Monday, June 6, 2011

Outside My Comfort Zone

Welcome! If you are participating in the What Happens When Women Say Yes to God online Bible study, we are on chapter 1, “A Soul That Longs for More.” I love the subtitle, “Whatever God says do, do it!”

Have you ever felt God prompting you to do something that never occurred to you before? Has God laid something on your heart and you thought…what?

What did you think when God told Lysa TerKeurst to give her Bible away to a stranger? I’ll be honest, one of my first thoughts was “I don’t want to give my Bible away. I hope God doesn’t tell me to do that.” And then I started to wonder…could I do it if He did tell me to?

God knows what each of us can do, even when we don’t know ourselves. He knows where our comfort zone is, and where and when we’re ready to step outside of it. This is where He leads us to do something we normally would not do, something we think we can’t do, or something we might never think of on our own.

For each of us, He will lead us in ways He knows we are ready for. I think it’s safe to say that we might not agree with Him! But He knows us better than we know ourselves. If He says we’re ready, then we must be ready.

I remember the first time I felt God tell me to pray for someone I did not feel like praying for at the moment. As we argued, harsh words were spoken and feelings of hopelessness had been expressed. I was angry and frustrated, and I was not in the mood to pray! Praying for someone I was upset with did not come naturally for me. But God’s direction at that moment was clear and urgent. I was to pray for this person, so I did. Over time, praying for someone who had hurt or angered me became more natural, something I didn’t have to force myself to do.

Think about it—as we grow in Him and learn to trust Him, what seemed outside our comfort zone yesterday is not as hard today. What scared us then, doesn’t scare us now. What we were sure we could not do, we are now accomplishing.

As the boundaries of our comfort zone expand, God continues to move us outside of them…moving us to where He wants us to be. We squirm, we question, we feel uncomfortable, but not for long. When we get comfortable, He stretches us again, knowing the change and growth in us He wants to see.

So, for Lysa TerKeurst, God led her to give away the Bible she loved. Someone else might be led to pray in a way that does not come easy for her. One woman might feel God leading her to join a Bible study, something she has never done before. And for another woman (me) God might lay on her heart to lead an online Bible study—something she never pictured herself doing. But something she finds she can do, and is excited to do, as long as she keeps her focus on Him.

What did you think of chapter 1? Is there a particular section that spoke to you? Something you underlined or highlighted because you don’t want to forget?

On page 14 Lysa TerKeurst shares a prayer. For more reading on that, I’m including a link to a blog she posted on April 14, 2011. Lysa TerKeurst – My Jesus in 5 days

Please share your thoughts by posting a comment.

God Bless,
Laura

2 comments:

  1. I feel like I was really able to connect with the author in this chapter. She paints a picture of her life for her readers on page 13. As I was reading that paragraph, I thought...that is me completely. I am completely behind on my to-do list and it keeps growing, my patience is wearing thin this summer already with my kids bickering at each other, and I feel like the family bus and I am getting the kids to summer camps, baseball, dance, while eating dinner on the run. Like she says, I need to pray to Him and say "Yes, Lord I want Your patience to invade my desire to fly off the handle. Yes, Lord. I want Your perspective to keep my emotions in check." This really made me think about how when I talk to God...I can ask Him for guidance to the everyday life circumstances that I experience. Sometimes, I feel I what I need is very minor and God has bigger prayers to answer for others. But, what I need to remember is that He has enough love to guide us all.
    I have been able to hear God talking to me in the last seven months more than ever. After my mom passed away suddenly in November, God has given me direction on several occasions. Like Lysa described as she was washing dishes she just felt in her heart she needed to look down and found that sharp knife pointed up, I have heard God through my heart about a few things these last few months. The first week after my mom's passing I really felt as if He was walking beside me. I heard Him tell me what we should do for her songs, flowers, pictures, etc. The death of my mom was a complete shock and one I have completely struggled with, but God knew I wanted everything beautiful to celebrate her life at the memorial. He gave me the strength to put it all together that week and hold strong for the family. He has given me strength to explain this situation to my young children, and He has given me the strength to guide my family as my mom would. My sister is expecting in a few months and I hear God tell me through my heart how to show my mom is still there with my sister and new baby. I found a baby blanket that my mom started in the house. My sister was there with me but did not see it. I heard God tell me at that very moment to take it and finish it (which I don't know how to knit :)) and give it to my sister. I am having someone teach me today. I cannot wait to give that precious part of my mom to my sister and the baby.
    I was touched by how Lysa gave her Bible to that man on the plane. That was a very unselfish and giving gesture and such a good example how God works in us. I love her thought about how she hopes years from now, someone pulls it out of their bag on the plane and gives it to her. That would be amazing!
    I also love the prayer that Lysa says every morning before she wakes up. I am going to write it on an index card and lay it by my bed until I get it memorized.
    Can't wait for Chapter 2!

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  2. This reminded me of my first trip to Honduras. I dreaded the night that my name would be chosen to serve in the evangelism group. I literally had a panic attack. My new husband was there with me calming me down. I knew theoretically that God would give me the words to say, but I still didn't want to do it. My friends prayed with and for me that night . I woke up the next morning and felt His presence. I even could understand people's stores in Spanish! It's amazing what can happen when you say Yes!

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Thank you for sharing your thoughts!