Your greatest enemy is…

Believe it or not, our greatest enemy is probably not the devil. At least, not directly. We already know about him and his evil intent. We watch and pray and take authority over his actions as believers. But something much more insidious and dangerous lurks within us…and that’s our comfort zone. You probably already know this but it’s a good reminder as we begin a new year. 

The truth is, nothing ever changes in your comfort zone. Not physically, emotionally, professionally…and certainly not spiritually. You were never meant to live there any more than you were meant to live inside of a box.

Think about it. When was the last time you lost weight without changing your diet and/or without getting regular exercise? (If you did, it was probably because of something more seriously wrong with you.)

On a very natural level, our American comfort zone of convenience is literally killing us.

Ironically, our cultural blessings are also our greatest hindrance to thriving and flourishing as human beings. Many of us lead basically sedentary lives and eat processed foods that are probably not actually good for human consumption, so now we have all kinds of diseases related to diet, stress, and other poor health habits. But I digress…

We’re being systematically programmed for comfort with more amazing distractions of smaller, faster, higher definition of whatever you need…except whatever it takes to thrive.

Of course, this is not new information. It’s not that we don’t know this; it’s just that we’re not inclined to do anything about it.

And I’m especially talking about me.

Our New Year’s resolutions fail because they get swallowed up in the sea of inertia. We prefer certainty and sameness.

The problem is, thriving and flourishing never happens in our comfort zone. Now, I’m not talking about maintaining a healthy ebb and flow between work and rest, or being crazy and presumptuous for Jesus. I’m talking about repenting from living a lifestyle where nothing ever happens unless the outcome can be guaranteed.

The naked truth is, we don’t want to change because of fear and unbelief. We may sincerely believe in God but we don’t always believe God. That requires stepping out in faith. We’re afraid that we might fail, miss God, or maybe God won’t come through for us.

But faith is spelled R-I-S-K.

I’ve been intentionally getting out of my own personal box pretty much every day this year. It’s both uncomfortable and exhilarating. One such time was last Sunday morning. Here’s what happened:

Our people give testimonies of God’s goodness every week. I walk around with the microphone and people share. Last Sunday a couple shared that even though they were struggling financially (husband cannot work because of a disability), they were trusting God. All the while they’re speaking God is telling me, “Take them up front and put $20 at their feet as an act of My intention to bless them. Then invite others to put whatever they can as an act of support and encouragement.”  I’m arguing with Him and rationalizing the whole time in my mind …I can just bless them outside of the meeting…this would be too embarrassing for them (and me!)…this must be just me thinking this…” Blah…blah…blah. If you’ve ever been in this situation, you know that God’s voice only gets more persistent when you argue!

Of course, I could’ve just suppressed this inclination as I’ve done so many times before and moved on. God would still love me and I would still be the same. Instead, I swallowed my fear and pride and brought them up front. I did what I felt the Lord told me to do and invited others to join me. Most of the congregation did. The effect was immediate. The wife just broke down crying tears of joy and gratitude. The husband was visibly moved and dumbstruck as he hugged his wife. We embraced them both and prayed that God would multiply this symbolic gesture like the fishes and the loaves.

From that moment on, the atmosphere of the meeting shifted from one of just going through the motions on a Sunday morning to awakening and hope. Other people shared how it had affected them. And it was all because I simply got out of my “pastor is in control” comfort zone and let God touch a faithful couple in need.

And the beauty of all this is…anyone can do it.

This is was what Matthew Kelly calls a “holy moment.” He describes it this way:

“A holy moment is a moment when you open yourself to God. You make yourself available to him. You set aside what you feel like doing in that moment, and you set aside self-interest, and for one moment you simply do what you prayerfully believe God is calling you to do in that moment. It’s a moment when you are being the person God created you to be, and you are doing what you believe God is calling you to do. (The Biggest Lie in the History of Christianity, p.35-36)

A holy moment is when we get out of our comfort zone and let Jesus pour Himself out into the world through us. Beloved of God, your adventure is waiting on the other side of your comfort zone. Remember, fear is a liar and complacency offers frail security.

There is a thief in your life who who wants to rob you of your destiny and all the fullness and richness of life that God has intended for you. And one way he does this is by lulling you to sleep with your comfort zone.

A thief has only one thing in mind—he wants to steal, slaughter, and destroy. But I have come to give you everything in abundance, more than you expect—life in its fullness until you overflow! (John 10:10 TPT)

Know that you were meant to overflow, and that all of heaven is cheering you on.

And so am I.

