The Church in North America is too comfortable. We need to be challenged – challenged to be radical and actually believe the Bible. Specifically, that we can reach our world – even our nation – for Jesus Christ. We need to believe (and so act upon) The Great Commision to “go into all the world and preach the Gospel, making disciples…” We need to invest our lives, time, effort, prayers and finances in reaching the lost.
We need to go from comfortable to challenged. Seriously challenged to leave what we know and to move forward into areas of the faith we have yet to experience – especially evangelizing the lost.
It is easy to just hold on to what we know – safe worship service on Sunday, a paster only a phone call or an e-mail away, good teaching, a Bible study mid-week – a comfortable home, two vehicles, a good job, 2.5 kids, and a medical/retirement plan. It is safe and, in the long run, boring – extremely boring. You were never meant to “live safe”. God created you to live on the radical and the raw edge of life doing something signifigant for Him and His Kingdom.
This involves risk. This means we have to give 110% of ourselves. This means we have to let go of the comfortable and begin to walk by faith believing God because we are living way past our natural abilities and natural resources.
We need to risk what we have – and are comfortable with – and enter the life God is calling us to – a radical life lived on the raw edge. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. God is calling us to invest our time, effort, emotion and finances in the Gospel – reaching out to others – relating, listening, sharing, caring, loving, investing – so that we show them the love of Jesus and actually talk to them about their eternal dstiny.
Our comfortableness leads us to apathy and lethargy. We basically do nothing of any signifigance for the Gospel. Jesus does not receive any return on the investment He has been making in us. This can be dangerous as the Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-29) tells us.
“Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them. To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more. So also, the one with the two talents gained two more. But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. “After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. The man who had received the five talents brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.’ “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ “The man with the two talents also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two talents; see, I have gained two more.’ “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ “Then the man who had received the one talent came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’ “His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest. “‘Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.
Jesus expects a return on His investment in us – He expects disciples to bear fruit. He designed us to live radical lives as believers and followers. He wants us to live on the raw edge of life – away from this “me first” comfort zone we have created around ourselves.
In Heldi Baker’s book: “Expecting Miracles” there was one line right near the actual end of the book that really caught my spiritual and emotional attention. It is short and sweet – to the point. She said: “We … are always at the raw edge of our faith, finances and resources.” (Page 184).
I have planted a number of churches in my many years of ministry – here and overseas. It is always an exciting time because you are moving out of your comfort zone. You are “out there” doing what Jesus told His Church to do – “seek and save the lost”. Things are seldom secure and safe, settled and predictable. Your emotions are stretched to and past their limits. You are on your knees praying for the finances you need to pay the bills and continue to reach out to the lost. You pray harder, believe more, give more, sacrifice personal comfort, open your heart and your home – focusing on others and their eternal destiny. This makes life exciting. You live in the “faith zone” having to believe God for every day things that others in the “comfort zone” can just take for granted.
God never called us to be comfortable and safe. We were not created for comfortableness. God is calling His children to leave the comfort zone and step out to the raw edge of faith. The place where there is always enough and always on time – but you have to have your faith in motion and prayer life in high gear because it is not in the bank and there is no natural way it is ever going to be.
So, I challenge you today – become a radical and start to live on the raw edge of your faith – where you are in over your head and are having to believe God for even the daily needs of your life and ministry to the lost. Walking by faith and reaching the lost is what this army called the Church is all able. You are in the army now!