Must We Go Out Of Our Comfort?

Must We Go Out Of Our Comfort?

Pastor Vincent - 28 November 2020

Weekend Devotion: Must We Go Out Of Our Comfort?

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One of the things that obstruct us from doing something better is our refusal to go out of our comfort level, if you realize. Whether it is getting better grades as a student, being more productive as a worker, or being more anointed as a minister, we all faced the same hurdle. We all have the inclination to resist going out of our comfort zone, whether it is dealing with a task or for some of us dealing with people. We prefer to stick to what works all along, for ourselves at least.

I mean if doing certain things a certain way gets things done, there is not much motivation to change, and there is probably nothing wrong about that. But if we see that there is a need for a greater leap forward, or if we have a deadlock to break, we cannot be sticking to the same way of doing things, just because we dislike uncertainty or unfamiliarity.

Now, going out of comfort zone is something we always hear from the World. The World seems to know that for breakthroughs to be achieved, whether it is doing business or achieving a worldly goal, they cannot let things remain as status quo. There need to be breakthroughs. We need to think out of the box, we need to be inconvenienced, and that means sometimes we need to get our hands dirty also. And the end result of that is fame, success, riches, and so on.

But for believers of God, we know we’re not driven by any worldly agendas, nor are we trying to prove ourselves by competing with the world. But we know we need to move out of our comfort level when God wants us to.

When God told Moses to bring the Israelites out of Egypt, the people of God have to go no matter how comfortable they felt about living in Egypt. Because it is the way out of slavery. When God told Joshua to advance against the people of Canaan, no matter how much blood is going to be shed, they have to do so, because God wants his people to live in a land without the evil influences of the Canaanites. Yet, when God subject His people to captivity in Babylon because of their idolatry, God likewise wants His people to change their mind and serve the people of Babylon and its land.

Now, do you realize that God is moving His people out of their comfort, out of their status quo by His sovereign will. And as people of God, we have to hear God enough to move out, and move away from what we feel works for us. Do not seek to please our hearts when God challenges our comfort level.

 

Well, you may ask: “why must God do that?”

 

Because there are two things God had in mind when HE does that.

 

First, God is preparing us for greater things.

Now, many Christians are contented with a smooth sailing lives and eventually they made it their goals. They thought as long they pay tribute to their Christian faith by going to church on Sunday and giving their tithes, that would be more or less enough. But my brethren, understand that the great commission which our Lord Jesus has given us has absolutely nothing to do with a smooth sailing and self-satisfying life. The Lord said: “Go and make disciples of all nations…” <Mat 28:19>. The World is the boundary, my brethren. And we have enemies who are determined to stop us. Deception, temptation and tribulation are weapons he will use against us when we are heeding the great commission. So to move us on the path of World evangelization, God has to start setting us on untrodden ground. He has to challenge our comfort level and existing goals many a times.

As a pastor, I have always heard God telling me to build a big and nice-looking church should never be my goal. My calling is to bring the gospel out to God’s people and to the ends of the World. Now, this is evidently seen in the mission work of Paul, which was filled with trials. The trials were used to chasten him, it was also often used to move him to the next mission point.

 

Second, why must God challenge our comfort level?

The answer to that would be: God is shaping our hearts to be mastered by Him.

Now, knowing our sinful nature, we can’t deny the fact that we love to listen to what we want to listen.

<James 1:14> makes it clear: “but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed”.

Now, because of our own evil desires, our hearts are prone to listen to anything but what God said. We listen to our fears, we listen to our anxieties, we listen to our needs, we listen to our prejudices and biases. When we don’t feel understood, we self-pity ourselves. When we have done well, we self-exalt ourselves. When we are in need and distress, we look for men who could help us instead of turning to God to reflect upon our lives. Now, how else do you think God who loves us, will help us through this wretched nature? What do you think God will do to shape our hearts to be mastered by Him? And I think the very thing God will do and will continue to do in our lives is to challenge our comfort level. 

Honestly, in all my years of serving the Lord, whether it is in teaching, shepherding, planting churches, mission work, what I could evidently see is that God refuses to let things move like an auto-pilot. Things in the church and problems with people will never cease. And because of that, God continues to draw people who love the church to serve the church, and serve it with all their hearts. Now the world has a whole year of dealing with COVID-19, and if we have been reflective, we know that COVID-19 has really benefit the churches of God is to bring them out of their comfort level. The church has to think of ways and means to shepherd and feed the congregation. The church has to go through many inconveniences of opening up, having safety measures, having more people to serve so as to have a small congregation to gather. Is it worth it, some would ask. Yes, it is. And that is what the church is called to do. A church who really love the sheep of God will willingly go through the inconveniences of opening up and meeting the sheep physically every week, even if it means just housing a handful of congregants. And for the congregants, no matter how dire the Covid situation, find ways and resolution to attend meetings. And what is God doing with that? He is shaping our hearts to be mastered by Him.

 

So my brethren, thank God for continually bringing the church out of its comfort level so that our faith are constantly challenged. As you serve God and follow Him, learn to have your heart being mastered by Him. God is preparing you for a greater responsibility. 

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Pastor Vincent Choo
choochisan@gmail.com

Vincent is the Senior Pastor of The Life Church and Missions (Singapore) and is an ardent missionary to the Chinese World. He currently lives in Singapore with his wife, Qiufen, and has three kids, Mary, David, and Caleb.

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