God doesn’t call us to a life of comfort.
As an overweight, gainfully employed, hyper-educated American Christian– that phrase convicts.
Recently, when I spend time in God’s Word, the Holy Spirit has illuminated in me this truth in a brand new way. God doesn’t call us to live a comfortable life. He calls us to a radically life of discomfort.
I tend to read my culture and my experience into the Bible so much… my life is pretty cushy. I tend to think that since I’m typically comfortable in life, the people God lifted up to me as examples must have lived equally comfortable lives, right?
- Jonah’s calling to Ninevah was uncomfortable. (His running from that calling was equally uncomfortable.)
- Jesus used something uncomfortable and terrifying to call Paul into ministry. (When Jesus called Ananias to heal Paul, you can imagine that was equally uncomfortable.)
- Abram was called to leave everything he knew and go to a land to be disclosed later. Hardly comforting.
- When he was 99 years old, God made a covenant with Abram, and sealed the deal with more discomfort, name change, circumcision and parenthood!
- Church history teaches us that only one of Jesus’ disciples died of old age. (John, there’s debate about that) The rest were martyred for their faith.
- Stephen was selected as the first deacon in Acts 6. It sounds like a cool job title, but Acts 6 describes it as a job of waiting on tables. He did such a great job that he was stoned to death in Acts 7.
On and on, the Bible is full of stories of people called to live uncomfortable lives. There are endless examples!
When I hear people talk about what they like or dislike about their church it bothers me to hear so much talk of comfort.
- We want music we are comfortable with.
- We want to be around people like us, people who make us feel comfortable.
- We want the preaching to challenge us, but never to make us uncomfortable.
- We want a church with a great kids ministry so we can feel comfortable about leaving our children there.
- We want comfortable seating.
- We want to serve the church in ways that are convenient and comfortable for us.
When I hear Christians (myself included) talk about the life we want to live, we all desire comfort!
- We want jobs we are comfortable with.
- We never want to be sick, that’d be uncomfortable.
- We want comfortable shoes.
- We want a comfortable bed.
- We want a big, cushy Lazy-e-boy recliner to watch football.
- We want to marry someone who is comfortable to be around, and our friends are comfortable with.
- We want friends we are comfortable with.
- When we think of vacation, we want things to be über comfortable!
As I stare at my Bible this morning and ponder this, I’m left with this question:
What if God is calling me to live a life of radical discomfort?
What if following Jesus makes those around me uncomfortable?
What if the church I’m called to be a part of never feels comfortable?
What if steps of faithfulness lead me to great and greater steps of discomfort?