Oh, the ‘Comfy Place’! What does “comfort” look like to you? (Close your eyes for a moment and visualize that ‘place of Ahhh’ that you retreat to.) Does it consist of comfy clothes, comfort food, or a certain place in your house?
For Me: Things that Comfort
- Fuzzy Blanket
- Good Book(s)
- Hot Tea and Coffee
Each one of us have our own ideal place. I am sure that there are elements that are similar, yet some elements are very different. Most of the time we seek outward elements, the tangible. But just like everything else, these elements change with time. What could comfort me at 10 years old is far different from my comforts of today. Do you ever think about how we change? Seasons of life come and life changes us.
For instance, think about rainy days. I thought about this watching my grandbabies. When I am with them we often watch “Peppa the Pig”. Are you familiar? Well, Peppa and her little brother, George, love to jump in “muddy puddles.” And just to let you know, they speak with a British accent and their friends have various accents as well. So, you have to do the accent when you say their names. I admit, I love watching this with them and seeing their excitement. Then again, I love watching them get excited over a bug, a rock or even snacks. (Can you tell that I LOVE THEM? They light up my world and make me look at life differently. That is a very good thing!) Anyways… back to rainy days. As a child, rain was an adventure. Jumping, splashing, boots, barefoot, it did not matter. “Muddy puddles”? Splash! Raindrops? Stand still, head up and mouth open. Downpours? Jump, dance, and play until you are soaked through. Oh such excitement for a child. Then we enter the teen years and we become a bit more adventurous. Growing up we attended camp every summer for two weeks. Two of the boys cabins had a valley in front of them and rain became a wonderful thing. As the rains came down, a small stream would begin to flow down that valley. Counselors and campers alike would take a running dive and turn that valley into a natural ‘slip and slide’. We called it ‘ditching’ and we loved it! We came up covered in mud and grass ready to do it again. The laughter echoed throughout the camp.We could not wait for rain! My how our outlook begins to change as we get older. Entering adulthood we seek the rain protection. We equip ourselves for the droplets of water. Boots, umbrella, rain coat or even grocery bag works to cover our hair. You are laughing as you remember doing that last week! No matter what you were told as a child, you will not melt! When was the last time you walked or danced in the rain? Maybe even became childlike and splashed in “muddy puddles?”
Do you see how we change? How our perceptions change? Is it always a good thing? I think that we can get lost in some of these places. We begin to believe that the way we see it, that is the way it should be. We grow ‘comfortable’ and we do not want to change. Life poses obstacles that war against our level of comfort and we struggle.
- Relationships without friction
- Understanding without question
- Stability without oppression
- Assurance without opposition
We have locked into our routines:
- Our systematic approach to daily life. (Morning routines) – How do we handle “God Moments” that interfere?
- Our day-to-day busyness – Are we so consumed with our ‘to-do’ list and fast pace that we miss God fixed opportunities?
- Caught in a rut – Are we so ‘out of focus’ looking through our own eyes or inwardly that we cannot see the ‘awe and wonder’ of God Things in each and every day?
We overlook the “little things” that are so profound in the Master’s Hand and we miss opportunities to be thankful.
Don’t get me wrong, there are times in our life where comfort is needful and beneficial:
- Time for Solace and “Comfort Zone” rest
- To regain spiritual strength after disobedience
- To recoup in physical sickness
- To refresh from life
- To regroup from pain and loss
- To retreat from life’s pressures
These are times in life that we need to step back, lessen our commitments and focus more on the LORD, His Word, our purpose, our life and the areas that we have committed to.
Then, there are times when we lose perspective and we become out of balance:
- Getting lost in our “Comfort Zone”
- Too much time here – shut down
- Vegetate – existing and not living (running here instead of to Jesus)
- Forgetting our purpose and God’s plan
- Become desolate and critical – lack of stimulation from Godly influence and fellowship
- Accountability becomes lost
- Forget how to reach out, how to welcome in and love like Jesus
These are areas of desperation. We become emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually fatigued! In this place, we operate in our own strength. Heed the warning signs: in yourself – fall at the feet of Jesus; in others – be lovingly and prayerfully there to help pull them back into fellowship. (James 5: 19-20)
But right here, this is what I want to talk about. In our day-to-day, rising and setting, this place where we meet life with blinders on and hands gripped tightly around our stuff, hoping that nothing and no one comes to pull our attention elsewhere. We have become such ‘Creatures of Comfort’. We have settled in, grabbed on to the world’s definition of security, and rooted down deep to not be moved!
