…From the Comfort Zone to the Victory Zone
I felt like I was going to collapse. Every muscle, every bone, every part of my body was either numb or screaming out in anguish. I don’t want to do this anymore, I thought. I just want it to stop! But it didn’t stop. In fact, it got even worse as I rounded the next corner. But I kept on running. That’s right—I was bringing all this anguish upon myself. And I did it on a regular basis. In fact, I still do to this day. Running has to be one of the most uncomfortable things that I do; yet, for some reason, I’m one of those crazy people that keeps on doing it over and over again. Why? Because running comes with great rewards.
My race in junior high and high school was the 400-meter dash. Now, I wasn’t amazing at it, by any means, but I wasn’t terrible either. It was definitely my strong point in track. Yet, that race was probably the most uncomfortable race for me to run. It’s too short to be called long distance, but too long to be called a sprint. Somehow, you just had to find that right pace in-between a jog and a sprint and maintain that all around the track. It was grueling, at times. But, while I sometimes dreaded having to run that race, I never once regretted it at the end of the day. I didn’t always win. I didn’t always even place. But there were some times when I did win first place for that race, and oh, how rewarding those times were! There was no feeling quite like it! But in order to get the victory, I had to get uncomfortable.
That is what Moses and Aaron had to do as well. God gave them specific orders to go before Pharaoh and tell him to let the people of Israel go. We already know that this made Moses very uncomfortable, for he pleaded with God to let someone else go in his place. Can you imagine what would have happened had Moses refused to go to Pharaoh? Perhaps God would have chosen someone else and we’d be reading the story about some other random person leading the Israelites out of Egypt. Thankfully, God sent Aaron alongside Moses, and together, they left their comfort zones with the purpose of delivering the nation of Israel from the hands of Egypt. Before Moses and Aaron had their victories, they had to step way out of their comfort zones and do what God called them to do.
Pastor Lonnie Parton from Victory Fellowship Church has been quoted as saying that God often calls His children to do something that is either difficult or impossible. He was calling Moses and Aaron to do a very difficult thing. In fact, it was probably an impossible thing in their eyes. Who, us? Deliver a whole nation from the oppression of Egypt? You’ve got to be kidding, God! But they obeyed, and because of their obedience, victory was within their grasp.
Why does God call His children to do difficult and impossible things? I believe that it is because doing such things requires us to get out of our comfort zones for God. Let me tell you right now: Your greatest potential for victory exists outside the boundaries of your comfort zone. What has God called you to do lately that has been uncomfortable for you? Have you done it? Or have you remained in the comfort zone and let time pass on by? I’m preaching to myself just the same—I don’t like being uncomfortable. But I have found that amazing things happen when I choose to step out and obey God, regardless of what could happen.
Obedience is the key to victory, and obedience to God often requires leaving our comfort zones behind. 1 Samuel 15:22b says, “Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams.” Obedience is better than sacrifice because obedience is not normal! Let me explain. Sacrifice, in ancient Israel, was an unchanging, ongoing routine. It was complicated, but it was normal and comfortable. On the other hand, obedience to God’s direct Word required (and still requires) faith.
Luke 18:8 says, “When the son of man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?” All I am saying is this: Don’t be satisfied with the ways you routinely serve God. While those routines are likely good things, I believe they are only a fraction of what God desires for you to experience.
When was the last time you got out of your comfort zone for Jesus? Now is a good time to step out and ask Him what ways He wants to stretch you. As He shows you what to do, obey His word in faith. God can’t be trapped inside a box, so why should His people be? Get out of your box for Jesus! Run your race, no matter how uncomfortable it may be. Even if you fall, you will not fail. In fact, you’ll be rewarded just for trying! Your victory awaits you at the finish line!