What does the Bible say about leaving your comfort zone? Here are 4 common ways God will often lead you to get out of your comfort zone.
1. If Your Life Has Been Stuck in One Unwanted Season for a Long Time, This Is Most Likely a Sign God Wants You to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
If God wanted to create a bunch of mindless robots that are simply preprogrammed to do exactly what he wanted, he would have done this. But that is obviously not what God has done. God created us to be partners with him in the decisions we make in life. Yes, God is ultimately in control and reserves the sovereign right to allow or not allow certain things to happen; but much of what happens in our lives is also directly connected to our willingness to follow the Spirit’s leading.
God will often tell you what he wants you to do but then leave the choice to do it up to you. When we choose to not do something that God wants us to do, oftentimes the result is a lack of progression in life. God won’t make you do certain things; but if you refuse to follow where he’s leading, he will let you remain stuck right where you are at.
This principle can be seen in the life of Jonah. When God called Jonah to preach to Nineveh but Jonah refused, God caused him to literally get stuck in life, unable to move forward. God did not cause the fish to swim to Nineveh to then force Jonah to do what he wanted, but God did hold him in the belly of the fist until he repented of his refusal to follow God. In Jonah 2:8-10 (NIV) it states:
Those who cling to worthless idols turn away from God’s love for them. But I, with shouts of grateful praise, will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good. I will say, ‘Salvation comes from the Lord.’ And the Lord commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.”
Likewise, if you are stuck in an unwanted season of life because you are refusing to do something God wants you to do, you will remain stuck until you get out of your comfort zone and obey God’s call on your life.
2. If Your Fear of Taking a Step of Faith Is Causing More Anxiety Than the Worst-Case Scenario Would Cause If You Did Take That Step of Faith, This Is Often a Sign God Does Want You to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
Ironically, when we let our minds think too much about taking a step of faith rather than just taking that step of faith, the fear that can start to build up inside of us can actually then start to surpass the original fears we had. In other words, when you think too much about something you already know you should do, you are just allowing unnecessary anxiety to build up in you. If you know what God is telling you to do, sitting there and thinking about it just causes an unnecessary paralysis by analysis.
So if illogical fears and anxieties are growing inside of you the more you wait to get out of your comfort zone like you sense God calling you to do, the best thing you can do is act when you sense God telling you to act. Thinking too much about the worst-case scenario often creates more fear than the actual worst-case scenario could truly produce if it did happen. Our thoughts often create more issues for us than if we just did what we were thinking about. Even if it goes horribly wrong, it is often not as bad as suffering with endless internal anxiety.
Getting rejected by the woman you like is not as painful as waiting for years to pursue her and then missing your chance, causing years of wondering, “What if?” Never applying to that job because you are too afraid will hurt more than if you went to the interview and totally bombed and got denied. Having that hard conversation with someone won’t be as painful as never saying anything and living in disfunction. As Philippians 4:8-9 explains:
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”
According this passage, we must only dwell on holy thoughts and we must then put into practice the lessons God is teaching us. If we allow ourselves to think about our fears and we never put into practice what God is teaching us, we will regret never getting out of our comfort zones.
3. If You Keep Getting Mad at Yourself for Being So Passive, This Is Often a Sign the Holy Spirit Is Convicting You to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
Perhaps the worst part about being too passive in life is not the fact that you will miss out on so much good that you could have experienced; perhaps the worst part is being confined to the prison of your own mind as you feel the pain of your own passivity.
For example, when it comes to Christian singles who desire to be married one day, I’ve had multiple people write me and say something like, “Well, I did what you said and I went for it. I shared my feelings but it did not go well. But I’m still really glad I tried. I at least now know I did what I could. It felt good to play an active role in my own life rather than being so passive all the time.”
I believe this is one of the lessons we can learn from the story about Jesus and the young rich man. Jesus pinpointed this man’s greatest stronghold in his life – his money. So in Mark 10:21-22 it states:
And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, ‘You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.’ Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.”
In love, Jesus will point out that “one thing” in our lives which we are passively withholding from him. This man was ready to follow Jesus, but Jesus knew there was a fear in him that would prevent his true obedience. For this man it was his possessions. For others it is relationships, safety, or earthly prestige. Whatever it is, Jesus will always point it out in love.
If you turn from Jesus as you passively try to keep what God is telling you to give up, you will walk away disheartened and sorrowful. Imagine what the years after this event looked like for this young rich man? Imagine how he must have felt whenever he thought back to that day when he refused to follow Jesus because he wanted to remain safe in his comfort-zone?
So if you often get upset with yourself for missing opportunities you sensed God was leading you to take, this is often a sign the Lord is telling you it’s time to get out of your comfort zone.
4. If the Risk Is Worth the Possible Reward, This Is Usually a Sign God Is Leading You to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
I don’t believe God will always call us to make the most dangerous decision in life. There are many times where we will want to take a risk but God will tell us not to. God is not against safety and wisdom.
However, God will often present us with risks that are worth it because of what is at stake. You will know God wants you to get out of your comfort zone and into the unknown when the risk is truly worth the reward. As Jesus said in Matthew 10:39 (NLT), “If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it.”
It can be a scary thing to give up your life to follow Jesus. But the risk is certainly worth the reward.