Posts tagged ‘Comfort’

Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone

“When God Pushes You Out of Your Comfort Zone” Sometimes God has to push us out of our safe place in order for us to experience what we need in order to do what He needs to do. He does this because He loves us. He makes us face the storms, because we grow during them. He makes us face the rough seasons. Matt 14:19-22- he feeds the crowd with 2 fish and 5 loaves of bread. They had 12 baskets of crumbs leftover. Immediately afterwards, He sends the disciples to go before Him to the other side, while He sends the multitudes away. 1. Remember you’re rowing by God’s instructions. Our step are ordered by God. We row because we are obedient to Him. Jesus sent them into the storm. God will sometimes push us right into the storm. God does not always cause our storms, but He is always with us in our storms. We must understand that while everyone else is on the sidelines, God is using the storm to reveal Himself in a better way. Matt 14:33- Peter walks on water, becomes afraid and Jesus saves Him. When they get back to the boat, the disciples now fully recognized Him as the Son of God. The disciples had seen Jesus do miracles, but it wasnt until the middle of the storm until they really saw who He was. This is a revelation that can not come from merely hearing. We can’t rely on anyone else. The only real revelation comes from having a personl encounter with God in our storms. Matt 14:23- after he dismissed them, Jesus went up to pray. He saw the boat and the storm was already starting. Winds were fighting against them. When the wind blows in our faces, and makes it hard to move, KEEP ROWING!!!! Cause God is right there. Just because we encounter a storm doesn’t mean that we have done anything wrong. We have to stop blming ourselves. 2. When you can’t see Him, He still sees you. Mark 6:46-48- Mark’s version. Jesus was on the mountain and saw them straining to row. Even when we can’t see Him, He never stops seeing us. God wants to see if we are still rowing or if we are giving up. The disciples kept straining to row. Many times God just wants to see if we are still willing. 3. When the rowing is rough, pick up some breadcrumbs. Mark 6:52- when the storm stopped, they still didn’t understand the miracle of the loaves. Their hearts were too hard. The miracle was so fresh, but they still became fearful. Jesus had just fed 30k people, but they didnt understand it. We have to pick up the memories of what God has done in our lives, and praise Him for that thing. Find the breadcrumbs and praise Him for it! Nobody understands your breadcrumbs but you. You must praise Him for them. In the hardest times, pick up those breadcrumbs and keep on rowing. 4. Always remember to welcome Jesus on board. Mark 6:48- he saw they were in trouble. At about 3am, He comes to them on the water. He intended to go past them, not get in the boat. It wasnt until they cried out to Him, that He got in. They cried out to Him and He drew near to them. We have to remember to ask for His presence.

Getting out of Your Comfort Zone

Who’s in Control?

In life we want to be in control. It starts at a young age and carries over into adulthood. We want to control what happens to us and when it happens. Part of getting out of our comfort zone is giving up control to God. It’s not easy. When things go bad, we wanna take the reigns back from God.

Josh 5: 13-15- Joshua asked a man, ” are you with us or against us?” The man was a messenger from God and told him that the land was holy.

1. Who’s side are you on? Moses had lead Israel to the Promised Land, but could not enter. Joshua lead them in and the first city was Jericho, a city of giants. He encounters a man with a sword, and theologians believe it was Jesus. Joshua questions him, and Jesus answers that He is the leader of the army of God. Jesus didn’t show up to take sides. He showed up to take control!

We have to stop asking Jesus to get on our side. We need to get on His side!! Jesus wants to take control.

As Christians, we must understand that there are only two sides, and neither of them is “our”side. The two sides are God’s and Satan‘s. We must align ourselves with the side of the Lord. Give up your right to be right and go with God!!

The church needs to quit taking sides and just align with God!

In verse 15, Jesus told Joshua to take off his shoes if he was on HIS side. There is significance in this. Moses was told to take off his sandals when he came to the burning bush. Now, the same happens with Joshua.

