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7-Day Practical Faith Blog: Negotiating for Comfort


John 20: 19-21

"Are you negotiating with Jesus to only do what meets your needs and makes you feel comfortable?"


That's a question from my upcoming book, "From Comfort Zone to Trust Zone: How Jesus Urges Us to Take Leaps of Faith for His Kingdom." It points out that our thoughts and our prayers can focus on our own needs and our own desire for comfort. Do we truly ask for challenge? Do we ask for the strength to say "yes" to something uncomfortable that we don't really want to do? Or do we prefer to keep things stable, exactly as they are?


In staying in our comfort zone and staying away from Jesus' trust zone, we limit the ability of the Holy Spirit to create and make the world blossom.


In my December podcast on The Top 11 Themes of Jesus, which deals with the #4 theme, The New Creation, guest Len Wilson uses the following passage as a starting point for talking about the Spirit's creative capability.


On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.

Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit."


Receiving the Holy Spirit from the risen Jesus inspires the disciples to go boldly forth with the good news and to form the church. Wilson points out during the podcast:


"In the Latin, breath, 'spirare,' is where we get the word 'inspiration.' God's breath in us inspires us to create. So, the kingdom of God is a creative, generative place of flourishing, where growth happens."


When we refuse to get outside our comfort zone, we deny this creativity, this flourishing. The best way we can participate in God's kingdom is through entering a trust zone, where we allow Jesus to take everything we have and everything we are and transform those qualities for his purposes.


Instead of negotiating with God to stay in comfort zones, let us instead ask God to use us creatively to make his kingdom flourish.




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