If we’re going to go somewhere with God, sometimes we need to let go of where we’ve been. ~Beth Moore
There is a land that is all too familiar. It is a place that is neither fun nor daring, but it is a safe place. It is a familiar place. In this land, you always know what will take place. There are not too many unexpected turns or twists. This is a comfortable place: our favorite chair, our usual meals, our daily rituals. We have grown accustomed to this land. It neither calls us to move forward nor step out into the unknown. In many ways, this land has grown on us with its familiar surroundings. This is the land of Comfort.
Travel with me to her neighbor, Fear. We don’t recognize her right away. She’s sneaky, this neighbor. In her land we remain. We do the expected and walk in ways not to offend. We dare not make any sudden moves. We understand that people have come to have expectations of us, so we mustn’t cause the waters to ripple and otherwise risk their disapproval. But the problem with these sibling neighbors are that the Lord never intended for you, for us, to camp here quite so long. Oh, but it’s safe we think. But is it?
I am comfortable, because deep down I am afraid. Welcome, comfort and fear. Being comfortable has a way of causing us to stay in one place and become complacent. We have heard the Lord at different points in our life call us to step out of the boat; “but Lord, that water looks cold.” And before we know it, we’ve traveled to the neighborhood of fear. “I would, Lord, but what if I fail?”
I am going to admit something to you about my land of fear. The Lord told me it was way past time to talk to my kids (especially my 11 year old) about the basics of where we came from and sex. I’m not going to lie. I started in the place of comfort (maybe this will all just go away) and drove right on over to the place of straight-up fear.
No longer was this just something I knew I needed to do, but this thing had taken root in me and actually held me in bondage. I grew up learning everything about this subject the wrong way and from the wrong people. I was terrified I was going to say it wrong; or worse, what if the words didn’t come out right? I didn’t want to confuse my children even more. I camped in the land of fear for far too long. I was blessed to share this with my mommy group one night, and was given a great resource to use (God’s Design for Sex by Stan and Brenna Jones). And after giving this stronghold up to the Lord, I did it! I cannot tell you how good it felt to move out of these neighborhoods and into what the Lord had asked of me! And we are not done, but now that I’ve stepped out I know I can do it!
What about you? Is there something the Lord is calling you to do, whether big or small and somehow the enemy has you convinced that comfort and fear will always be your place of residence? This was a small example of me moving out of those neighborhoods. I also have felt the Lord stirring some things up in me that will require much preparation and sacrifice. I know there are areas where I need to sharpen the gifts that He has given me and I will need to take some practical steps to get there. It will not be comfortable and fear has already been knocking on my door, but I refuse to let her stop me!
I love the story of Moses. If there is someone whom I feel I can most definitely relate to, it’s my man Moses. In Exodus 3, God calls out to Moses from a burning bush. This is where He calls Moses to deliver the Israelites from slavery under Pharaoh’s evil hand. In verse 10 He says, “Now I am sending you.” And here’s what Moses says (verse 11): “But who am I to appear before Pharaoh? … How can you expect me to lead the Israelites out of Egypt?” In verse 12 God told him, “I will be with you”. Throughout the chapter, Moses protests. Then in Exodus 4:1 Moses protests again. “Look, they won’t believe me! They won’t do what I tell them.” (Looks like someone is driving around the land of fear).
Exodus 4:10: But Moses pleaded with the Lord (I’ve done this), “Oh Lord, I’m just not a good speaker: I never have been, and I’m not now, even after You have spoken to me. I’m clumsy with words.” I love the Lord’s response in verse 11: “Who makes mouths?” the Lord asks Him. “Who makes people so they can speak or not speak, hear or not hear, see or not see? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go and do as I have told you, I will help you speak well, and I will tell you what to say.” In verse 13, Moses pleads again with the Lord and straight up asks Him to just send someone else!
It says this in the Matthew Henry Commentary: “Moses still continues reluctant in the service for which God had intended for him; now we can no longer impute it to his humility and modesty, but we must admit that there was too much of cowardice (fear), slothfulness (comfortable), and unbelief in it.” As most of us know, God did use Moses in a great and mighty way. He used him to deliver the people and did many miracles through him.
My personal story is this: I feel at some point the Lord wants me to speak more and share my story. A lot of people know me as an extrovert, so they might think that this would be very easy for me. I will tell you right now, I turn into mush at the thought of speaking. Mush. Jello. Yep. And then in the area of writing–I know He wants to use me in this area, but here’s a little confession: I failed tying class. I was too busy writing notes to my friends. I never followed through and even as I type this, I am slower than molasses and have to look at my keyboard. (The Lord sure has a sense of humor, doesn’t He?!)
What is the Lord is asking you to do? Does he want you to drive as fast as you can out of those ‘comfortable’ neighborhoods? Is He calling you to do it in spite of the land of fear that you seem to drive through all the time? The one thing I know of the Lord is that where He has appointed, He has anointed! Beth Moore has this to say on this subject: “We’re going to have to press through our land of fear to get to the land of promise. If we think that we can’t do it because we’re scared of it, that’s probably why it is exactly it! Go do it scared. There’s no way to get experience other than to just do it.”
She goes on to say that every time she would go up to speak that her knees would knock for the first 15 minuets. She said to herself, “I’m just going to have to let ‘em knock!” We need to humble ourselves & admit we are scared, but if this is what the Lord has put on our heart, then we just need to do it!
Lord, You know our hearts. You know the areas where we have become comfortable. You know the areas where fear still has a hold on us. Would You help us to confess those areas to You? Today I ask that those dreams that are placed deep inside our hearts would no longer be buried by comfort and fear. We give these dreams up to You and ask that You would show us what steps we need to take. Lord, that our lives would bring You glory. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Isaiah 41:10 (NIV)
So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.