About Mel Wild

God's favorite (and so are you), a son and a father, happily married to the same beautiful woman for 41 years. We have three incredible adult children. My passion is pursuing the Father's heart in Christ and giving it away to others. My favorite pastime is being iconoclastic and trailblazing the depths of God's grace. I'm also senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in Wisconsin.
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18 Responses to Your greatest enemy is…

  1. Great post, Mel. You do realise I’m expecting blogs about you stepping outside of your comfort zone every week now, right?! Okay just kidding, but I can relate to your post as I’m trying to challenge myself this year, too.

    • Mel Wild says:

      LOL! Of course. And we can cheer each other on. 🙂

      Frankly, most of the time it’s just simple and mundane acts of other-centered love or consideration. But each time it injects more joy in my soul, so it can be addictive! Another thing I didn’t mention in the post because I didn’t want it to go too long, but even if we failed 90% of the time in doing this, it’s still a 10% improvement, which would result a massive change in the world around us! As Kelly says, what if every believer started doing this on a regular basis. What would the world be like? It boggles the mind!

      Thanks, as always, Steven. Blessings.

      • Yes, you’re right, Mel. I’ve heard several well-known street evangelists say the first 100 (I don’t recall the exact number, but it was a lot) people they prayed over for healing on the street, nothing happened, but then they started to see miracles. Can you imagine praying for people for healing 100 times without results, and STILL having the resolve to keep trying? That boggles my mind!

        • Mel Wild says:

          Yes, that’s mind-boggling persistence. I think Todd White said the first 700 he prayed for didn’t get healed, or something like that! Now, many, if not most, do get healed. Amazing diligence to stick with faith in God regardless of the results. It’s a lesson for us all.

        • Todd White was one of the people I was thinking of!

  2. Ack! You got me in tears now, Mel! What a charming testimony. That’s it exactly, let go of fear, step out of your comfort zone, and obey the Holy Spirit! He does good work, He knows what He’s doing. Learn to trust His voice.

    I’m not very good at it, I’m terribly risk adverse, but when I do manage it the blessings are huge. Not long ago I was prompted to give this guy a hug, to tell him how special he was to me, to receive his kind words. We didn’t even know each other very well, but there was this powerful prompting that left us both kind of emotional. He just suddenly died that very afternoon and I realized that what we had really done was to say goodbye in this beautifully orchestrated moment that neither of us saw coming. He died suddenly, unexpected, but I had such a sense of peace, a sudden realization that nothing is unexpected with God, and that He really cares about us even in the small things.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Wow! What an awesome testimony, IB! It’s amazing to me that God had set that up between the two of you. One simple act of obedience accomplishes so much! I love it!

  3. Eva Green says:

    LOVE this!!!! God definitely knows the best route of adventure if we let Him drive!! :))))) Thanks for sharing and reminding us of the crazy amazing freedom beyond the box! :))

  4. jim- says:

    Whatever your feelings about god, this is what makes it work—people stepping up when they see a need. We’ve all had this battle in our brains from time to time, but giving seems to always work out well. Nice job Mel.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Thanks Jim. I agree with you. 🙂

      While I personally believe it’s how God made all of us, regardless of whether we believe in God or not, stepping out when we see a need is the most human thing we can do. The world certainly needs a lot more of it!

  5. Lily Pierce says:

    Awesome, inspiring, and convicting post, Mel!

    • Mel Wild says:

      Thanks, Lily. It’s definitely been convicting to me! As I said to Steven, most times it’s simple acts of kindness. But God convicts us to convince us and invite us into something more wonderful than we will experience on our own. 🙂

      Thanks for your comments. Blessings to you.

  6. Wow.
    Thanks for that not so subtle kick in the pants. I know everything you say here is true and I constantly struggle with this as I consider r-i-s-k a four letter word. 😡
    Yet, I am trying to open my mind and open myself up to what God would have for me and the miracles I’ve experienced lately have come about in the least likely manner and out of complete submission to Him. I’m slowly learning not to argue with that subtle prodding and just do as I”m prompted and get it over with. Your words are just affirmation of a few things I need to get done this year.
    On another note, Happy New Year. Wishing you all His best in 2019.

    • Mel Wild says:

      You’re welcome, Lilka. I’m just sharing the love. 🙂 We’re all in the same boat on that one. The only trouble is, Jesus is calling us out of our boat to walk on water with Him! Yikes! We just need to know that He’s there to catch us when we start to focus on the waves.

      What you said here is a great insight….
      “Yet, I am trying to open my mind and open myself up to what God would have for me and the miracles I’ve experienced lately have come about in the least likely manner and out of complete submission to Him.”

      That’s exactly it! For example, when I stepped out for that couple that I mentioned in the post, I had no idea what would happen. The result was a very joy-filled surprise! When we put it all on the table and make ourselves completely available to Jesus is when these miracles happen. Then we wonder why we ever hesitated in the first place! LOL!

      Blessings to you, Lilka. May you have an amazing 2019!

  7. Pingback: Stop eating what’s eating you | In My Father's House

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