because it involves faith in and a trust that he knows better than us. Scripture tells us that our God is all-knowing; ever-present and all-powerful (Psalm 139:7-12). I am one hundred percent certain that I am none of those things. So it only leads to reason that I would be much safer in the hands of my Father than left to my own devices.

FAITH: Much could be written about faith. The word faith as used in much of scripture comes from the Greek pístis, meaning to persuade. It differs from confidence in that we are convinced by God that something is possible where confidence leads us to hope that something might be possible. Faith is an act not a feeling; it has no conditions, restrictions or limitations. And we can start with just a little. At one time the disciples of Jesus were unable to cast a demon out of person and couldn’t understand why. In Matthew 17:20 (MSG) Jesus responds “Because you’re not yet taking God seriously…The simple truth is that if you had a mere kernel of faith, a poppy seed, say, you would tell this mountain, ‘Move!’ and it would move. There is nothing you wouldn’t be able to tackle“. Why is faith required to get from the comfort zone to the God zone, because it’s a step into the unknown. It’s accepting the divine persuasion of God that what you have and who you are can be used for his Kingdom work despite all obstacles.

TRUST: Faith, I consider, goes hand in hand with trust and this has been a huge learning curve for me. It’s all well and good to say “You have convinced me God that it’s possible for me to step into your zone” but unless we trust Jesus we are not going to actually take that step. It will remain a passive thought and not an active response. If we are following Jesus we can be sure he is always with us (Deuteronomy 31:6), that we can do anything with his strength (Phil 4:13), that we needn’t fear (Psalm 27:1, Isaiah 41:10, 2 Timothy 1:7) and that his Spirit will teach, counsel and empower us to do things we could otherwise not do (Matthew 10:19-20, John 14:26, John 16:12-15, Acts 1:8).

Pride, control, faith and trust are all in a way intertwined. Through faith and with trust we step into the God zone and by doing so give Jesus full control. When Jesus is in control pride will have trouble surfacing because we are focused on Jesus and not ourselves. Can I step out of the comfort zone and into the God zone in regards to money, time, resources and gifts (both spiritual and earthly) and expect God to do more than I imagined possible? It’s a challenge I put to myself and to you.

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