Thursday, April 19, 2012

Stepping Out of My Comfort Zone

A comfort zone.


A situation or position in which a person feels secure, comfortable, or in control.

A few weeks ago the Lord walked with me as He called me out of my very small comfort zone.  Ok, so it wouldn't have really taken much for me to get out of my comfort zone, but I suppose God felt the need to give me a bit extra push this time.  I spoke at church for the first time. Now, I teach a Sunday School class each week, I have no problem speaking to the congregation on Sunday mornings to give various announcements, and I've even spoken to a room full of strangers at a Ladies Day event.  But giving the Word for the first time at my home church as the main speaker, preacher, was stepping WAY outside of my comfort zone. 

When the Lord called me into the ministry, we had to have several long talks... over a longish span of time.  I think I probably knew how Moses felt when God called him to lead the children of Israel.

Poor Moses was a shepard, trying to mind his own business.  I imagine he was like a lot of the rest of us, trying to keep a low profile, not make any rash decisions, merely live life under the "radar".  But something caught his attention... that burning bush.  When the Lord saw that Moses did not turn away, but stopped to see this bush, the Lord then called out to him.
And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I. - Exodus 3:4
 Every time I read that verse it gives me chills.  The Lord was just waiting for Moses.  Much like when He waits for us to stop and notice Him.

Back to Moses though.  The Lord begins to tell Moses about how He does hear the cries of the children of Israel held in bondage by Pharaoh.  The next thing Moses knows, God is telling him that He is sending him to Pharaoh to get the children of Israel.  I'm guessing up until this point Moses was pretty caught up in the glory of God, feeling pretty good about being in the presence of the Lord... and then he probably had one of those "HOLD IT!" moments.  Moses probably thought, "You want me to do what?"  He answers the Lord in a more humble tone...
And Moses said unto God, Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt? Exodus 3:11
But the Lord reassured Moses, reminding him that He would  be with him.  Cautiously, Moses began collecting details.  If he was going to do this, Moses wanted to make sure he got it right! Can't say I blame Moses for that at all.  And the Lord answered his questions, in the most simple manner. 

Next, in chapter 4, Moses began sharing his fears.  Isn't it comforting to know we can share our fears with the Lord?  We can open our hearts up to the Lord, and he still loves us.  With those fears out in the open, the Lord began to show Moses how to handle them.

Then, one of my favorite parts because I can so relate, Moses tried to point out his flaws and reasons why he wasn't the right person for this job. 
And Moses said unto the LORD, O my LORD, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.- Exodus 4:10
I know when the Lord was calling me into the ministry, I reminded him of all kinds of reasons why He couldn't possibly really want me to be a minster.  Ok, so no one has ever accused me of being slow to speech, (Having an abundance of words is not something I lack),  but with the gift of gab comes the terrible taste of foot-in-mouth if one is not careful.  I suddenly felt a huge weight of responsibility for my actions and my words.  I also began pointing out the obvious facts for the Lord, you know, since He would need reminding, such as:  "Lord, I am a woman".  Or "I don't know all there is to know about the Bible.  If someone asks me a question, I won't be able to answer it, Lord. I'll look like an idiot!"

But in the next verse God reminds Moses that He is aware of all these things because He was the one who made us just the way we are.  And again, the Lord reassured Moses that He would be his mouth, and teach him what to say.

Next, Moses did something I'm sure many of us have felt like doing after God has asked us to do something we didn't want to do.  Moses asked the Lord to please send someone else.  But in the end, Moses did obey. 

I believe I am guilty of all the things listed above Moses went through.  Now, don't get me wrong, I've always wanted to be a worker for the Lord for as long as I can remember.  But this wasn't anything close to what I had planned.  I remember as a teenager, we would have guess speakers who were missionaries come speak at school or church.  Their stories were amazing, but I did not want to be apart of anything like that!  Missions?  I wanted nothing to do with it because I feared if I opened that door, the Lord would send me far, far away!  It was my own private little battle with the Lord.  When I would pray, I refused to even go there in my prayers.  I just didn't even want to take a chance that the Lord might want to call me into the mission field.  Sounds silly now, but I was young.  Fast forward several years, and I now have a very deep passion and love for the mission field.  I have not even been on a mission trip yet, but if that is something the Lord wants me to do, I am willing and excited to go. 

The Lord will prepare our hearts in His time for His will and His calling.  Just like He helped me to step out of my comfort zone that one simple Wednesday evening in March to share His Word.  Do I know where the Lord is leading me exactly in this ministry?  No.  But something I've learned over the past few years is that the Lord only gives me the information I need at the time I need it.  Will I pastor, travel from church to church evangelizing, minister in shelters for abused women, teach teenage mothers how to care for their children, or perhaps organize mission trips to orphanages in third world countries?  I don't know the answer yet, but I have peace in knowing that as I walk with the Lord, He will be with me.  Just as He reassured Moses.  And that is enough for me today.  The Lord is growing me to prepare me.  I am thankful that when He brings me out of my comfort zone, I know He is right beside me.

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