Accountability, Anxiety, God, Motivation

Comfort Zones

A friend once told me how another person we knew had the chance to elevate in her company.  This person rejected the opportunity because she wanted to keep her housing subsidy.  It perplexed us because this was a chance to elevate and make more money.  My friend concluded that this person was too comfortable where she was.  Comfort and comfort zones are two different things and I believe God is not fond of the latter.

Moses said to the Lord, “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.” The Lord said to him, “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.” But Moses said, “Pardon your servant, Lord. Please send someone else.” Then the Lord’s anger burned against Moses and he said, “What about your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know he can speak well. He is already on his way to meet you, and he will be glad to see you. (Exodus 4:10-14 NIV)

Have you ever feared success or trying something new?  Have you ever made excuses, like Moses, about why you felt you couldn’t do something?  Do you feel like your life is at a stand still but feel unmotivated to take the next step?  Are you comfortable with things just the way they are?  Do you hate change?  Are you like some Christians who just go to church, sit in the pew and then go back home only to repeat this every Sunday?  No action outside the pews, no reaching out to others, no pursuing God deeper and no higher expectations, and is this just fine with you?  Moses was leading the Israelites out of years and years of bondage and along the way there were challenges that caused them to fear and consider their comfort zone.

When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, “If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.” (Exodus 13:17 NIV) 

They said to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians’? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!”  (Exodus 14:11-12 NIV)

My recent family trip was supposed to include all of my family and friends, not just my immediate family.  However, a lot of family and friends backed out for various reasons:  graduations, no money, other events occurring at the same time, etc.  I was disappointed that none of my friends and immediate family was attending the trip.  I always take vacations with my immediate family and friends. I always feel safe traveling with them.  I always know what to expect.  Not this time.  I was flying and attending the trip with my other family who I don’t often see.  I went back and forth with reasons why I shouldn’t go. I was in my comfort zone!  Flying with my immediate family doesn’t ensure my safety.  God does.  I didn’t know what to expect but God did.  Going on this trip allowed me to bond with my other family members and I enjoyed myself.  It also motivates me to travel more with other loved ones, friends and even alone.

Stepping out of your comfort zone means you are stepping out on your faith.  Stepping out of your comfort zone means you trust God all the way and with the outcome.  Stepping out of your comfort zone means you are leaving your fears behind.  Stepping out of your comfort zone means you can allow yourself to spiritually grow.  Had I stayed in my comfort zone, I would continue to make excuses and let fear hinder me from taking the next step in my life.  I would never embrace my fear of speaking in front of others and read my poetry aloud.  I would have never made it to that interview and got my job.  I would never get back out there and started dating.  My future husband is not going to magically appear on my couch.  I would never want to try anything new (I have got to try zip lining one day)!

Dear Daddy,

You are the God of all comfort but I know You don’t want me to settle for less than what You have purposed for me.  You are the perfecter and the finisher of our faith.  I thank You for seeing the bigger picture concerning all of Your creation.  Write Your vision upon my heart and help me to see what You see.  Help me to step out of my comfort zone and live the life You have purposed me to live.  Help me get rid of the fears, excuses and doubts; and help me to take the next step I need to take to walk according to Your will and live a fulfilled life.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to check your faith and your trust in God.  Ask Him to reveal to you what your comfort zones are and to give you His grace and strength to come out believing that His word cannot return to Him void.  Come out of your comfort zones and check your fears at the door for He did not give you a spirit of fear, but that of power, love and a sound mind!

Are you currently stuck in or have you recently moved out of your comfort zone? Share your story with us in the comment section.

Read a related EmpowerMoment: It’s Time To Move!

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Ms. Tannika Moore loves the Lord and loves to write!  Besides writing poetry or editing written work for family and friends, she currently works for NEIU Educational Talent Search program.  She help assists Chicago public high school students with their reading, writing, etc. as well as helps them consider and prepare for college.  She, like many of her students, is the first of her family to graduate from college.  She earned a Bachelor’s of Arts in English-Professional & Technical Writing.  God, the Creator and Great Father has also created her to be a Compassion Person and Encourager and so she loves to encourage people according to God’s Word and help them to see, think and become better thru her support, actions and writing.  Her favorite scripture comes from Philippians 1:6, For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you shall perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. 

Goals & Dreams, God's Love, Inspirational, Motivation, Self-Esteem

An Unlikely Candidate

Recently a friend asked me to do something and she told me that God told her to use me. If she were standing in front of me, surely she would have been given the side eye, neckroll, folded arms, lip smack with a loud foot stomp. I tried to laugh it off because I knew that surely God wasn’t using me to do anything. Either she was wrong or God surely hadn’t been paying attention. I think I have been to church two times this year (more if you count my attendance via streamingfaith.com) and I know that my sporadic opening and closing of the Bible couldn’t count for true study of the Word. I do the occasional fast and have talked “about Him” a lot but I only talk “to Him” on occasion. While I yearn for a closer relationship with God our current casual encounters would not make me the likely candidate…or so I thought.

