I’m a planner by nature. I want to know where we’re going, how long it'll take to get there, how long we’ll be there, and if we’re being efficient. Not that I’m not spontaneous, but to me, the plan comes first, then the spontaneity works off of it.
It’s the same in my sermons. I plan every bit of them out, then when I feel really comfortable with the plan, I can finally be okay with spontaneously riffing on the fly. But the plan comes first. I can’t just wing it. My whole life is like that.
So when I read about what God asked Abraham to do in Genesis, I get a bit of anxiety in my stomach. Even the author of Hebrews says it was a massive act of faith.
“By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.” Hebrews 11:8 NIV
Can you imagine? I don't even like going to Costco without a plan. But to just pick up your entire home, family, and livelihood and move away to an unknown location? No way. I can’t handle being that far removed from my comfort zone.
And maybe that’s why I have such a hard time making changes in my life, changes that I know I need. Change means getting uncomfortable. In obeying God, Abraham and Sarah were sacrificing their comfort at the deepest level.
It’s often uncomfortable to trust God and follow His plan because we get comfortable with the wrong things. We get comfortable with our little habits and rituals, the things that get us stuck where we are instead of getting us to where God wants to grow us.
If you commit your health to God, it will probably mean giving up some of your favorite foods. If you commit your finances to God, it will probably mean cutting back on your spending.
It’s uncomfortable to break a habit. It’s uncomfortable to face a fear. It’s uncomfortable to walk away from a toxic relationship. It’s uncomfortable to forgive someone who has hurt you. Just like Abraham and Sarah, it's uncomfortable to go somewhere you’ve never been before, but growth and change always come through doing those uncomfortable things, and that’s good.
But if we don’t make those choices, we will continue to hold on to something that makes us feel comfortable and end up turning our back on God, who is the source of comfort.
2 Corinthians 1:3 says “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort.”(NIV)
I invite you, today, to recognize that God is the God of all comfort. And in those moments when you want to turn back to that old habit, that old way of thinking that pulls you off track, turn to God and say, “God, give me your comfort. I need you now!”