Isn’t it so hard to get out of your comfort zone? But when you’re feeling stuck, maybe that’s the problem. You are staying in one spot and becoming stagnant. Get out of your comfort zone. After all, that’s where the growth happens. And when it gets uncomfortable, you have three ways to get comfortable again.
Where The Growth Happens
“I’d leave hell but I know the names of all the streets” – Unknown
Sometimes we are stuck because there are no opportunities. Most of the time though, we’ve kept ourselves there because we “know the names of all the streets.”
That pile of dishes and laundry that never seems to end can be so overwhelming. Add that into the same old carpool. The same old schedule of all the activities for the kids. And our marriage. It isn’t bad but it’s just not exciting anymore.
It’s just the same old sh-tuff, different day. There has to be more, right?
My sweet sister. We’ve been given a purpose on this Earth. No one can do what God set for us to do during our time here. And I have a feeling, sweet friend, that He has called you to do something. Something that seems scary. Something you’ve been postponing for a while now.
Taking that leap toward your dream. Mixing things up in your marriage to get on a deeper level with your husband. Trying some new sport or hobby with your kids. All of these things can give you the what you are looking for but they also require that you get off your butt and get out of your comfort zone.
James says it best in the ESV, “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” (1:22, emphasis mine)
Whatever it is that God has called you to, do it. Get off your butt and out of your comfort zone!
Be a Doer!
What Happens When You Leave: A Lesson from the Israelites
It is difficult to be a doer. I totally get it, friend!
How many times have you finally stepped out of your comfort zone into obedience and run headfirst into an obstacle?
Every time I bet. And then your next thought is, “I never should have done this. I should have just stayed put.”
Yeah. Me too, sister! And do you remember when the Israelites were slaves in Egypt and God (through Moses) helped them escape?
They get it, too.
After all the plagues and the mass exodus from Egypt, the Pharoah had a panic attack and realized he had released all of his labor. He loaded up chariots and other soldiers and set out to get the Israelites back. (Exodus 14: 5 – 9) Caught between the Egyptian army and the Red Sea, the Israelites yelled at Moses.
12 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 14:12, NIV)
This, my friend, is exactly what I was talking about in the beginning. We get so used to the rut we’re in, we allow it to keep us where we are. Or even worse, once we step out and meet hardship, we run right back! That is why it’s called a comfort zone.
At some point when you leave your comfort zone, you will face hardship. Plan on it. But God loves us too much to allow us to become stagnant.At some point when you leave your comfort zone, you will face hardship. Plan on it. But God loves us too much to allow us to become stagnant.Click To Tweet
What to Do Instead of Grumbling
Moses responds to them from his own experience. After all, he was stuck himself. When God asked him to speak to Pharoah and advocate for the Israelites to leave Egypt, he had excuses (Exodus 3: 11, 13; 4:1, 10).
He even asked God to send someone else! (4:13)
Only ten chapters later though, Moses is in a better place when he responds to the Israelites grumbling.
13 Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. 14 The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”
They had already seen how the Lord fought for them. What other explanation would there be for the frogs and locusts and sores? How soon could they forget?
But the grumbling doesn’t stop there.
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How to Handle Conflict in Your Obedience
God saves them from the Egyptians by parting the Red Sea.
Sister! They actually walked across the Red Sea with the ocean longing to push in on them (just the ocean being the ocean, you know) and they still continue to grumble at the next sign of trouble.
“What shall we drink?” (Exodus 15:24)
The Lord brings them to an oasis with twelve springs of water. (v. 15:27)
“If only we had died by the Lord’s hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death.” (v. 16:3)
He “rains down bread from heaven” (v. 16:4) and quail came and covered the camp (v. 16:13).
We are talking post-Red Sea miracle, my friend! They saw mighty things at the hand of God – with their own eyes.
And still, they were grumbling.
Oh, and there was a pillar of fire that was lighting their way by night. The very presence of God! Um, hello. At what point were they going to realize that God actually intended to get them to that land flowing with milk and honey? They were so miserable that they said Moses should have left them to serve the Egyptians.
