Great Things are Waiting Just Outside Your Comfort Zone

July Aug 2012 022

Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them. John 13:17 NIV

The June 8 entry in My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers writes, “If you do not cut the moorings, God will have to break them by a storm and send you out.”

He continues to challenge us that when you have an impression from the Holy Spirit to do a thing, do not delay, but act immediately.  “Revise where you have become stodgy spiritually, and you will find it goes back to a point where there was something you knew you should do, but you did not do it because there seemed no immediate call to, and now you have no perception, no discernment; at a time of crisis you are spiritually distracted instead of spiritually self-possessed. It is a dangerous thing to refuse to go on knowing.”

When a ship cuts the moorings and sets sail: the preparations are made to leave the comfort of the harbor.  The sailing “stretch zone” is one that includes many possible variables, such as high winds and waves, rain, pirates, mechanical troubles; calm seas, new horizons, the glorious beauty of magnificent sunrises and sunsets, grand sea creatures such as whales or dolphins, and the satisfaction of charting and navigating the sea successfully.

There are also perils that come to those moored in the harbor, yet the tendency is to be so entrenched in the “comfort zone” we are unprepared due to a false sense of security.  When we are anchored in the comfort zone and trying circumstances come along without warning, it has the tendency to launch us straight past the “stretch zone” and into the “stress zone”.  This is an area where we are paralyzed by fear, usually unable to effectively respond to the change that left us here.

Oswald Chambers reminds us that a continual grounding in the Word of God and a practice of being led by His Holy Spirit will guide us safely through all manners of waters.  Therefore, when God says, “Go”, you will best off making no delay, step out of the comfort zone and into the stretch zone! Neuroscientists claim this is the most effective place for learning.

I am still haunted by a memory of the time I was jogging around the lake, and I came upon a man walking.  It was unusual for me to pass anyone this early in the morning and I had never seen this person before.  I had a profound urge to tell him “Jesus loves you.”  This seemed so awkward and so out of the ordinary that I remember having the dialogue with myself, “that seems too wierd and feels really uncomfortable, he will think I am a wacko.” A matter of seconds later, we had crossed ways, he heading west and I east. 

I knew afterward that what I had experienced was the prompting of the Holy Spirit.  God wanted me to obey immediately.  I wrestled with regret at first: what if this man was suicidal and I was supposed to give him hope?  Many scenarios went through my mind.  Then I was reminded of God’s promises, the purposes of the Lord always prevail.  In other words, although I had missed an opportunity to be used by the Lord, this man was not beyond God’s reach.  I learned through this experience when I have a strong prompting which honors God and aligns with His Word: I will be blessed by immediately obeying and not allowing my flesh to talk me out of it!

Let us choose this day to live with no regrets:                                            Immediate obedience leads to future fulfillment.

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