Comfort Zone

Letting Go of Your Comfort Zone 

Have you ever sensed God leading you to do something completely out of your comfort zone?

I have.  More times than I can count!  And I’d like to say with each new assignment, my initial fear reaction has lessened but that’s not always the case.

Years ago, I was asked to teach, and subsequently coordinate, biblically themed retreats for women. I felt so unqualified for the task.

I’m a person that prefers being in the background; I’m a listener and helper.

For years, I’d quietly studied the word of God and even taught small bible study classes. I had even co-lead a few ministry teams before.  So I tried to convince myself I could do this.

But this was different.  This felt huge and not in keeping with my overall personality. Coordinating the retreat wasn’t the problem; speaking was the problem.  It terrified me!

For one thing, I would be teaching and ministering to some women who were ordained ministers and friends!  I was not an ordained minister. I wondered if they’d even receive me.  And what about my friends, would they even hear me?

What if I miss God and He doesn’t show up?

What if I say the wrong thing?

What if I’m not supposed to do this yet?

What if (insert any other irrational thought)?

For God has not given us a spirit of fear,
but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV)

In reality, my ability, or lack thereof, had nothing to with the assignment.  It was more about my availability and my willingness to trust God.

It was also about learning how to get comfortable being uncomfortable.  Once I moved past the fear and welcomed this new assignment, unbelievable adversity followed.  During this season, my life was stretched in ways I never could’ve fathomed.

But as I continued to do my part, prepare and show up, God was faithful.  As usual, He did more than I could have asked or imagined. (Ephesians 3:20)

Even with a solid faith, there are times when the “what if’s” attempt to drown out what I know to be true.

  • I know all things are possible with God. (Luke 1:37)
  • I know God will not put more on me than I can bear. (I Corinthians 10:13)
  • I know the Lord is the strength of my life and I do not need to be afraid. (Psalm 27:1)
  • I know all things will work together for my good. (Romans 8:28)
  • I know weapons will be formed against me but they will not prosper. (Isaiah 54:17)

Knowing these truths helps me to silence the voice of fear and move forward in faith.

You can no more show me your works apart from your faith
than I can show you my faith apart from my works.
Faith and works, works and faith, fit together hand in glove.
James 2:18 (Message Bible)

My faith must be active; it must include works. (James 2:18)

I must press through any doubts and fears and take a step of faith — the next best corresponding action. When I do that faithfully, doors of opportunity open and my world expands. 

There is no growth when we get stuck in fear.  May our faith be bigger than our fear!

Faith. Hope. Thrive.

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2 Comments

  1. Fear can be so crippling. Fear of the unknown, fear of uncertainty, fear of failure. Many say the opposite of fear is faith. However, there have been times when my faith has been in tact but I still felt fearful. Have you experienced this before? Do you think faith removes fear?
    Thank you for your great post.

    1. C. James,

      Great questions! Yes, I have experienced my faith being intact but briefly having moments of fear. When this happens, I typically think of certain scriptures or experiences from my past to remind myself that everything will work itself out.

      I think some fears are going to pop-up no matter how much faith you have. So, no I do not think faith abolishes fear or the feeling of fear permanently. When fear appears, I must decide it will not paralyze me. I also think certain fears are helpful; for instance, fears dealing with awe or reverence.

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