Sunday, July 28, 2013

"comfort zone"

When I first heard the song by Casting Crowns "Voice of Truth" I imagined what my life would be like, if I truly lived that way.  The first few lines of the song really resonate with me now during HIS Daily Teachings: " Oh what I would do to have The kind of faith it takes to climb out of this boat I'm in Onto the crashing waves. To step out of my comfort zone. To the realm of the unknown where Jesus is.   And He's holding out his hand."  I was singing that song in my head when I finished up today's bible study, and thought about what that song means to my life.  The chorus of this song I think really solidifies what HE is trying to teach me about conquering my fears, and allowing HIM to bring me out of my "comfort zone" to do so.  "But the voice of truth tells me a different story.  And the voice of truth says "Do not be afraid!"  And the voice of truth says "This is for My glory." Out of all the voices calling out to me I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth."

I remember sitting in the auditorium of Willow Creek Community Church and hearing someone's testimony of How Jesus rescued them, and how much Jesus is working in their lives.  How it took them stepping out of their "comfort zones," to see how much HE loved them, and wanted to use their lives as a living testament to reach others.  I remember thinking "when GOD, when will I feel you using me?"  "When will I stop hurting from all the wrong that has been done to me?"  This past Spring when I was finally ready to listen, HE finally answered me.  I knew the time was "NOW" but first HE was going to ask me to "GO BIG."

I had no idea what it meant to "GO BIG," however, I knew I couldn't stay standing where I was, living in my little comfortable bubble.  Little did I know my bubble was about to be burst in a HUGE way.  D and I were a part of an amazing small group of people at our church.  It was a mixture of couples and singles, and we all got along great.  Every other Friday we would show up with our contribution to either beverages or snacks, and get to hang out with some of the most awesome down-to-earth people we have ever met.  Each month we were there helping each other, and celebrating birth's of babies, anniversary's, birthdays, you name it.  We even had Thanksgiving dinner together.  We were happy, living in our "comfort zones." However, in church our Pastor was talking about GOD using us, how HE doesn't want us to just be comfortable.  I didn't have any idea what that meant for us, but one thing I do know for sure, when you ask, HE will answer.  

This past January a meeting was held at our church concerning the size of our "small group."  The truth was, our group was anything but "small."  However most of us were happy with it that way.  Several people left the group to start a single's group and our "small group" then became a couples group.  Again we were excited, as we loved our group and we were "comfortable."  As the meeting progressed I started hearing a lot about taking us out of our "comfort zones," and I began to ask GOD, "is this what you are wanting of me?"  Within the next week, HE touched both D and my heart and asked us both to "GO BIG."

D and I have been leading our own "small group" for the past 6 months.  Every week I am amazed at how much HE has grown our faith in HIM.  Every week HE has given me the strength I didn't even know I had. There hasn't been a week that HE hasn't asked me to step-out of my "comfort zone" and share my testimony with others.  I know that without my past, I wouldn't be able to minister to the "brokenhearted" people in my life.  

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God." 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

In early May I began to read a book called "Power Thoughts" by Joyce Meyer.  I could really relate to the things she was saying in her book.  GOD knew it was the "right" time, "HIS" time to ask me to go even bigger than just ministering to our "small group."  What started out as an accountability for me on Facebook in writing whatever HE was teaching me that day, and how it pertained to my life, people started responding. Before I knew it people were contacting me, and talking to me about how they never though of things that way, or how they could relate to the struggles I have, or have had.  It became very clear to me, that this was the start of something "BIG."  

I started feeling confident of HIS good works in me, and was praising HIM, "Wow GOD look at through my  "hot mess" how YOU are reaching others."  It wasn't long after that I received probably one of the scariest callings of my life, and that was to start this blog.  I knew I was supposed to, I had received a lot of encouragement to do so, but I was afraid.  Afraid of taking time away from  my family, afraid of what people might think of me, afraid that I might over-share and bore people, or scare people.  Afraid of stepping out of my "comfort zone," and letting HIM use my hurts, and pains for HIS glory.  I was afraid that if people knew the "real" me they wouldn't like me, and well honestly it doesn't sit very well with me when people don't like me.  

I began to pray "Lord if this is what you want me to do, well, I'm not sure I can."  I began to come up with all of the excuses that I could muster, and EVERY time, HE answered in a way that I could NOT argue.  I have learned for the past 43 days that GOD can, will, and does do what HE says HE will do.  HE will give me the strength, EVERY TIME.  I know all I have to do is ask, and it will be given to me.  

On the first day of writing my blog I was so nervous.  I kept thinking, "What on earth am I going to write about, and eh, GOD did  you forget something? I am NOT a writer."  Well, as you can see that although in my own humanness I may not be a writer, but when I am HOLY SPIRIT lead I am a writer.  I am amazed at myself some days that HIS Daily Teachings were written by me.  I can't begin to tell you how many days I have sat at my computer in the early morning hours wondering what HIS Daily Teachings would be for that day.  As soon as my doubt of being able to write would set in, HE would play a song in my head, or an image would flash, or a story would come to mind.  

I know that had I not stepped-out of my "comfort zone" HIS Daily Teachings wouldn't be a reality in my life, and the lives of those that HE is reaching.  I know that GOD doesn't want me to be just "comfortable."  HE wants me to live boldly, with a FAITH that is ON FIRE for HIM.  A faith that is unwavering, and isn't afraid to share the good works that HE is doing in me.  I know that without my past there would be no HIS Daily Teachings. I know that even though GOD didn't deliver me from the abuse that I suffered as a child, HE has used it for HIS glory, by creating in me a courageous heart.  A heart that could only be created when I was willing to step-out of my "comfort zone."

"I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead." Philippians 3:10-11

Today I am thankful for all my past pain and sufferings as they have made me who I am today.  I am thankful that I am able to pick up and carry my cross daily, and do what HE calls me to do.  I am thankful today that HE is using me to reach so many lives with HIS Daily Teachings.

I pray today that you will step-out of your "comfort zone."  That you will "GO BIG" when HE asks that of you.  I pray today for you to allow for HIM to create in you a courageous heart, with unwavering faith.  I pray today that you will receive the power of HIS touch in your life, and that you will let HIM renew and refine your heart, soul, and mind.  I pray today that you allow HIM to begin HIS good works in you!


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