Do you ever feel the call of the Lord stretching you until it feels uncomfortable – pushing you out of your comfort zone? I am experiencing it now and it is probably the first time in my life as a follower of Christ. So why does he do this? Why does he stretch us beyond our comfort and ability? Ultimately, for his glory.
Let’s look at a couple biblical examples of how God stretches those whom he calls his children. Probably the one of the most familiar stories concerns Moses. In Exodus 3:10 we see God say to Moses, “Come, I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.” This call is pretty clear. There is no ambiguity about what Moses is to do. But we see uncertainty set in on the part of Moses. In verse 11 we see, “But Moses said to God, ‘who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?’” In verse 12 God says in response to Moses, “But I will be with you and this shall be the sign for you that I have sent you. When you have brought the people out of Egypt you shall serve God on this mountain.”
Another example of God stretching someone beyond what they believe they can accomplish is Gideon. In Judges 6:14 we read “And the Lord turned to him and said, ‘Go in this might of yours and save Israel from the hand of Midian; do not I send you?’” But just as with Moses, we see Gideon doubting himself. We see in verse 15, “And he said to him, ‘Please, Lord how can I save Israel? Behold, my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.’” God’s response to him follows in verse 16, “And the LORD said to him, ‘but I will be with you and you shall strike the Midianites as one man’.”
We see both responses from these men through the lens of self and not on the strength of the Lord. Moses says “Who am I”, Gideon says “How can I”. And we see the Lord’s response to both of them being “But I will be with you”.
God has given me a passion for missions in the nation of India, and through that has called me to lead Epaphroditus. Although in my situation God has not directly spoken to me, through his spirit he has set me on a course that is out of my normal comfort zone and skill set. Have I doubted and asked “Who am I to do this thing?” YES! Have I asked, “How can I do these things you are calling me to do?” Of course! It is a clear example of not fully relying on God’s strength to do these things. But just as he responded to Gideon and Moses – he responds the same to me (and you!): “But I am with you.
When God pushes us out of our comfort zone he is trying to grow our faith in who he is and that his promises are true. We must have faith and be obedient because he is with us and he has already prepared the way. Keep in mind our ways are not God’s ways. We must step out in faith and we will be amazed!