Posts Tagged ‘comfort’

Smíchov, Prague, the Czech Republic. "Pra...

Smíchov, Prague, the Czech Republic. “Praha-Smíchov” train station. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It was 1994 and I was alone on a train going from Zagreb Croatia to Dresden, Germany. The route went through Prague, Czech Republic. The train was late leaving so I could not make my connection in Prague. It was however, night time and no trains were leaving until the next morning. A police officer was telling everyone to leave the station because they locked it up at night. I had a cup of coffee in my hand I had purchased and was allowed along with one other person to stay inside after the doors were locked. I slept with my arm locked to my backpack that night unsure what would happen. Risk and fear were present as I “slept” that night. But I knew God wanted me to make this trip so I trusted Him to come through.

Mathew 14:25-31 tells a story we often hope is in the video library of heaven so we could look at it at our leisure with a coke and popcorn. Sadly, this is as far as most people get with the journey of faith. We hear God speaking to us about something but then we think of how crazy risky it is and then our fear kicks in. We really believe God is talking to us but…

Most of us have a line we will not cross when it comes to doing what God talks about in the Word. Risk and fear are tattooed on our mind and we easily rationalize away the necessity of faith and never get out on the water.

Is there a seep of faith you need to take this week? Is there a relationship you need to mend in which you need to trust God with? Don’t settle for the comfortable journey.

Learning by Doing

Learning by Doing (Photo credit: BrianCSmith)

In 1991 I took several students to Athens, Greece on an 8 week summer mission project to work with refugees from several countries. The main purpose was to help these students learn in real life and from challenging situations, some aspects of what it meant to be a disciple of Jesus. Tight sleeping quarters, strange food (for us), language barriers, major traffic (5 million live in Athens) all contributed to our learning.

We could have done a Bible study on selfishness or how to get along with people who don’t agree with you, while sitting at Starbucks in Denver but that would be an inadequate setting to really learn about these aspects of life. It is doing life together where learning intersects our biases and preferences. It disturbs our comfortable lifestyle when you want Mexican food but there are no restaurants of this nature in sight.

When Jesus called the potential disciples to “come follow me” in Matthew 4:19, his plan was to spend almost 3 years with them in situations that would have caused most of us to change the channel on our TV and continue continue eating our popcorn. But think of what they would learn and how they would be impacted forever. Or consider what Timothy learned from Paul as seen in 2 Timothy 3:10 and 11. This could not have adequately been taught in a sterile environment.

Implications: Messages delivered on Sunday mornings, Bible studies in a living room, teaching done in an auditorium are ok but fail to deliver the necessary visual aid that only happens as we share life together.

How can you begin to learn like this and help others learn by sharing life together?

Kingdom of Comfort

Kingdom of Comfort (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“I didn’t mean it to go this far.” “If I had only known what I know now…” Common and too often statements made by someone who strolls leisurely through life with beautifully disguised traps placed by out enemy that suck us in and destroy our life. They vary, but the intention of the enemy is to disable us from enjoying God and focusing on things that matter most.

There is nothing wrong with being comfortable but when we are following Jesus, he has a way of leading us into conversations or situations that challenge us to take risks that are essential for a life that is directed by God.

Think about  David’s life as king. In 2 Samuel 11 David after sending his men into battle, is perhaps bored and just starts looking for something to do. Having spotted a woman who was stunning he knows his usual nap will be anything but usual. You can read the rest of the periilous story that not only wrecked his life but others as well.

We never know or believe what consequences are put into motion by our focus on living a comfortable lifestyle. Focus is the key word here because when we are committed to doing everything we can to escape any discomfort, we are in danger. David did recover from his sin and God even called him a man after his heart.(Acts 13:22)

Be careful to not make comfort, security, or safety a part of your definition of a meaningful or successful life. These are cleverly disguised traps to keep you and I from what God knows is best for us.