“A comfort zone is the area where we feel satisfied and complacent, strong and confident, secure and cozy, saved and contented.”
To be completely honest… as much as I challenge people to go beyond their comfort zone, I’d be lying to say I don’t have to challenge myself daily. I love my comfort zones. I feel like my life is a constant whirlwind, and my comfort zones offer a sense of peace at the end of the day. Comfort zones are safe, warm, familiar, and inviting. But, in the end, NOTHING grows there! Growth happens beyond the walls of the comfort zone.
I believe many of us are familiar with this passage of Scripture:
Matthew 14:23-33 (ESV)
"And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but the boat by this time was a long way from the land, beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them. And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.”
And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
In this passage, we not only see the power of Christ, but we also see the power of walking out in faith beyond the norms of our comfort zones. Now…In Peter’s defense, he was being challenged to do something unthinkable - literally walk on water. However, Peter’s response to Jesus was just as much spiritual as it was physical. Notice this line - “And Peter answered him, 'Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.' He said, 'Come.'” Only with the assurance of Christ’s command would Peter move, and with obedience Peter took his first step outside of the boat. Peter stepped out of the boat with bold faith, believing that Jesus was who He said He was and that Jesus would not fail him.
As Christ-followers, we are not called to dwell within our comfort zones. We are called to the unknown, way beyond the walls of our comfort zones. We are called to walk through the storms and on the waters of life in faith, trusting God in all aspects of life. In Matthew 14:23-33 and throughout Scripture, we are able to see how God challenges individuals within difficult, unthinkable situations in order to stretch their faith. God challenges us the same way.
Stepping outside of our comfort zones forces us to let go of ourselves and cling onto God. Stepping outside of our comfort zones allows God to take the reigns and lead our lives.
In Relation to Worship
Prone to just go through the motions - this is the danger of worshipping within our comfort zones. When we go through the motions, the object of our worship can change instantly, without us even realizing it. In fact…We can begin to worship our comfort over God.
The heart of worship is truly found outside of our comfort zones. Once outside the walls, we are able to clearly see the false beauty and limited boundaries that our comfort zones offer.
How to do I get out? Once you’re in the realm of comfort…It’s not so easy to get out. It takes prayer and obedience.
PRAYER – Prayer is a form of worship. Prayer is direct communication with God. Prayer is mentioned over 250 times throughout Scripture. The power of prayer cannot be stressed enough. God longs for a relationship with the ones He created, and prayer is one way to build that relationship.
OBEDIENCE – Obedience is another a form of worship. As I’ve mentioned previously, God does not call us to dwell within our comfort zones; he calls us out of our comfort zones. Obedience is required when God calls us to go deeper and further than we ever dared to go before.
“If we’re growing, we’re always going to be out of our comfort zone.”
John C. Maxwell
Personally, I want to be so on fire for God that I push myself to go beyond my comfort zones. I want this to be your desire as well. Life begins at the end of our comfort zones. And guess what, God is already there at the edge, ready to guide us through the beyond; all we need is faith. Just as Peter had faith in Jesus, we need to trust Jesus with every inch of our beings. So…I want to challenge you to allow Jesus to take you deeper. It might hurt, and you might need to walk away from things in your life. But in the end, you will never experience genuine freedom until you venture into the unknown where God is calling you. Pray boldly and walk out in faith and obedience.
Thanks for reading!
Additional Scripture to look at: Joshua 1:9, 2 Timothy 1:7, Hebrews 11:11, Malachi 3:10, Luke 9:23, Romans 1:18-23
Recommended Track of the Week:
 King, Mark L. "Commitment: Comfort Zone (Luke 9:23)." Preaching.com. N.p., 01 July 1995. Web. 17 Jan. 2016.