Several months ago just before I hit the publish button on my blog for the first time, I shared this video by Francis Chan about idolizing family by choosing the safety of our comfort zone. It was challenging and convicting and communicated in a loving but direct way all the things I’d felt the Lord stirring in me over the last couple years (you should check it out!).
The truth is, I lived the first few years of my marriage idolizing my new family (even before we had a child) and my own comfort and convenience. Selfishness won out over the sacrifices that are required to truly take up your cross and follow Jesus. Deep down I was afraid of what the cost would be if I truly lived my life surrendered to God. I was afraid He would ask more than I was willing to give.
Day in and day out I chose to do what I wanted to do and what made me feel happy and comfortable over what God called me to. And I wondered at the time why I felt so distant from Him? In the midst of it I was blind to my sin, seeing only what I wanted to see and justifying my actions.
When it came time to do ministry I felt resentment creep up inside, dwelling on all the things on my agenda that I wouldn’t be able to do because we committed to doing evangelism in the park instead. The selfishness in my heart was ugly, but God loved me and continued to pursue me anyway. He used my husbands faithful persistence and example to convict me, and a friend who radiated his joy and peace to place a new desire in my heart for Him.
A dear friend who the Lord has used again and again to call me out of my comfort zone and into His plans for me often says, “Out on the limb is where you find the fruit.” And it has become an anthem I chant to myself when I’m feeling called out of my comfort zone and hesitant to take that next step of faith. Every time I am faithful to respond to the Lords leading, I am blessed. I have two precious babies who bring me SO MUCH joy every day, but I can honestly say that there is no greater joy than to step out in faith and see God move in power! It builds my faith to see Him come through time and time again and leaves me begging him for more!
So why am I sharing all of this? Because what has been bursting inside of me lately is the desire to see all of God’s people living their best possible life for Him, and I have come to believe that your best life is lived outside your comfort zone in full reliance on the Lord. Whether big or small, I challenge you today to take that next step of faith you’ve felt the Lord calling you to. Reach out to that friend you’ve been praying for, invite that colleague over for dinner and show them the love of Christ, get down on your knees and pray for a break through in your own heart; whatever it is I challenge you to do it. And then (this is really important) be bold as you walk out what the Lord has called you to. Not trusting in your own strength (it WILL fail) but trusting in the One who created you, and is the authority over all things. His will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven!
Afterwards, celebrate your bold faithfulness no matter the outcome! Sometimes a step of faith is about willingness in your own heart more than it is about the actual step. You may never know the impact your actions have on someone, but the more you step out the less scary and intimidating it will be to do so the next time!
Are you living your best life? Or are you blissfully blind to how your own sinful nature is keeping you from it (like I was two years ago)? My prayer is that the Lord will move mightily in your heart and obliterate the lies of the enemy that have been keeping you stagnant. God wants to use YOU in mighty ways. He wants to use you NOW not five years from now when your faith is stronger or your kids are older. The fruit is out on the limb, and I can promise you there is nothing sweeter!