The comfort zone could be described as a beautiful place where you find comfort and familiarity. Unfortunately, you can never grow in such an a place. It would be stagnation and decay. God does not and will not manifest in such a place in your life. Abram is a good illustration of how God moving somebody out and away from the place of comfort. He had to get him out of his comfort zone at his father’s home (Terah in Ur) and his people to an unknown destination for the promise upon his life to work (Exodus 12). Already, Abram was old and had nothing under his name.
In 2 Kings 7:3-9, we read from the Holy Bible about the 4 lepers who talked amongst themselves whether to leave the city gates, after the declaration by Elisha on the famine upon Israel or stay and die. Worse still, the city was under siege from Assyrians. The lepers were segregated from the rest of the community, hence their location at the city gates away from the normal healthy people. In line with getting out of their comfort zone, they realized they had to take action or die. At least they knew they were unclean and untouchable, hence could prevail the hard times at hand. From their action to leave the city gates and head towards the Syrian camp, we learn that:
- Courage : We need courage to get out of our comfort zones. The lepers had to be bold in getting away from the gates to the Syrian camp where sure death from the sword or arrows awaited them In Joshua 1:9, God commanded Joshua to be strong and courageous for the herculean tasks ahead, not for the faint hearted.
- Fear not : Fear may times cause us to remain stagnant at our place of comfort. We would rather stay where we are certain of outcomes rather than where we have no control of the outcomes. 2 Tim 1:7 mentions that were are God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power, love and sound mind. We need to not fear of what will become but trust God.
- Reasoning together: Rather that act selfishly , the lepers consulted amongst themselves and found it a good reason to get away from the gate. They had better leave and maybe if their lives were spared, they would live. Reasoning together is a a virtue God insists on, where matters can be discussed and informed judgments made (Isaiah 1:18)
- Unity: Unity is a strength especially when taking a collective action. The lepers worked together in unison to a common purpose. To get out of your comfort zone, you need to work with those who agree with you for the good. In Psalms 133:1 it is pointed out that it is pleasant for people of God to live in unity.
- Risk taking: Life is about taking risks. Staying at the place of comfort means not risking and thus never growing and achieving your potential. The lepers risked their lives, and yo got to risk all you have got to achieve a higher purpose
- Faith: certainly, it was a step of faith for the lepers.Getting out of our comfort zones means taking bold of faith. Abram took a step of faith, in following God’s command without doubting and questioning. Hebrews 11:6 point out that without faith, it is impossible to please God. Your step of faith may cause God to change your life and that of your destiny, as it was for the lepers, whom God used to end the siege, getting the Syrian flee in fright.
- Weakness: we all have weaknesses and flows in our character, personality and by nature. However, focusing on on weaknesses and not strengths will cause us to live a life of excuses, within our comfort zones. The lepers could have stayed back at the gate, awaiting to die as outcasts. Focus on your strengths and not weaknesses to get out of your comfort zone to achieve milestones in life.
How can you get out of your comfort zone victoriously?
- Change your mindset: In Proverbs 23, it is clearly stated that as a man thinks so he is. Thinking lowly and negatively of oneself will get you stuck on track, never to be able to venture more beyond your knowledge and abilities.
- Face your fears: the issues we postphone to confront and fears that drive us limit our breakthroughs. Fear is a weapon Satan uses to intimidate and deny us our victory. We end up living in a cocoon of false comfort, in denial of what is really our por
- Just do it! Get your act together, stop procrastinating and postponing. Act on it.
- Always know God is with you. Hebrews 13:5 mentions that God will never leave nor forsake you. Stop limiting his reach and impact in your life and destiny.
- Failure is only a lesson learnt. Be willing to fail. Pick yourself up again and keep on relentlessly. The worst thing in life rather than failure is never trying. Proverbs 17: 18
- Keep yourself motivated and cheerful. People are attracted to other cheerful and motivated people as this gives hope to face life’s unending challenges. As a person, you need to keep yourself motivated. The heart’s condition influences our actions as said in Proverbs 17:22: A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. No one will motivate you but yourself so that you run and complete your race. It always starts with the heart, because from it comes all issues of life (Proverbs 4:23)
- Let go things of the past and take steps forward. We dwell on the past so much and do not engulf the hope, refreshing experience of a new beginning at a new location. In Isaiah 43:18 God commands that we need to forget the former things, and dwell not in the past but focus and embrace the future as it unravels. Sin, un-forgiveness and bitterness of past experiences make us miss our blessing, hiding in our comfort zone.
- God is alpha and omega. He is the beginning and the end. He who began a good work in us will bring it to completion (Philipians 1:6)
- God has a good plan for you: sometimes things may seem not to work out, but that does not mean God has forsaken you. Jeremiah 29:11 states that God has good plans for us all, to bring our lives to an expected end.
- Align yourself with the word of God. The illustrations in the bible from Mary, Abram and Jesus, Naomi and Moses are proof of how God influences lives of simple people who have to get out of their way (comfort zones) that their destinies and generations in their lineage can be changed fore the better.The word of God is life, and believing in the word and practicing it would surely give you life victory.
Sermon adapted from preaching by Pastor Martin Kimani, Royal Family Celebration Centre on 11.02.2018