Saying Goodbye to the Comfort Zone

It’s been quite some time since I’ve written a blogpost, but I have a good reason for such. For the last several months, I’ve been working on the second version of my devotional, Through the Morning Fog, releasing November 1st. While writing this book, I decided to share a lot of my own personal stories, including my testimony, which is the heartbeat of the book. Some stories are really lighthearted and others not so much, but all of it points back to the truth that through both joy and uncertainty, God’s love fulfills everything we are searching for.

While I am both nervous and eager as the day gets closer to the release, I am also so grateful that I got to write this book, that through every chapter that I lived, God was with me every step of the way. Really, it was three years in the making. And, through all the ups and downs, God has been so so good. So, as the countdown continues until Through the Morning Fog releases, I thought I would share an excerpt from the book.

So, here it is, Day 14 from Through The Morning Fog:

“To step toward your destiny, you will need to step away from your security.”

-Craig Groeschel

As humans, we do not like change. We prefer comfort and security as it is a natural tendency for us all. We prefer knowing what’s going to happen in the next hour, the next day, the next week, and the next month. We want our human input on how everything should happen accordingly. Have you ever planned out a date night, a vacation, or a self-day to reboot and nothing, absolutely nothing went according to plan?

I learned awhile ago that no matter how many times I make plans, they never seem to go accordingly. And, the more that I try to plan my life out, God seems to always make better plans. This is why I don’t have a five year or ten-year plan for my life. I may have goals and aspirations for the next several years, which we should all have, but I don’t have set in stone plans. The more I become committed to my plans, the more I will hold onto them for my dear life, not realizing that I am robbing myself of God’s most precious gift.

Sometimes, we hold onto things for so long, not surrendering to God’s particular plan. Meanwhile, God is reminding us that He has something better in store for us. He knows us better than we know ourselves.

A surrendered heart learns that we have to step outside of our comfort zones and outside that of which is familiar in order for God to do His work in us. We have to be willing to allow God to change our plans so that He may be able to open new doors and allow us to embark on new adventures. While these steps may be outside our comfort zone and daily planner, from time to time, these moments are absolutely necessary for what God wants to do in your life.

No one grows living in the comfortable, no one experiences new things if they always cling to the familiar and become satisfied with where they are. The sooner we learn to embrace the changing tidal waves of life and step outside our comfort zones, God will expand our plans.

A friend recently told me, “Sometimes what we want is not what we need.” I echo her words and believe that the sooner we let go of that which is familiar, the easier it will be to grasp the life that God has for us. What I’m learning now, more than ever, is that letting go has given me the freedom to live in the uncertain and the uncomfortable with a certainty that God is in control.

Last year, I had the wonderful opportunity to travel to Morocco with my SoCal family. Side note: The church is so awesome. In my immediate family, the nearest relative is hundreds of miles away, so I am so grateful for the families that have adopted me here in SoCal. That’s the beauty of the church. No matter your family situation, through the church, you have a family. It’s a wonderful thing.

Okay, back to Morocco. Steph, Nick, Zach and I arrived in the dusty streets of Marrakech. The city honestly looks like the renditions of the Streets of Bethlehem program they used to put on in my city every Christmas. It is an entirely different world. When we stepped out into the city, I was uncomfortable to say the least. When we were outside the four walls of our hotel, it was pure madness with crowded streets, smells of the most interesting kinds, and aggressive street vendors (we literally got yelled at when we didn’t buy something from someone’s store. It’s not every day that you get called a fake American). But, once we entered the oasis of where we were staying, there was such peace, as though the outside world didn’t exist. That’s what God does. In the chaos, you can find peace. When your outside world is uncomfortable, you can breathe and know that God is still in control. But, we didn’t remain in the oasis. Because, we weren’t intended to just remain in the oasis. We had to step outside our comfort zone. So, we returned to the city streets, enjoyed fresh squeezed orange juice and met new people that shaped our perspective into something new and beautiful. Sometimes, it takes stepping outside your comfort zone for you to learn things about life and God that you wouldn’t any other way. It is being in cities and situations that make us uncomfortable that prompts us to put our ultimate trust in God.

Don’t be afraid to step away from the comfortable. Peter had to step away from his security as a fisherman in order to follow Jesus towards his calling as a disciple of Jesus Christ. Ultimately, it led Peter to be a witness and carrier of the gospel.
In Matthew 16:18-19, the Word of God states, “And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

This would never have been possible if Peter had decided to live inside his comfort zone. Perhaps there are areas in your life that God is prompting you to step towards, whether that be to teach someone a bible study, to write a song and minister through music, to step into a new ministry, to purchase a plane ticket to go on a Missions trip, or to move to a region where God wants you to plant a church or whatever else it may be. The things that God wants to do through His people is endless. We just have to be willing to leave our own security and understand that God is our ultimate security.

It has been so amazing to see the faithfulness of God when His people step outside their comfort zones. In my own personal life, I have seen the power of God work in extraordinary ways when I finally learned to let go and trust God. Was it easy? No. But, every single time, God has shown up in ways that I could have never predicted. It is His power working in us that leads to transformation around us. My pastor always tells our church that if you want to grow in your own relationship with God, teach a bible study. When you reach out to those who aren’t connected to the church or those within the church who are so hungry to grow in their own personal walk with God, you will get ahold of God’s heartbeat and will never be the same again. There is nothing more fulfilling than teaching someone a bible study. There is a time for us to learn and grow, and then there is a time for us to pour back into the lives of those around us.

God calls us into different ministries, and at times it will be uncomfortable, but it is so worth it. I believe that the sooner we learn that this life isn’t about us, the easier it will become to leave the unfamiliar and step out in faith into the unknown. I talk about this later on, but I believe that fear is one of the emotions that hinders us from becoming what God has called us to be. The enemy has tried to use fear to trap us from carrying out the Great Commission. But, when you remember who you are and that you belong to the King, you can step out onto the battlefield and know that God is fighting for you, just like David did when he faced Goliath and won.

There are keys to the Kingdom that God wants to give you, but He can’t give them over to you if you cling to the comfortable. The uncomfortable reminds us that we must continually put our ultimate trust in Jesus. When we are led by His Spirit and lean on His strength alone, I promise you that He will show up. And, once again, He will amaze us.

 


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