Obedience to Christ or Comfort?

Obedience to Christ or comfort? At first glance, these do not seem to be related — or are they? There is much to say about the desire to be comfortable. We have done much to make sure we have comfort. But this is not what we are called to do. What we are called to is obedience to Christ. Really from the beginning people have been trying to stay in their comfort zone. God’s command to Noah in Genesis 10 after the flood was to populate the earth. Genesis 11 opens with people settling in a nice place and building a giant tower. This is really a step in the wrong direction from filling the whole earth. The consequence was a mass confusion of language and people filling the earth anyway. Moral of the story: when God tells you to do something — obey. God’s call to Christians today is the great commission. Go and make disciples of all nations. Ready, set, get uncomfortable.

Why do we have to be uncomfortable?

We have a message people need to hear. The message of the cross is one that is vital for salvation, but it is also offensive. Imagine you are on the plane that landed in the Hudson River in New York City. The person next to you has headphones in, ear muffs over that, a blanket draped over them and a sign on them saying “do not disturb.” They have not heard the command to “prepare for water landing.” Would you risk offending them by pulling off all the things preventing them from the truth? The same question comes to us as Christians. Those not saved by the blood of Christ will go to hell. We know this, and yet we are captivated by the fear of being uncomfortable.

My story

I write this to myself just as much as I am writing to you. I was, and still am at times, hopelessly addicted to comfort. Three years ago my wife and I began exploring missions organizations for our family to join. As I walked past the booths picturing Muslims my hope was to move quickly by. Fear captured me. The thought of talking to Muslims was scary to me. Fast forward two years at that same conference and now those same booths broke my heart. We joined International Project in New York City. Now we live beside, greet, talk to, shake hands with, eat with, pray for, and love Muslims. I have entered Mosques, albeit somewhat timidly.

What if?

There are still times we stand on that comfort threshold. We think, what if I take one more step? We might get embarrassed. Or shamed. Or hurt. Yes, that might happen. But what if we find ourselves not obeying God? This “what if” should terrify you — it should terrify me.
“Consider [Jesus] who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.” — Hebrews 12: 3-4
What if we step outside our comfort zone and share Christ with someone? They could be taken from the domain of darkness and placed into the kingdom of Light. Obedience to Christ is often uncomfortable, but isn’t that something worth being uncomfortable for? Are you interested in learning to reach the unreached for Christ and learning to share your faith? Check out our various opportunities to get invovled.  

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Check out our Equip Missionary Training Program. A ten-month church-planting and cross-cultural missionary training program in the culturally vibrant and diverse heart of New York City.

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