Wednesday, 18 September 2013

STEPPING OUT OF OUR COMFORT ZONE

Discomfort awaits the faithful. To bring out the best in us, God may lead us to places where we get stretched like a rubber band. 



                                                                       

How would you respond if your boss decides to pile more assignments on your desk because he knows you are a reliable worker?

This seems to be true in the spiritual realm as well. Discomfort awaits the faithful. There will come a time in our lives when God is going to stretch us like a rubber band. After all, a rubber band's usefulness is related to the fact it’s able to withstand tension when stretched.

                                                                     

In the Parable of the Talents (Luke 19: 11-27), two faithful servants were given the responsibility of taking charge of five and ten cities. It seems strange that they were given more work—instead of rest—as reward for their faithfulness.  

Human nature is such that we tend to shun the untried and uncomfortable. We'd rather stick with the familiar rather than take up new positions of responsibility.

But if we aspire to hear God’s voice and move as the Spirit leads, we will have to accept the fact that we will be stretched. Though it may be uncomfortable, the impact of our lives will grow. We will be making waves instead of ripples.

Our faith is like a mustard seed. Once it has been galvanised into action, we may hear God speaking to us: “Son, you have been faithful with just a little, I will make you rule over much.” Just like the faithful men in the Parable of the Talents who were put in charge of cities.

As we move to the next level, our seed-sized faith will become tree-sized faith. Like trees which provide shelter for many types of birds and animals, our lives will impact many because we are willing to pay the price by breaking out of our comfort zone.


                                                                         
                                                   Launch out into the deep

During Jesus’ baptism by John in the river Jordan, the Spirit descended like a dove on Jesus and a voice from heaven proclaimed, “This is my Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased.”

Immediately after that, Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil: “Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil” (Luke 4:1-2).

Why the sudden switch from endorsement to testing? Why did God allow Jesus to suffer the discomfort of fasting? Why did God allow Jesus to be tempted at the end of a forty-day fast? Jesus would have been most vulnerable then to the temptation posed by the devil which was to turn stones into bread.

I believe the answer is this: Before He began His public ministry, Jesus needed not only the empowerment and endorsement of the Spirit—which He received during baptism—but also the enriching experience of endurance and victory over temptations.

“Even though Jesus was God’s Son, he learned obedience from the things He suffered” (Hebrews 5:8).

Similarly, God would have us endure trials and temptations to prove our faithfulness before we embark on ministry. It might get pretty uncomfortable at times when we step into the paths the Spirit has lined up for us. But move ahead we must. For God is taking us to a higher level.

Let us trust the Holy Spirit to lead us into new areas and opportunities as we develop the gifts and talents God has endowed us. It will be an exciting adventure of ever increasing faith and empowerment.

“Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them. Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it”’ (Isaiah 30:20-21).

RELATED POSTS


STEPPING INTO OUR DESTINY
When we step out by faith to embrace God’s calling, we need to focus on His promises rather than obstacles.

BECOMING UNSTUCK
Moving on beyond the basics, the traditional and our comfort zone

SWORD DRAWN READY FOR BATTLE
How did Jesus overcome the wiles of the devil when he was tempted in the wilderness?http://bit.ly/1gJ7nmW



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