Leaving Your Comfort Zone in 2018

December 31, 2017 Speaker: Shannon Ford

Topic: New Year Passage: Acts 9:10–9:19

Leaving Your Comfort Zone in 2018:

Acts 9:10-19:

God doesn’t want us to be comfortable. He wants us to be obedient.

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“Stepping outside your comfort zone is not a careless irresponsibility, but a necessary act of obedience.” Andy Stanley

“If we are growing we are always going to be outside our comfort zone.” John Maxwel

Are You In Your Comfort Zone

  • Our comfort zone is where we focus on our own likes and conveniences.
  • Our comfort zone is where we fail to deny self.
  • Our comfort zone is where we limit our commitment.

When we are too comfortable, we are less likely to move.  God’s plan for our lives always requires movement.

God calls you out of your comfort zone, so you can rely on Him to do what you cannot do.

God leads you outside your comfort   zone …

  • to stretch your boundaries
  • to see Him use you in amazing ways
  • to seek dependence on Him

Steps to Leave Your Comfort Zone

  • Expect to Hear from God (Acts 9:10-12)

Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, “Here I am, Lord.” And the Lord said to him, “Rise and go to the street called Straight, and at the house of Judas look for a man of Tarsus named Saul, for behold, he is praying, and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight.”

Notice how Ananias was…

  • living
  • listening

→ Are you in a spiritual position where you can hear and understand God’s voice?

  • Embrace Uncomfortable Situations (Acts 9:13-14)

But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints at Jerusalem. And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on your name.”

Notice how Ananias…

  • faced his fears
  • overcame his prejudice

God’s commands do not always make sense, but they are always right!

→ When God ask you to do something that is difficult or unpleasant, do you give reasons why you can’t do that?

  • Exhibit Obedience to God’s Commands (Acts 9:15-17a)

But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel. For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.” So Ananias departed and entered the house.

Notice how Ananias was…

  • obedient
  • immediate in his response

→ How do you respond to God’s commands when you do not know how things will work out?

  • Encourage those Far from God with Kindness (Acts 9:17b)

 … And laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you came has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”

Notice how Ananias used the power of a…

  • gentle touch
  • gentle word

Small kind acts of obedience have great significance.

→ Who are those far from God that you can encourage with small acts of kindness?

  • Enable Others to Serve (Acts 9:18-19)

And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he rose and was baptized; and taking food, he was strengthened. For some days he was with the disciples at Damascus. And immediately he proclaimed Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “He is the Son of God.”

Notice how Ananias…

  • Served him individually
  • Connected him to other disciples

→ Who are you investing in to help them connect to serving opportunities?

True life begins at the end of your comfort zone. 

What is your first step to leave your comfort zone in 2018?