In the midst of belittling myself and coming up with all of the excuses of why He couldn’t have picked this mediocre Christian, the spirit reminded me:  God often uses UNLIKELY people to carry out His will and draw them closer to Him!

Joshua 2:1 reveals “Then Joshua son of Nun secretly sent two spies from Shittim. “Go, look over the land,” he said, “especially Jericho.” So they went and entered the house of a prostitute named Rahab and stayed there. Of all of the people that God could have chosen to use as a vessel for this huge undertaking, God chose a WHORE. Imagine that! I am sure there were other people in Jericho who would have allowed the men to secretly lodge with them as they planned to overtake the city; but, God chose Rahab and in return for her cooperation and faith her and her family’s lives were spared in the destruction of the city.

Saul of Tarsus hated Christians. Acts 8:3 “Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off both men and women and put them in prison.” As a matter of fact, he hated Christians so much that he learned about their Christian friends in Damascus by somehow getting the letters they were writing to them in prison. Being the over zealous persecutor that he was, Saul journeyed to Damascus to round up more Christians for prison; however on this trip God had a different purpose. Acts 9 reveals Saul’s total transformation. Jesus met Saul on his journey and confronted him directly “Saul, Saul why do you prosecute me?” After meeting Jesus on his journey, Saul began to sing a different tune. The Lord blinded him and sent him into the city leaving instructions with Ananias. Responding to Ananias’ doubts of Saul’s transformation, God spoke to him in Acts 9:15 “But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel.” Saul later changed his name to Paul and went from Christian persecutor to Christian missionary.  Paul went on to write 13 books of the New Testament (Romans, I and II Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, I and II Thessalonians, I and II Timothy, Titus and Philemon) I am sure that Paul, when reflecting on his life, found it remarkable that God would choose him with his shady past to now spread the gospel and save souls.

There are many “unlikely” candidate stories in the Bible; but as I reflected on these two I realized that this task could be my opportunity to do God’s will and in the process become more than just an associate with Him. It had less to do with the task and more about developing our own personal relationship. It would require that I study the word, pray, manage my time and have the ability to relay the knowledge He gives me to others. For many this is an easy task; however, my haphazard approach to my spiritual life would have to be restructured. To do this task we would have to spend time together. My task was to write you an EmpowerMoment.

Although I was initially discouraged, I thought about my life and my accomplishments. I have always been the “unlikely candidate.” A mother with mental illness, brothers incarcerated and on drugs, welfare recipient the list can go on but through it all God sustained me while chaos went on all around me. According to the worlds statistics I should have been a teenage mom or at least a high school dropout but God’s plan for my life was different. I was the “unlikely candidate” that graduated from high school, college, got a Masters degree in Civil Engineering, ran a multi-million dollar organization, got a great job (QUIT!) and am now co-CEO of a company. My “unlikely candidate” testimony probably makes me one of the BEST candidates. Who am I to doubt God?

Throughout our lives God often taps us on the shoulder for “special” assignments; but we allow our personal insecurities to hinder us from carrying out His will. “Lord why me?” is the question we often ask. The larger question you should ask is  “Lord why not me?” God is our biggest cheerleader; He wouldn’t give us an assignment without the ability to complete it.  Romans 8:30 proclaims “And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.”  You may be on the flip side of this message. Maybe God has sent an “unlikely candidate” to you with a message but you didn’t receive it because she was dressed like Rahab or their Christian resume wasn’t strong enough. Whatever side of the table you are sitting on know that God picks and chooses His own instruments. Don’t allow your personal insecurities or doubts about the messenger cause you to miss out on what God has preordained for YOU.

 Dear Daddy,

 Help me to recognize the divine assignments You have given me in my life. Cast out any spirits of confusion or doubt that would make me believe that I am not equipped to carry out Your will. Encourage my soul and give me a spirit of discernment so that I can recognize the messages that You have for me even when they don’t come in the package I’m expecting. Lord continue to increase my faith and order my steps according to Your word. Allow me to draw closer to You and use me as a vessel to bless others. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Today EMPOWER yourself by making a conscious decision to do something that God has been tapping you on the shoulder to do. Whether it’s to speak to someone you haven’t spoke to in years or to take your life in a totally different direction, JUST DO IT! He’s ready, He’s waiting on YOU!

Ms. Chancee` Lundy lives in Atlanta, GA and is an entrepreneur as she is  the co-owner of Nspiregreen, LLC, an environmental consulting firm. She is also a dedicated daughter, sister,  friend and community servant. She has used her gift of public speaking to lead workshops across the globe speaking to crowds as large as 10,000 people. Her guiding scriptures this week are Philipians 4:11-13 “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”