Comfort or obedience?

Have you ever been pushed out of your “comfort zone” – those times when you’ve had to do something that may be stressful or uneasy? For me, those moments often involve awkward hugs. Personally, I am not a hugger. It’s not that I don’t appreciate a good hug – but those moments when I’m hugging a stranger and it gets awkward really stress me out. Like what do I do with my hands? Do I go under the arms or over? Which direction do I tilt my head? How long should the embrace last before it gets weird?

Maybe it’s not hugs for you, but I would bet you know exactly what is and isn’t inside your comfort zone. As humans, we naturally operate in our comfort zones to avoid stress, pain, and discomfort – which makes total sense!

But have you ever stopped and thought about what happens when we’re pushed out of our comfort zones? There’s a potential for hurt, discomfort, and stress for sure – but there’s also a chance for personal and spiritual growth. Each time we step out of our comfort zones, there’s a moment for our faith to be strengthened.

One of the greatest biblical examples of this is the story of Peter walking on water. Jesus’ disciples are riding in a boat in the middle of a heavy storm when they see Jesus walking on the water toward them. Peter then tells Jesus to ask him to come out on the water…so Jesus tells Peter to come out of the boat.

Put yourself in Peter’s shoes. You’re on a boat and you see Jesus walking on the water toward you. At that moment, you have two options. You can either stay in the boat, or you can take a chance and walk out in the middle of a storm; straight into deep water. The first option is comfortable and safe. The second option will probably bring discomfort and stress – but you will encounter Jesus and become closer to Him. Although we may never encounter this exact decision, we encounter moments in our faith walks where we’re forced to choose between comfort and bold, risky obedience to Jesus.

Bold faith in Jesus always includes willingness to take risks – to take steps of obedience that may lead you out of your comfort zone. Jesus’ command for us to take up our cross daily and follow Him (Luke 9:23) isn’t an easy or comfortable thing. But, even in the discomfort, know that God promises to “love us and show Himself to us.” (John 14:21) Every time we’re obedient to God, He promises to show up and do great things in and through us!

Maybe your next step of faith is to join us at a newhope campus this Sunday as Pastor Benji wraps up our SHOES series. Imagine what God can do through that simple step of obedience – you don’t want to miss it!

Caleb Taylor
Worship Pastor – Garner Campus


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