“Teacher, can people really walk on water?” That was what one of my students asked this week as we explored the story of Jesus walking on water and then calling Peter to do the same thing. I paused and thought about how to respond and eventually I told her that I haven’t seen anybody physically walk on water, other than when the lakes are frozen over here in Minnesota, but I said lots of people are called to step out in faith and do something bigger than ourselves. She politely let me move on to talk about other points in the lesson, but our conversation continued to play in my head throughout the day.
I thought about how Jesus called Peter to step outside his comfort zone that day in order to follow him. It is interesting when we talk about being “called” most people only think of it in terms of being a pastor or missionary, but the truth is God is calling each one of us. He might be calling you to step out and be a chef, a mom, an entrepreneur, a care giver, a teacher, a designer, a leader, etc. In the Bible we see lots of people called to do great things. Abraham was called to be a father. Noah was called to be a boat builder. Joseph was called to be an administrator. Deborah was called to be a judge. Esther was called to be a queen. Ruth was called to be a friend. Peter was called to be a fisher of men. No matter the calling though there is a common theme…they had to be willing to step out of their comfort zone and step into Christ’s zone.
Is God asking you to do something that seems uncomfortable or impossible? How do you escape your comfort zone?
- Follow Your Heart: Jim Rohn, an entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker once said that our choices in life can either be motivated by inspiration or desperation. Inspired choices are driven by faith and feel exciting, energizing and expansive. Whereas choices that are made from desperation are driven by fear and feel overwhelming, heavy and forced. When I am in an uncomfortable crossroads in my life, I take a moment to think about if I could wave a magic wand and make all the anxiety and fear go away, if I choose to step out of my comfort zone would this be something that I would be excited and happy to be able to do? And if the answer is yes, then I let me faith guide me instead of my fear. Realize fear is not unavoidable, but as my pastor said this week “to be fearful is always optional”. We do not have to let fear drive our choices because we have been given a spirit of power, love and self-control (2 Timothy 1:7, ESV).
- Let Go of Right or Wrong: Many times we stay in our comfort zone because we are paralyzed by the thought of making a wrong choice, but realize not making a choice is still making a choice. What if I told you though that there is no right or wrong decision? Realize every choice we make helps us discover more about what we want or what we don’t want, so either way we continue to grow into the person God wants us to be. Max Du Pree once said, “we cannot become who we are meant to be, by remaining who we are.” When we can look at choices as opportunities to explore, to learn and to become who we are meant to be it lessens the pressure and allows us the freedom to be guided by inspiration.
- Focus on the Why: When Peter stepped out of the boat he had no idea how he was going to walk on water, but he knew why he wanted to walk on water because he wanted to follow Jesus. I would love to tell you that when you step out of your comfort zone for God, he will give you a detailed plan of how to carry it out, but what I have experienced in my life is that God wants us to just focus on the bigger picture and leave the details to Him. Each time we take a step forward while keeping our eyes on why we are taking this risk we will continue to walk on water, it’s only when we start to panic or get distracted about the details that we start to feel overwhelmed and begin to sink. My business coach continually reminds me that “where the desire is present, the way to fulfill it also is present.” God will make a path from your comfort zone to the place of magic He is calling you to but it requires walking by faith, not by sight.
- Give up to Get: Are you willing to give up something you have or want in order to get something you want even more? This is the whole principle behind the Law of Sacrifice. To step into your calling, God may be asking you to give up the comforts of home or the comforts of a steady income or the comforts of familiarity, but when you do He is ready and willing to give you more than you could have ever imagined. Peter had to be willing to give up the feeling of safety in a boat and his friends in order to experience the miracle of walking on water. Are you ready to release something in order to receive God’s abundant blessings?
I get that uncertainty is scary, but as Vince Lombardi once said “we just have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.” In life because God wants us to step out of the maze of mediocrity and live for something bigger than ourselves. Today I encourage you to choose your calling over your comfort and declare that “I want to be uncomfortable for God!”
Discuss with Dawn: I would love to hear how God is calling you to step out of your comfort zone.