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Comfort Zone Confines

The Spirit told Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it.” Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. “Do you understand what you are reading?” Philip asked. “How can I,” he said, “unless someone explains it to me?” So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.—Acts 8:29-31

Have you ever felt spontaneously called to escape the confines of your comfort zone and engage another for the sake of the Kingdom? How did it feel? Did you ever “just go with it” and follow the Spirit’s lead, as Philip did? Sometimes yes; sometimes no? True confession: these God-calling moments often intimidate me, sneaking up and catching me unprepared and flat-footed. And to be completely honest, my sin nature would rather bask privately in the acceptance of God than to risk publicly my own rejection for His name. Yet Biblical faith does not stop at believing God’s promises; it heeds God’s call and obeys His commands. Real faith acts. As Jesus said to His disciples, “Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.”1 Faith leads to obedience, and blessing follows doing.

Then how do we turn from our natural inclinations of reluctance and doubt and set a new paradigm of “Yes, Lord”? Or better yet, how might our feeling of Kingdom obligation mature into our desire for Kingdom opportunity? A few things come to mind. Know your identity, and thrive in the freedom of God’s love: “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!”2 Recognize you’ve been divinely gifted to serve: “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.”3 Remember people are asking, seeking and knocking4 to know the life-giving gospel we carry inside—“How can I [understand] unless someone explains it to me?”5 And I think above all is this: “in humility value others above yourselves,”6 as did Jesus, who “humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!”7 For when we live and serve in true humility, rejection from others loses its power over us. We are free to love and to serve them in “the obedience that comes from faith.”8 And who knows, maybe we too will be invited to come up and sit with them for a while. Wouldn’t that be great?

Father, You have shown me Your love through countless people and in innumerable ways. Grace and strengthen me, that my faith also would overflow abundantly in joyful obedience to You. In Christ I pray. Amen.

1 John 13:17
2 1 John 3:1
3 1 Peter 4:10
4 Matthew 7:7
5 Acts 8:31
6 Philippians 2:3
7 Philippians 2:8
8 Romans 1:5

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