Ladies, there is more… so. much. MORE! God has made each one of us by a unique design – character traits, personalities, talents, gifts – all made specifically for His purpose in our life as we journey here.
Attention: We journey for a Greater Purpose!
Moreover, we do NOT do it alone. He is with us!
READ: 2 Corinthians 1:1-7 (KJV)
Did you notice how many times the word “comfort” or “consolation” was mentioned in these 7 verses?
The God of ALL COMFORT…
Comfort GK- para kle tos’ ~ giving encouragement with alleviation of grief
Helper, succourer, aider, assistant
Root word – para kle sis Advocate, intercessor, one like Him
Definition: (A great one I might add!) Of the Holy Spirit destined to take the place of Christ with the apostles (after His ascension to His Father), to lead them to a deeper knowledge of the gospel truth, and give them Divine strength needed to enable them to undergo trials and persecutions on behalf of the Divine kingdom.
With that I say, “LORD, Move Me Out of My Comfort Zone!” I want that direction and that purpose e.v.e.r.y.d.a.y! But I know, know, know that it will cost me something. So here we go… “Comfort Zone”… Bye! Bye!
What does “Out of the Comfort Zone” command of me? Of you? Are you ready and willing?
1.) God commands Love
READ: Matthew 22:37-40, John 13:34-35
~ Love Him! How well do you ‘love’ your Savior? How do you express it?
~ Love others! To all, even those that hate us and seek to harm us.
God can vindicate His own. This is not our objective – we will fail and create a BIG mess!
2.) God commands Forgiveness
READ: Matthew 18:21-22, 35; Ephesians 4:32
~ Unforgiveness is bondage for us, not the other party.
~ It robs us of God’s Presence (not relationship), God’s blessing and strength. READ 2 Corinthians 2:7-11
It grows a deep root of bitterness that chokes out life. It prevents us from being all that we can be for Christ. Our purpose cannot be fulfilled or satisfying in this type of environment.
3.) God commands to GO!
READ Acts 1:8; Matthew 28: 19-20
We are to minister and disciple…step out, reach out, speak out and love beyond the ‘Comfort Zone’.
The CONSOLATION … we are NOT on our OWN!!! We have a Comforter that never leaves us! He walks each step with us. We take each step aligned with His will. The Holy Ghost leads us, teaches us, equips us and convicts us. He goes before us and prepares the way, the situation. He works on both ends and is creating the fallow ground for healing, restoration, precious growth… abundant life!!! He is establishing an environment of Light that reaches far beyond distances than we will ever see! We have access to Divine Power… just slow down to acknowledge and embrace Him. We can hear His Voice, bask in His Presence, and be fortified by His Word. Oh the Divine Power that awaits us when we say, “YES, LORD” and move out of operating in our own strength, our flesh and let the God of ALL Glory move us beyond anything we ever imagined.
Being content in the simplicity and the strain is an attainable goal when our focus is right. Living beyond the “Comfort Zone” is what I desire.
Life begins at the end of my ‘comfort zone’! It is only here that I can experience Christ in dimensions that will alter my life. I will be changed and He will be Glorified! I become aware of the world at my fingertips: the lost without the Savior, the fatherless, the destitute. I make His purpose mine. I embrace the plan that He has written just for me. I practice obedience, even when life is hard and temptations come to taunt me. I will live differently. I will think differently. I will have the mind of Christ and be led by the Spirit to be the Hands, Feet and Voice of Jesus to hurting, broken and needy people. I will look for opportunities to experience “God Things” and bring Hope where all Hope seems lost. I will view life through the eyes of my Savior…in that, I will begin to change the world one heart at a time.
On this journey, I am finding that “Comfort Zones” are overrated. Are you willing to release your grip, venture out and experience it for yourself? Go, embrace and enjoy the journey, you will not regret it!
Time and Preparation:
- Make ‘Soul Preparation’ daily. Nourish yourself every day in the Word.
- Be your Prayer Life. Learn to pray fervent prayers. Pray the Word back unto the LORD.
- Walk (aka. Operate) in the Spirit… Spirit filled, Spirit led, Spirit empowered.
- Evaluate often… Make ‘Soul Searching’ commonplace in your life. Create Spiritual Checkpoints.
LORD, pour in that I may be poured out!