Have you ever been pushed out of your comfort zone? What did you do about it? I can relate to being pushed to do something I wasn’t prepared for, but certainly not on the level that Joseph and Mary were dealing with.
In Matthew 2 we find the story of the Magi seeking the baby after the star appeared. When King Herod learned of their search for the baby who was to be the King of the Jews, he felt threatened. Now King Herod was a ruthless man and found this baby to be a threat to his kingdom. So he issued a decree that all boy babies under the age of two (determined by the time the Magi saw the star) be killed.
Herod told the Magi to let him know when they found the baby so he could come and worship him. But they were warned in a dream not to return to Herod and they went home by another route.
It has puzzled me as I’ve come to understand the Bible more, why the magi are included in the nativity scenes that we decorate with during the Christmas season. The baby was not visited by them when he is in the manger. The time the star appeared was 2 years prior to the magi actually finding him. They went into the house to worship him and present gifts, not into a barn or at the manger.
We see by Herod’s cruelty that he certainly had no plan of going to worship Jesus. He only wanted to eliminate the threat to his crown. He had no way of knowing that Jesus wasn’t after his crown. The crown Jesus would claim was one of much larger power than the one Herod wore.
Politics can be so deceiving. Because we believe what rulers and politicians tell us, we may put faith in them. But, they’re going to tell us what they know we want to hear. It was true in Herod’s time and it’s still true today. We have to be aware where we’re putting our faith.
When we receive Christ as our Savior, we are overjoyed. But that won’t get us the redemption until we come into his presence and bow down to him and worship. And when we think of the offerings God requires, that’s our first fruits. What is your best gift to him? One of the magi brought gold which represented royalty, frankincense was used to worship God, myrrh used as an oil to anoint one and in preparation for burial. Fitting gifts for the Son of God.
But what can you bring to offer him? Your best gift is to use the gifts you’ve been given to help grow the kingdom. That is likely going to take you out of your comfort zone. God sent messages to Joseph to help keep his family safe, but it took him out of his country, away from his people. God’s plan isn’t always in line with our plan. He sees the whole picture and knows what is best. Joseph trusted in the leading of the angels and dreams that God sent. It took him out of his comfort zone, but he trusted in the leading of the Holy Spirit.
Stretch your boundaries
God wants to help you see things differently. To see the world through his eyes. To see his perspective. If you are living outside of your comfort zone, God may be leading you to a new purpose.
Experience His protection
God directs Joseph to Egypt, then Nazareth, to protect his family. God may be doing the same with you. His way is always best, but it may not be the easiest. Sometimes he may need to take you to a place or job that is foreign to you. Your own personal Egypt.
Learn to depend on God
Joseph knew when when it was time to leave because God told him. The plan wasn’t to stay in Egypt, but to wait for further instructions. Far from home, totally dependent on God, you can focus on God’s voice. It’s the same for you being out of your comfort zone. You get the chance to trust God.
- Until you are fully dependent of God…
- Knowing the fullness of your life will be impossible
- Have you been pushed out of your comfort zone?
- God is giving you a chance to learn to depend on Him
- To learn to hear His voice…and then decide what you’ll do with it
Times out of our comfort zones give us the opportunity to hear God’s voice more clearly…experience His presence more powerfully than ever.
- We will all be called out of our comfort zone
- But when we are…we have the chance to:
- Expand our boundaries
- See through God’s eyes
- Experience God’s protection
- To depend on Him
Time outside of our comfort zone give God the opportunity to shape our character…to make us what He created us to be.
New Year’s resolution:
Allow God to make us what He wants us to be.
Much of my life, I was unwilling to completely give control of my life to God. But when I felt completely out of my comfort zone, knowing that I couldn’t do what He was asking me to do on my own, I realized it was time to lean on Him completely. He hasn’t let me down yet and I know He never will!
Thank you, Lord, for taking me from a place of feeling totally unprepared for what lie ahead to feeling that whatever I need, you will provide it. You have brought people into my life that have helped me gain the skills and confidence I need. You are a most gracious god! In Jesus’ name, Amen