The Danger Zone

As I was pondering my relationships with friends, family and God... I noticed that the longer I know you the more comfortable I become. In my state of comfort I tend to be lazy, relaxed and unaware of my ill actions if it be not caring how I dress at home or how I consume horrible amounts of carbs because its "comforting". So my excuse for being lazy in friendships, lack of a healthy devotional life,home and food habits can be explained by one word. This can be a dangerous position.

With my old friends I tend to be less caring of making sure they accept me and also less caring in how I treat them. I figure they know me, I know them. So it is what it is. You just learn to deal with peoples actions because you love them.

My devotional life tends be a roller coaster of ups and downs. I am hardly consistent in giving my day to the Lord but very persistent to call on Him when things aren't going my way. It seems to be that my comfort level is at a good medium because I don't need to impress God and I surely don't need to go overboard on how I spend my time with Jesus...because He will understand how busy I am. I begin to make excuses for why I treat my friends, family and relationship with God due to the poor word comfort. I am guilty of being lazy and taking the drama free road. In fact I very much dislike drama all together...its fun to watch but that's about it.

And when I get home from a crazy filled day at work or church all I want to do is relax. And if I can't relax and just veg, my patience goes out the door. I can handle being patient at work but when I come home its the hardest thing to practice. Why? because I can. I'm comfortable enough to be irritated with my parents and know that I won't get a consequence. Many times I don't even realize how I am acting because when I'm in my comfort attitude I just don't care.

McDonald's ice cream cone, chocolate chip cookies ( the best btw) and fries are what I call my comfort food. They satisfy me when its hot, cold, raining, morning, noon and night. I love to delve into the yumminess. The food brings instant happiness and I don't feel bad at all that I consumed over 600 calories because its my comfort food.

Sometimes more often than not we use that word as an excuse a little too much to justify how we treat people, how we eat and how we live. And just because you are comforted by these things doesn't mean that others are. But this is where sacrifice comes into play.

I can think of many examples in my life and in the bible about comfort and sacrifice. These two don't make sense because together they require action. And when I am in my comfort zone the least thing I want to do is be active. Active means movement to possible unknowns. In that I am not always willing.

Just today in my stores children's section we were playing a movie and it was talking about the promise God gave Abraham. God had big plans for Abe and told him that he would be the father of many nations. So after doubt and fear, Abe and Sarah had a son. Down the road when Isaac was just a young man, God required a sacrifice from Abe. So Abe WILLINGLY was going to lay down his only son's life for the Lord. This sounds like a crazy thing but God was seeing how far Abe would go for Him. Maybe even to see how comfortable Abe was with God. You see this man knew that His God promised him many nations but He followed the Lord's direction anyway. God requires sacrifice. Not always in the way we are willing to give and or imagine.
Jesus became our ultimate sacrifice in the most uncomfortable ways. He endured pain that was unthinkable, torment and loneliness for the sake of love.

"From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised." Matthew 16:21

Love made the lack of comfort and the ultimate sacrifice worth it all. And with sacrifice came blessings. Not only did God sacrifice His only son for our sins but gave us His Holy Spirit and an open relationship with Him. Jesus rose from the grave.

Recently I have had a hard time with understanding the line of comfort and sacrifice. How can I give up comfort without knowing that I'll be comforted. Jesus wants to be the ultimate comforter and if we are looking anywhere else to find it, we will be miserable. I don't want to be so comfortable in my tiny world that I can't see and experience the vastness of God. God asked many men to follow Him, He asked them to trust and follow. He asked them to deny all they had and follow after the unknown. He also promised them much. He promised life more abundant, more full and most satisfying.

How many times do we do things for people or God without a prize in mind? How many times are we guilty in our actions and lifestyles by treating the word comfort an excuse?  How often do we choose comfort over sacrifice?

Comfort- a state of physical ease and freedom from pain or constraint.

Sacrifice -an act of giving up something valued for the sake of something else 
regarded as more important or worthy.

I challenge you to be intentional in what you find comfort in and what areas the Lord is asking you to lay down. I encourage you to live every day in the peace that the Lord has amazingly awesome plans that will rock your comfort zone and teach you the meaning of sacrifice. Because of God's sacrifice we get the best comfort of all and that's a relationship with the creator and Savior of the universe. He will never disappoint or fail. For His love is everlasting and He never stops pouring out grace :) 

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