2. Have you taken off your shoes?

Some people have chosen to be on God’s side, but havent taken off their shoes. In Ruth, we see Naomi taking her daughters in law back to Israel. Boaz sees Ruth and wants to marry her. Ruth tells him that there is a relative who is in line fo dibs. The relative says he will marry her. Boaz convinces him not to do it.

Ruth 4: 7-8- a sandal was removed and given to another for confirmation. The relative took off his sandal, signifying his giving up rights to Ruth.

Deut. 25: 7-10- if a relative doesn’t want to marry his brother’s wife, the elders speak to him first. If thr answer is still no, the widow comes in and the widow must remove his sandal, and spit in his face. He is given a name was that indicated his loss of rights.

Jesus asked the disciples to remove their sandals and He washed their feet. Peter objected according to the law.

John 13: 8- Jesus answered, ” If i do not wash you, you will have no part with me”.

Peter had to give up his right to be right. Removing our shoes means we give God complete control!

Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone

Moving Beyond Our Past

Many times we allow our pasts to keep us stationary, but God is calling us to move forward. We can’t allow past hurts to keep us in a place that God no longer wants us to inhabit.

We use our past guilt and hurt as a crutch, and build walls around ourselves.

Phil 3: 12- forgetting whats behind, I strain for what’s ahead.

Basically, i can’t relate to the present if I’m still reacting to the past. God has better in the future, but when we stay devoted to the past, we miss out.

We end up taking our past hurts out on people that we meet in the present and future. We have to choose to no longer be stuck! God can and will heal our hearts.

Focus your thoughts on God’s desire for a greater future. This can help you move beyond your past.

1. First i must give up my grudges.

Eph 4: 31-32- let go of everything just as God has let go of your own sins. Be kind and compassionate to one another.

When i hold resentment in our hearts, we give the other person power over us. They live life disregading you, but you can’t live your life.

Job 5: 2- to worry yourself with resentment is a foolish thing to do.

Job 18: 4- you are only hurting yourself with your anger.

2. I must give up my grief.

Children are good at mourning immediately and then refocusing. Adults refuse to mourn, and this creates problems. When our mourning becomes moaning, we get stuck.

-accept what can’t be changed.
-play it down and pray it up. (Is.6)- in the year that King Uziah died, Isaiah saw the Lord. During a time of grief, Isaiah had a life changing time with God.
-focus on what’s left, not what’s lost.

3. We must give up our guilt.

Some of us wanna keep ourselves in punishment for the rest of our lives. We can’t stay in the time out box forever. In the Bible, almost every great person messed up, and then God rebuilt them to do great things.

-the wrong way is condemnation.

Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone

Learning to take Risks Taking risks is essential to growing our faith. God will often ask us to do things that rips us out of comfort. Fear is no excuse. God has called us to walk in His fear busting power. Its in the times where we do what we fear the most, that we grow the most.

In Scripture, there are 365 instances stating that we should not fear.

1. What step are you afraid to take that would result in depth or closeness to God? Whats the one thing God is asking me to give up that scares you the most?

Acts 3: 1-7- Peter and John heal the lame man. Peter seized the opportunity to show the power of God. Then in verse 12, he takes advantage of the opportunity to preach to the masses about what had just happened.

How many of us miss opportunities every day? There is always risk involved.

Acts 4: 1-3- Peter and John were arrested after Peter’s speech. Sometimes obeying God will get you rejected or misunderstood. Sometimes you set people free, and you end up in trouble.

In v 7-8, Peter preaches to the leaders and elders about Christ and his resurrection. In the end, Peter’s risk afforded him the opportunity to witness amd testify in the presence of leaders of the nation.

1. Seize opportunity.
2. Take a risk.
3. See an opportunity.

To face my fear of risk:
1. Identify my personal fear.
2. Confess my fear of risk to someone.
3. Take one risk at an opportunity that will challenge my fear-then take another one soon after.
4. Feel the pleasure of God in my risk.

The more we are obedient to do what God tells us, the clearer we will hear His voice.

Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone

Sometimes God takes you LEFT to get you RIGHT!! Acts 9: 17-20- Ananias goes to Paul and prats that he would receive his sight and be filled by the Holy Spirit. Paul then was baptized and spent days with disciples on Damascus, then preached Christ in the synagogues. Galatians 1: 15-18- Paul’s version of the same conversion. In Acts, Paul has already been converted, but in Galatians, we see where Paul spent 3 years in the desert because he wasn’t trusted by the disciples. God had called him to Jerusalem, but took him to Arabia first for real time with God. He was in the desert understanding who Chri st really was. He knew the scriptures. Now, he needed to understand the truth of the Gospel. God had to take him left to prepare him for what would happen on the right. 1. The experiences that hurt us most are the ones that God will use to help us the most! So many times we want the right thing first. Many times, God desires us to go left, away from our comfort zone. The right thing feels good, so we are remiss to leave it. But God wants to take us through the desert, to bring about a season of change and transformation. in the desert, God shifts our priorities to where they need to be. He will always take us left in order to get us right. We have to realize that the left thing is a GOOD thing. Its prepatory time. Had Paul not gone to Arabia, He would not have been ready to do God’s calling. Going to the left forces us to go deeper in God. 2. Don’t try to force people right, who just got left. (Don’t think you have to fix people). God takes people we know to the left, but we step in and mess everything up! Quit trying to fix people and let God do what He wants to do in their lives. We must let God do it on His time, so that when He brings them right, they stay there. Moses was a Prince of Egypt, who fled because of a mistake. He spent 40 years in the desert where God revealed Himself. God can grow you out of a difficult place. God meets us in the difficult place and changes us. Don’t run from your desert! The longer you go left, the greater your right will be. When you go through your right season, you will know it was God . You will resist the urge to be puffed up with pride in your own ability. We will know that its by God’s strength! 3. God wants to teach you through the valley, so that you can succeed on the mountaintop. ( Its the pain of the left that keeps me going right!) James 1: 2-3- Count it all joy when you go through tests and trials. It produces patience when your faith is tested. We must realize that God still has His hands on our lives, and is molding us through our time in the desert. Moses had 40 years in the desert before God called him out with a clear path and destiny before him. Then He spent 40 more years with the children of Israel in the desert while God prepared them for their right season. Dont discount your left. God is using it to get us right!

Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone

“The Relationship Rut” We work ourselves into these relationship ruts and become comfortable. Then when someone breaks that routine, we miss God appointments in our lives. We fabricate social networks based on our own personal walls and boundaries. Relationships arent meant to be comfortable. We have 2 kinds of relationships: missional and inspirational. Matt 28: 19-20- Go make disciples in all nations, baptize, and teach them to obey commands of God. Missional relationship- anyone in your path who needs to develop a new or stronger relationship with Christ. The purpose of this is to turn it into an inspirational relationship. John 4: 3 – Jesus with the Samaritan woman at the well. In this story: A. Don’t let their status affect your mission. Jews looked down on Samaritans. Samaritans didnt like Jews. Sometimes we get in our heads what a good prospect would be, but everyone we come across is a prospect. There are no prerequisites for becoming a Christian. B. Don’t miss an opportunity to be missional. Jesus was hot and tired when he went to the well. Jesus discerned that the Samaritan woman was hurting. She was an outcast. He didn’t miss an opportunity to minister to her needs. C. Don’t be afraid to go deep. Jesus didn’t waste time cutting through her walls and barriers. He went straight to the root need in her life. We can’t be afraid to move past surface conversations. Jesus wasnt satisfied with surface conversation. Not every moment will be life changing, but we must be ready when the moment arises. Inspirational- any fellow Christian that you come into contact with. Prov. 27: 17- a friend sharpens a friend. Acts 2: 42- the early church devoted themselves to teaching, sharing meals, and prayer. A. Devoted themselves to the apostles teaching. Getting together and delving into the word helps in growth and maturity. B. They fellowshipped and shared meals. There is something about sharing a meal that induces conversation. Food is merely a medium for sharing and developing relationships. C. Prayer. Praying together with other believers is powerful. Acts 2: 43- a deep sense of awe came upon them all. 1 Cor 12: 7-10- the giving of spiritual gifts. Heb. 10: 25- don’t neglect coming together with other believers