Friday, October 14, 2011

Burning Bones

My life is lived on Easy Street and yet, there was a time I ignored God's call to me because I wasn't comfortable with what I felt He wanted me to do. Even now, I feel overwhelmed and under qualified, and wish I could crawl under a rock and whistle a ditty to tune out God calling to me. If I were to do that (and I'm speaking from personal experience here, unfortunately), I'd be thoroughly miserable.

But if I say, “I will not remember Him or speak anymore in His name,” then in my heart it becomes like a burning fire shut up in my bones; and I am weary of holding it in, and I cannot endure it. ~Jeremiah 20:9

The task God called Jeremiah to do was not an easy one. It completely changed his life and made him 'stick out' from the general population—something that makes so many of us cringe. Not only that, but the job God called him to do put his life in danger and caused him great physical pain. Is it any wonder that Jeremiah says he would walk away if he could?

How many times have we thought about walking away? How many times have we tried to walk away, even though our lives are lived on Easy Street? Was it a happy time full of peace and contentment? Not even close! It was miserable.

That's what Jeremiah is talking about. When God calls us to a task, He puts a fire within us, one that will burn us if we try to keep it within ourselves and not act on God's call. We become miserable. I love how Jeremiah put it, 'I am weary of holding it in'.

Are you growing weary of holding something in? If God has called you to a task, He will enable you to do it. Does that mean it will be easy? No. Will you have to work at it—study, practice, conquer fear, and countless other things so you can obey that call? Yes. Very likely, you'll have to step far outside your comfort zone to obey. But just because you're outside that comfy, cozy little box you had all padded and decorated, doesn't mean that you'll be alone.

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord you God is with you wherever you go. ~Joshua 1:9

Go in this your strength...Have I not sent you? ~Judges 6:14

Where is the better place to be—in your comfy, cozy, decorated box, or outside the box, free and with God? The quick and easy answer is a no-brainer: free and with God. But when it comes to action, it's much easier said than done. It's hard leaving our comfort zones! But all too often those comfort zones are actually jail cells, padded and decorated to give us the illusion of comfort. There's not much freedom in them to move around, and sometimes no freedom to do things God asks us to.

If your bones are burning, and you're weary of holding things in, cling to God and step outside your comfort zone. That's where you'll encounter true freedom and peace.



Won't you come by Living by Grace so we can chat?

8 comments:

  1. God's been calling me out of my comfort zone more and more the past two years. I have stuck my fingers in my ears and sang, "Lallaalala" but it was no use :) If I plug my ears, He uses someone to write something to confirm it :) LOL It's both thrilling and scary to do what God calls us to but it's worth it!

    Blessings,
    Mel
    Please feel free to stop by: Trailing After God

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  2. I love this, Patty. That's how I feel when God drops a story into my heart. Like fire shut up in my bones. I just have to get it out. Get it told.

    Awesome! Have a great weekend!

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  3. Mel, that's happened to me, too. Yes, it CAN be very scary! But thank God, He's with us every step of the way!!

    Jess, isn't it amazing when God drops a story in you? I love it when that happens!! =]

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  4. Comfort zones as jail cells - OH boy, do I know that one! Needed this, dearie. THANK you.

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  5. Love this! I feel the burn even while I'm stuck inside this little cell. Hoping when I do break free I'll have created something amazing. It's in his hands, right? Hugs!

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  6. A friend and I were having a similar conversation the other day. I bemused how it seemed God continued to stretch me beyond my comfort zone. He'll give me a new task, or expand my boundary lines in some way, causing me to learn or try something new, then just when I begin to get comfortable with the new task, WHAM! The boundary lines, and thus me, stretch yet again. This fall I received extensive feedback from two very prestigious and brilliant sources, requiring some major learning, and at first, I was overwhelmed.

    But then, as I reviewed the details again, I realized what a tremendous learning opportunity! And I was blown away by His grace! As a coach's daughter, I realize if we're not growing, we're probably slipping in the other direction. And how awesome that the Creator of the universe takes the time to grow us! That, to me, is mind-blowing!

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  7. LOVE this post! Comfort zones are so... well, comfortable! And it's hard to let go of our little aids to happiness... Until we find the One who holds the Happiness.

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  8. I've totally been out of my comfort zone. It will be 7 weeks on Wednesday. Some days I wonder WHAT are you doing God? Other days I know why I am where I am. Scary/fun/obnoxious totally insane. I can't wait until Wednesday when I can turn the reigns back over to someone else.

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