As an eagle stirs up her nest,
flutters over her young,
spreads abroad her wings, takes them,
bears them on her wings:
So the Lord alone did lead him,
and there was no strange god with him.
When an eagle wants to train its eaglets to fly, it stirs up its nest. The eagle brings the young eaglets out of the nest, picks them up, flies to a high point and releases them in the air. The eaglets experience free fall. It is at this point that they learn to flutter their wings and they become stronger. The eagle repeats this process until the eaglets learn how to fly. An eaglet will never learn to fly until it is pushed out of the nest, which is its comfort zone.
In the same way, when The Lord wants you to pursue a new assignment, when He wants to take you to a higher level in life, when He wants you to unleash your potential, He pushes you out of your comfort zone and brings you into a new situation in which you are compelled to use the abilities that have been lying dormant, untouched, unutilized within you. The Lord may give you an instruction to resign from your comfortable job and start a business or expand an existing one; launch a ministry; pursue a new career when all you want to do is relax and enjoy the success of your current career; or relocate to a foreign country and start afresh. In such situations you are like the eaglet pushed out of it’s nest or dropped by the eagle into free fall: you are compelled to flap your ‘wings’ and fly.
This is what happened to Joseph in the book of Genesis.
And Joseph was brought down to Egypt; and Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him of the hands of the Ishmeelites, which had brought him down there.
Joseph was the favourite among the sons of Jacob. His father made him a coat of many colours setting him apart from his brothers. Joseph had everything going for him: his father was rich, he was pampered and hardly did any serious work. While his brothers were out in the field taking care of the family business, Joseph was busy having grandiose dreams and prancing around their home like he owned the place. But all that was about to change.
God had a purpose for Joseph and it had nothing to do with ruling over his brothers and family. God’s purpose was bigger than Joseph ever dreamed, imagined or conceived. God’s purpose was to send Joseph into a foreign land, (Egypt) and there set him in a position of power and influence to preserve the nation of Israel during a devastating famine that struck the world.
For God to effect His Will and carry out His agenda for the nation of Israel He had to send a man down to Egypt. The man He chose to carry out this assignment was Joseph. Considering how well things were going for Joseph he would never have volunteered to go to Egypt as God’s secret agent to preserve a nation. He would probably have rejected the offer. Thankfully God did not consult with him before allowing him to be sold as a slave into Egypt. If God had asked for his opinion on the matter Joseph may have preferred to remain and die in his comfort zone.
Seriously, do you think if a prophet had told Joseph to voluntarily go to Egypt as part of God’s ‘covert strategy’ to make him Prime minister in a foreign country, he would have agreed to do it? He would have said that prophet was crazy. That is the reason why God didn’t bother revealing to Joseph the details of this particular plan. God simply thrust him into the situation and allowed events to unfold in his life.
There are times The Lord gives me a revelation about someone and I don’t want to be the one to deliver that ‘unpleasant’ message to that person. Who wants to be a prophet of doom? We want to deliver a message of prosperity, progress and success. We avoid hard messages. However, when The Lord reveals to you a difficult situation you will encounter in the coming months, you should be certain that there is also a blessing coming your way after you pass through that situation.
You may have been praying, asking The Lord to expand your territory in your career, business, ministry and in your calling. The answer to your prayer may involve God moving you out of your comfort zone into a place or situation He has prepared for you to grow, prosper and fulfil your calling.
What happens when God pushes you out of your comfort zone?
1. You will feel fear.
Throughout the bible any time God wanted to do a new thing, He told the people ‘fear not.’ When we confront something new, something which threatens our comfort zone, our sense of self preservation kicks in, adrenaline surges through our veins and we get ready to fight or flee. The natural tendency is to flee and avoid entering into the new situation, circumstance or configuration that looks alien, unusual and hostile to us. We are human. That is a normal reaction. However to enter into what The Lord has prepared for us we must be ready to face our fear. Not everything that looks hostile is out to harm you. Not everything that looks scary will hurt you. It is in human nature to be paranoid and read negative meanings and connotations to situations we don’t understand.
2. You will enter into a season of chaos.
Moving out of your comfort zone will be an uncomfortable and chaotic experience, emotionally and mentally. You will be confronted by new situations that demand that you think differently. You will learn to handle a higher, tougher level of emotional pressure than you have ever encountered before in your life. The mental and emotional pressure you face will throw you into chaos and it will take a while for you to get yourself together. In fact you may feel that everything and everyone is conspiring against you to destroy you, but they are not.
3. You will feel like you’ve lost control.
Psychologists tell us that having a feeling of control in our lives makes us balanced emotionally. Although what we all feel is ‘an illusion of control’ but it serves the purpose of keeping us emotionally balanced and sane. In your comfort zone you were in control. You knew what to expect from your job, career, ministry and you had the mental and emotional capacity to handle those situations. You were a master in your comfort zone. The reason why things were going smoothly for you in your comfort zone is because there was nothing new going on in your life. You were not confronting and dealing with new situations. You did not realise this but your life had stagnated and unfortunately you were happy at that level of growth, development and achievement, but God will mercifully push you out of that rut into something completely new and exciting so that you may fulfill the calling and assignment on your life.
4. You may feel abandoned by God.
You may feel overwhelmed by this new phase of life you have been thrust into and you may begin to feel that you are way out of your league. Things may become so tough for you that you may think that God has abandoned you. The level of spiritual warfare you will encounter outside of your comfort zone may even make you think that you have missed God’s will for your life and you are on your own. You will have to pray more, work harder than you ever did and the results you experience may be dismal, not commensurate in any way to the level of energy you are putting out. This may cause you to think that you have been abandoned by God. But nothing could be further from the truth. God is always with you, as long as you are in pursuit of His Will and the expansion of His kingdom.
For God to promote you, He has to compel you to think differently, to exert your power of thought, to dig deep and utilise the emotional and spiritual energy you’ve allowed to lie dormant in your life. He places you in a position or situation that forces you to pray more, seek Him more, study the bible more. He displaces and distances you from the people, places, relationships and organizations you’ve come to trust in and rely on. These people, places, relationships and organizations were the environment in which you functioned and operated; they defined the boundaries and limits of your life. For God to do something different with your life, He will break barriers, bring down some walls and expand your social, spiritual, geographic and territorial boundaries. The enemy wants to keep you confined to a particular geographical location, confined to certain relationships, confined to certain organizations, but God wants to expand the circumference of your influence, reach and impact in your career, business, ministry and calling. He wants to bring you in contact with new people, places and causes to make you experience His power, grace and anointing in a totally new and awesome way.
The truth of the matter is that if God does not remove you or push you out of your comfort zone you will never have a deeper experience with the Lord. You may begin to put your trust in the people the lord has brought into your life to help you for a season to pursue and fulfil your assignment. You may begin to put your trust in your financial and material possessions. You may see the position you occupy as the highest possible place you can attain in God. The gifts and abilities of God within you will suffer disuse and will gradually begin to go to waste. In Matthew 25:14-30, the parable of talents teaches us that if we don’t put our talents and giftings to work, we will eventually lose them. We must understand that true power lies not in where we want to be or in what we desire to do but it resides with God in the centre of His will for our lives.
And the Lord was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian. And his master saw that the Lord was with him, and that the Lord made all that he did to prosper in his hand.
If you desire for God to use you, you must be ready to willingly move out of your comfort zone or be thrust out of it by force. Like Joseph you may not be given any prior warning about what God wants do in your life. However you can be certain that God will be with you in whatever situation He thrusts you into for growth, progress and territorial expansion and influence. His grace, power and favour will find full, total and complete expression in your life.