May 01, 2017

Out of Your Comfort Zone by Sandi Somers

This month’s prompt comes from InScribe member Sheila Webster. “We are all ordained and equipped to do good works…God doesn’t give you all you need before you put your hand to the plough – but supplies you along the way.  The first inkling is the nudge to do something out of your comfort zone.”

Plunging Into Faith

Sheila’s prompt packs a powerful punch. She wrote so much in those few words. As I reflected on the many times God has prompted me and the results, I wondered how could I write this blog.
I felt like Rohadi Nagassar in an earlier IWO blog: “I had to think about this, and then think about it again, then think about it some more.” (Read it here). One day while walking to the nearby coffee shop to work on this blog, God prompted me to take each element in Sheila’s quote and elaborate on it.

“We are all ordained and equipped to do good works…”

What does it mean that God ordains us? To answer that, I often think of God’s explanation to the prophet Jeremiah.  “Before you were born, I set you apart. I appointed you…” (Jeremiah 1: 5).
God created us for a purpose and has special design for us. He chose us for this time in history, this location, this family, and this environment. He gave us our character, personality, and particular talents and abilities.
He created us to continue His story of redemption for the world. As writers, we are His hands and fingers on the keyboard. We are His voice to speak or sing to the needs of the world. We are His feet to go where He calls us.

And God has given us this task (ministry) of reconciling people to him. 2 Corinthians 5:18

God doesn’t give you all you need before you put your hand to the plough.”

Sheila’s metaphor from farming is beautiful. I come from a farming background. On the first day my brothers plow or cultivate a field, all they need to do to produce an abundant crop is to plow. Just so, as we take that first step, plunging into faith, God gives us only we need at that time. And just as God causes a crop grows during the rains and heat of summer, God gradually opens up more and more of His plan.

In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. (Proverbs 3:6)

“The first inkling is the nudge…”

We’ve all experienced twinges to do something: We may say, “I’d like to…” Or a direct word from scripture directs us to take a plunge into faith.
Our response is to listen to God’s deep twinges, in whatever form they take.
Sally Meadows’ advice at Fall Conference 2016 comes to mind: Is God whispering to you, casting you in a new direction? Pray into that vision.

Go…and you will be told what you must do. (Acts 9:6)

“…to do something out of your comfort zone.”

And here’s the crunch.
Just as we might experience a rise of faith when God first prompts, we often come face-to-face with our inadequacy. God’s plan seems sooo big. Or we’re afraid of failure. Or we cover our inadequacy by pushing our way into that venture using our own steam.
Sometimes I feel inadequate to write my monthly IWO blogs.  But if I focus on my inadequacy, I lose sight of God, His presence and power.
Joshua must have felt the same way. However, as he prepared to lead his people into the Promised Land, God said, “As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you.”
But then He calls us to be strong. Three times God told Joshua, “Be strong and courageous.” Three times—to underscore that He would go with Joshua and give him victory. And God did just that. He is the God of the Impossible.

The One who calls you is faithful, and he will do it. (1 Thessalonians 5:24)

Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. (Ephesians 3:20)

Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,” says the LORD Almighty. (Zechariah 4:6)

How is God challenging you to plunge into faith? What is your next step? 


12 comments:

  1. Amazing start as always Sandi! I'm looking forward to what others have to say...

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    1. Thank you, Tracy. This topic has a broad scope for personal reflections. I too am looking forward to what others will write.

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    2. I was so moved yesterday by your words that I had to come back and reread it again... savouring it this time! There is so much to ponder here!

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    3. Thank you Tracy. Sheila's incredible prompt lent itself to a lot of pondering. Glad it was inspiring!

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  2. The Holy Spirit has given us the gift of writing and continually nudges us out of our comfort zone to use it to benefit and bless others (1 Corinthians 12 & 1 Peter 4:10). As you indicated, Sandi, it's an awesome responsibility and we often feel inadequate. However, we can seek God's counsel through prayer and the Scriptures, and we can trust that the Holy Spirit will empower and guide us to use our gift to serve our readers' needs.

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    1. Thank you for such beautiful thoughts, Nina. The Holy Spirit has called us to write and does empower and encourage us.

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  3. "And here's the crunch" - we do so often get in our own way, don't we? Our adequacy lies not in us, but in God, so even if we fail God can redeem our efforts for His glory. That is so amazing!

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    1. Thanks for your thoughts, Marnie. God is more than adequate, and He's teaching me how much I need to rely on Him.

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  4. Lots of visuals here to picture how we should step out in faith. First we plow and then God shows us the rest. First we go, like that verse in Acts you shared, "Go…and you will be told what you must do." My problem is in the first step - once I take that then it's like there's a breakthrough and God does direct. Maybe God wants to grow our faith so He doesn't always show up until we obey and set our plow in the ground. You made me think, Sandi!

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    1. Thanks for your comments, Pam. Yes, God gives us the initial vision and then as we take the first steps of faith, He shows us bit by bit what we are to do.

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  5. This is such a good post. Thanks

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