Fearlessly Leaving Your Comfort Zone

by Michael A. Asher


When’s the last time you left your comfort zone? A comfort zone can be defined as a spiritual or psychological state in which a person feels safe or at ease because he or she is not experiencing stress or being tested by circumstances. Inside this comfort zone, people don’t typically engage in new experiences or take on new challenges. They mostly lean toward participation in activities that are familiar, allowing them to feel “in control” of their environment. The state of being found in one’s comfort zone can be so welcoming and inviting that we often fear venturing out into areas of life that carry more potential risk.


Throughout the Bible we read stories where God inspired various people to follow him and act on their faith by stepping out of their respective comfort zones. A classic story of this kind involves Abraham who was to become a “father of many nations.”


“The Lord had said to Abram, ‘Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you” (Genesis 12:1-3, NIV).


To fully understand the magnitude of what God was asking Abram (Abraham) to do, one must realize in that part of the world during that period in history, extended families stayed together for strength and wealth. Tribes and clans lived out their days working and residing together as many cities or villages were simply a few interconnected families who remained together. It was a matter of survival in a harsh world.


Asking Abraham to leave his family was no small matter. God wanted to accomplish many spiritual and practical things through Abraham’s life that could not be accomplished while he was inside his comfort zone. The life lessons God needed to fortify Abraham with would not resonate the way he wanted them to if Abraham was in his original surroundings. God had some big plans for Abraham, but he needed to discover if his servant was faithful to create space enough to accomplish the purpose God had designed for his life.


Faith Over Fear

Just imagine how different the Bible would have been if Abraham, the one God selected to be the father of his chosen people, had refused to follow his Lord and stayed in his comfort zone. What if Moses had remained in his comfort zone when God asked him to return to Egypt to deliver the Israelites from Pharaoh and lead them to Mount Sinai; or if David had allowed his fear to prevent him from facing the giant Goliath before becoming king; or Job turned against God during the trials he was put through? What if Peter had remained in the security of the boat instead of trusting Jesus to come to him and walk on the water; or the apostle Paul had remained in the familiar world of the law as a Pharisee rather than completely stepping out of his comfort zone to follow Christ and become the greatest apostle of all?


“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7, NLT)


Don’t let your FEAR prevent you from fulfilling the purpose God has designed for you. God’s plans for you are not limited to simply attending a church, tithing your money, and being a good Christian. God has plans for you in all areas of your life. When the Holy Spirit is nudging you out of your comfort zone, it is for a specific reason. God has something he wants to accomplish in and through you. The current comfort zone you are in cannot hold the amazing blessings he has in store for you.


The Lord Jesus has tasked all of us with a great commission:

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:18-20, NIV)


Rather than being filled with regret by not acting on what you know the Lord is prompting you to do in service of him, picture in your mind the spectacular moment when one day you stand before the Savior to joyfully hear him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant!” because you answered his call to action. You took a risk and followed God’s leading in your life.


Boldly Stepping Out

Most people are creatures of habit and most have a comfort zone they prefer not to get out of. Our comfort zone can be a real hindrance to becoming a true disciple of Jesus; to truly following and obeying him. To be a genuine disciple, one must pursue boldness in his faith by partnering with the Holy Spirit in daily spiritual growth. Jesus clearly instructed us to take up our cross daily and follow him.


“If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it” (Matthew 10:39, NLT).


If you want to join Jesus in the work he is doing, you will need to leave your comfort zone. The lost in this world cannot hear the good news of the gospel if you only remain in conversation with those who are already saved. If you are not willing to leave your comfort zone and follow Jesus to the places where he would have you represent him, then you will miss the opportunity to join God in his work and see the Lord do great things by showing who he is through your faith. Consider this: You can overcome your fears because the Savior overcame the world!


So, what is hindering you from joining God in his work and seeing him for who he really is? Is it fear of witnessing or an unwillingness to try new things; could it be a lack of faith or a stubborn refusal to adjust your will to his? Do you silence the whispering of the Holy Spirit to remain in your comfort zone? Unless you are willing to step out of your spiritual “boat,” you will miss what the Lord wants to do through you. You will not grow in your personal relationship with your Lord. More importantly, you may not fulfill the purpose the Creator has chosen specifically for you to accomplish.


It is one thing to read about Jesus in your Bible. It is entirely another thing to personally experience Jesus in real ways in your life and in the lives of others around you. This is the abundant life Jesus desires for you. And, as you choose to boldly step out of your comfort zone, remember that you do not do so alone. The Lord promises to be right there with you. If you believe the Word of God to be absolute truth, trust that where you are being led is exactly where God needs you to be. Live by faith; not sight.


“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1, KJV).


Michael A. Asher is a financial controller who has nourished a lifelong love of the Bible by sharing God’s Word through creative writing.

Leave a Reply