DSM has been blessed with a wonderful, hard-working, and loyal team. Ceci and I are going to do a staff retreat with them, then she and I will take a much-needed vacation. I have asked some of my close friends and associates - many being regular contributors to the Give Him 15 posts - to fill in during this time. You will recognize most of the names; and I’ve thrown in one or two whom perhaps you haven’t heard from. You’re going to love the insights from all of them - this will be a wonderful smorgasbord! Enjoy!
Comfort Zone - Clay Nash
“Comfort, comfort My people, says your God.” (Isaiah 40:1)
Comfort is a good thing, right? A warm house, a full belly, and a remote within arm’s reach. Life is good. But we can’t stay in our comfort zone forever. Neglect our jobs, our families, our treadmills…and see how long it takes for our comfort zones to become barren wildernesses. So it was that when God gave me this word involving Comfort Zones, I knew He was right. (He’s usually right.)
Here’s how the word started.
The Lord says, I had to take you out of your comfort zone to bring you into My comfort. But, let it be known that My comfort does not comfort in the way your comfort zone does.
Not surprisingly, God’s comfort zone is different than our comfort zone. How is it different?
My comfort conforms you...to My image. The conforming to My image (brought about by My process of comfort), will bring you out of ‘the old,’ in order to take you into ‘the new’ (your inheritance). I am bringing you out of the barren wilderness...but now you must allow My Spirit to remove the wilderness mindset that has become ingrained in you during the recent journey.
So…this is more than “Hey Church, ditch the burgers, grab those weights, and drop a few pounds.” God’s comfort actually conforms us to His Image. Yes, it changes us into His image.
And why does the Lord do that?
He does it to take us out of the barren wilderness and into our inheritance.
But what does God require of us? He says we must allow Holy Spirit to remove our wilderness mindset. He’s referring to how our thinking becomes conditioned in difficult times. We too easily enter a survival mode, trading excellence for expediency. We reason that an inferior relationship is better than no relationship.
This is understandable, but there comes a time when God calls us higher…to receive our inheritance…to prepare us for future challenges.
For the days ahead are days of living sacrifices—yielding, remaining still—upon my altar.
God requires that we yield and remain still upon his altar.
In Genesis, Isaac remained still upon the altar. I’m not sure I could have done that. But Isaac was surrendered to his father Abraham. And for good reason. His father was everything to him, just as our heavenly Father is everything to us. God is leading us into a living sacrifice to equip us for the battles ahead.
Your surrender will cause our oneness to become a bond of love, and you will see the promises you have battled FOR become the promises you will battle FROM. In this new place I have prepared for My body, you will discover the words that set the enemy to flight will be. “It is Finished.”
You see, surrender is more than “Not my will, but Yours be done.” It forms a bond of love, taking us to a place of receiving our inheritance, which is our strength.
What is our inheritance? It is everything we have battled for…in prayer, in faith, in declaration…all we have believed for. It is a calling into being who we have not yet become. God is serious about preparing us for the next assignment.
I Am a consuming fire that must consume all that is not Me. But the days that lie ahead will prove that your surrender to Me is your strength. This surrender, resulting in a newfound strength, will be triggered by your hunger for My presence, a presence that leads you, not only from strength to strength, but from faith to faith and victory to victory.
So, what are some common comfort zones that easily become barren wildernesses?
1. Acceptance By Other People. Nobody likes being rejected. People want to fit in, find their place, to contribute. Trouble starts when we let others define us. We need people who will challenge us, not agree with us. We need people who will look into our lives and tell us the truth…whether we like it or not, especially if we don’t like it. Because only the truth makes us free. And only God can define us.
2. The Traditions Of Men. In Mark 7:13 of the Passion Translation, we read: “Do you really think God will honor your traditions passed down to others, making up rules that nullify God’s Word? And you’re doing many other similar things.” What is God objecting to here? Well, it’s our traditions and rules—those that nullify God’s Word. Which…by my estimation, is a lot of them.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with starting services at the same time or insisting on some semblance of decency for our gatherings. That’s not what this scripture is talking about. This scripture refers to the mayhem that ensues when something doesn’t happen precisely the way we expect it to.
Does God leave the building if we have the preaching first and the music second? Or no preaching at all? Or music that is too loud…or too soft…or too rock…or too “Nearer My God to Thee”?
No, God doesn’t leave the building, but a lot of people do.
God’s presence doesn't come just because we build a church building and strike up the praise band. God’s presence is in. It is in churches, bars, homes, foxholes, factories, and brothels. Holy Spirit responds to hungry hearts…and He finds those everywhere.
3. Getting Identity From Your Gifting. Paul tells us in Acts 17: “It is through [God] that we live and function and have our identity…Our lineage comes from God and Him alone.” Notice that our identity comes through God, not through our ministry. Our ministry must be rooted in our fundamental identity of being a redeemed son or daughter of Almighty God. Our bedrock rests in Him and Him alone!
Pray with me:
Lord, You see the days ahead. We see the four walls we have created, even as we believe for greater things. Take us out of our comfort zones and into a new strength through a living surrender. Prepare us for the coming battles, even as You comfort us in a newly forged bond of love.
Those whom the Son has set free are free indeed. We speak freedom of God’s conforming truth into our bodies, souls and spirits. We release all that was built in ignorance—our traditions, our conformity, our excuses and false notions.
We, the redeemed of God, are changed from glory to glory as we look not to the right or the left, but to the burning love of God, a purifying fire, preparing us to receive our inheritance for victory.
Thank you for joining us, may God’s comfort conform you to His image.
Today’s post was contributed by Clay Nash. You can find out more about Clay here.
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