A dare to leave your comfort zone

In Your Beautiful Purpose, Susie Larson writes:

“If we live in the comfort zone and make accommodations for self-preservation, that zone begins to shrink. Even what we know begins to diminish” (126).

A couple years ago, as I battled intense panic attacks, most of the world was outside my comfort zone.

  • Driving a car was out of the question.
  • Shopping prompted feelings of derealization.
  • Going to church produced anxiety and claustrophobia.
  • Sitting in a restaurant with my husband made me uneasy.
  • Venturing anywhere completely new stirred even greater panic.

I really just wanted to stay at home.

At home, I was safe. I could distract myself with kids and responsibilities, or I could escape everything with a nap or a book.

But as I sought help for the anxiety surrounding my yet-to-be-diagnosed adrenal fatigue, I learned about the dangers of living within my comfort zone. It would only make things worse. My world would grow smaller, and I would grow increasingly fearful. Just as Susie Larson says, when we “make accommodations for self-preservation, that zone begins to shrink. Even what we know begins to diminish” (126).

So I reluctantly forced myself to keep going out, to push past the discomfort and face all that was unsettling. By God’s grace I didn’t go crazy, I avoided developing more phobias, and I grew from the lessons and interactions God had for me “out there.”

This concept applies in so many areas of our lives, but most importantly, on a spiritual level:

“Consider carefully what you hear,” Jesus continued. “With the measure you use, it will be measured to you — and even more. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.” (Mark 4:24-25)

We are made for growth, for transformation, and for others. If we make life about us and about our comforts, we will tragically miss our whole purpose for living on the earth today. (Larson 127)

Jesus said:

You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.

You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.

In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:13-16)

Have you become unsalty? Are you living for comfort rather than God’s passions?

There is a world out there in need of salt and light.

We tend to hide ourselves away from it or else blend into it.

But, we’re called to leave those comfort zones and be salty and luminous again.

Is God calling you to do something today?

Speak up?

Share your testimony?

Push past panic?

Make a commitment?

Make a confession?

Go where He’s leading you?

There is a lot of disturbing stuff going on in our broken world. And as Kay Warren says in Dangerous Surrender, “If we’re not disturbed by the world in which we live, we will be consumed with the trivial, the insignificant, and the temporary. We will spend our days pursuing all the wrong goals, living by the wrong measurement of success, evaluating our legacy by the wrong standard” (21).

If you’re reading this, I’m guessing you’ve been “disturbed” on some level.

But don’t just shake your head.

Take that step out of your comfort zone.

Do the next thing God is calling you to do.

Maybe it’s:

  • memorizing Scripture with your kids.
  • standing up for the abused and persecuted.
  • becoming a prayer warrior.

You probably already know what it is. If not, ask God; He knows.

I was challenged to pray this prayer this week. Will you dare to pray it too?

I want every minute of my life to count for You. Awaken me with fresh passion, fiery faith, and a renewed resolve to follow hard after You… May Your power be evident in and all around me. May Your love flow freely through me. Keep me from evil and from harm, and help me to live a life full of faith, rich in holiness. Increase my capacity to live and walk by the Spirit. Awaken Your passions within me that I might be quick to obey You. My life is in Your hands. I trust You and will follow You, Lord. Change the world through me. Amen. (Your Beautiful Purpose 133)

**How is God stretching you today?


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