Isn’t that crazy!
Did they forget how awful they were being treated?
But don’t we have a tendency to do the same thing?
Just like the Israelites, we go through a fear cycle that goes a little something like this:
We’re miserable where we are (maybe even feeling stuck and afraid to move forward).
We finally get the courage to break out of our comfort zone (whether it’s internal or external motivators).
We feel exhilarated.
The “shiny” wears off and we are now facing new difficulties in a new place.
We wish we never left the comfort of our old place or we head right back because it’s easier and “we know all the names of the streets.”
Why do we fear leaving?
How do we get the courage to step out in obedience?
What struggles lie ahead? But sister, here’s a question for you: What triumphs lie ahead?
Don’t focus so much on the past (or even on a future you don’t know) because you are comfortable where you are. The Israelites knew they were headed to Canaan (the land flowing with milk and honey). God told Moses long before the first plague ever swept Egypt. They even knew of the triumph to come and still, they grumbled and longed to go back.
Recognize Your Victories in Christ
When I was 19 years old, I was in a toxic relationship. I didn’t recognize it then. I had no friends to point out how bad it was for me because I was far away from home. At some point, I knew it wasn’t right. I knew I needed to get out. Do you know the thought actually crossed my mind that I couldn’t leave because “no one will ever love me again”?
That poor girl. Nineteen-year-old me just didn’t have a clue. I wasn’t a believer then so I didn’t have the truth and faithfulness of the love of God to jolt me out of my craziness. I didn’t even use logic. After all, I was 19 and ( just given the typical life expectancy and how many people live in the world) it didn’t even make sense that I would go the rest of my life without anyone ever loving me again.
Oh, whoa is me.
I chuckle a little at the thought but my heart also breaks for her. She had no clue that the only One who mattered was the One who gave his life for her because He loved her. That sweet girl.
What happens when you finally get the courage to step out into that calling? Start a new business? Take that photography class? Share that blog post? Go on that mission trip?
Truthfully, you are going to meet some conflict and distraction. After all, when you venture outside of your comfort zone in obedience to God, the enemy is going to try to stop you.when you venture outside of your comfort zone in obedience to God, the enemy is going to try to stop you.Click To Tweet
While your first step in obedience only takes a moment of courage, your journey requires many steps. And each step requires a moment of courage.
But He is that pillar of fire before us – lighting every step of the way!
What is the thing you are struggling with? What is keeping you captive? For the Israelites, it was the Egyptians. For me, it was fear of not being loved.
When I said ‘Yes’ to Jesus, I accepted that He died on the cross for me. Because I am loved!
When I said ‘Yes’ to Jesus, He told me that I would not see “those Egyptians” again.
But I still struggle with it.
Like the Israelites in the desert, I continue to look at the difficulties that lie ahead of me and forget the victories that have already been won!
When the Israelites were grumbling in the desert, they had already been freed from captivity and then witnessed God vanquish their enemies! Why on earth were they sweating a few morsels of food and turning that into a whoa-is-me moment where they actually wished to be back in captivity.
I just can’t even deal with that. I look at that and think, “Y’all need to get your crap together. Have you forgotten?”
And then I get a tap on the shoulder and an “Ahem” from the Holy Spirit.
Um, remember that dear 19-year-old?
Yeah. What about her? (pause for effect) Oh. <insert facepalm>
We do the exact same thing, sister!
Things are tough now. I get it. You finally ventured outside of your comfort zone and now, well, it’s getting a little uncomfortable. But I have some encouragement for you.
3 Ways to Get Comfortable Outside of Your Comfort Zone:
1. Remember – and celebrate – the victories you have already won by the power and grace of God!
2. Remember why you stepped out of your comfort zone, to begin with. Even when God demands it, the requirements will be demanding. Only you know what God has called you to.
3. Remember your “great and awesome God” and the promises He has already made.
Now, get off your butt. And get out of your comfort zone.
The land of milk and honey awaits!