Summary: Leave your comfort zone to serve God....
Comfort more than blessing.
Have you ever had deep thoughts about rubber bands? I have in fact, I meant to bring one up here this morning but I forgot it. I was gonna wrap it across the podium here and leave it here for a reminder. Now before you think I have lost what little mind I had, let me explain. A rubber band is made for only one purpose that purpose is to be stretched so it can hold something together. Now, if it is not stretched, it is not fulfilling its purpose is it?
Christians are much like that rubber band. We were put on this earth to be doers of God. To do that we must stretch ourselves out of our everlasting comfort zones so that we can be effective.
Saul was the Christian killer. He was there when Stephen was stoned. He had just went and got papers so he can persecute more Christians. He hated them. He was raised to be this very thing. He wanted to put this new way out of order. He wanted to squash this “cult”. This wasn’t the way to believe. This was going against all that he knew. So when Saul accepted Jesus this was a total transformation of a person. Just days earlier he hated the Christians. Just days earlier he was hunting them down. God’s will was to use Saul to reach the Gentiles like no other in the church could. Roman citizen, fluent in Greek, and a Jew he was to be all things so he could all to Christ……looking at Saul right here is the perfect example of grace. He was a killer, hated Christians yet his slate was wiped clean. FORGIVEN!!!!
But what I want us to look at is Ananias. Why does God chose him? There is nothing to indicate that he was a super holy man. There is nothing super special about him. The only thing I see is that he was available. He was in the right place, right willing heart, and God was gonna use him. Often what determines what God uses us for is the availability in our hearts. We don’t want God to use us if have to get out of comfort zone. I know I’m preaching to someone, so I hope you get it this time around, because I want God to allow me to talk about something else. So if God keeps putting this on my heart that means someone ain’t getting it. SO listen to me closely.
GOD WANTS TO USE US!!! Especially if we are at the right place at the right time. The question of availability comes down to us not God. Are you willing to get out of your comfortable little box and serve God? Are you willing to do what God is telling you to do?
Look at Ananias right here. He was like ok God….Saul? Don’t tell God what you heard about the situation. He already knows. I heard he was a killer. He hates people like me? Saul? (read verse 13-15). You know Ananias was blessed for doing this….But in order for him to receive his blessing church he had to get out of his comfort zone. If your comfort is more important that your blessing, then you ain’t gonna get it… If your comfort zone is more important than doing God’s will what does that say about you? If your comfort is more important?????
On the morning of September 11, Jeannie Braca switched on the television to check the weather report, only to hear that a plane had just hit the World Trade Center. Jeannie’s husband, Al, worked as a corporate bond trader for Cantor Fitzgerald. His office was on the 105th floor of Tower One. Al had gone to work as he normally did that morning. Al had survived the World Trade Center bombing in 1993…he had even helped a woman with asthma escape from the building. Jeannie knew that Al would do the same thing this time, “I knew he would stop to help and minister to people,” she said, “but I never thought for a minute that he wouldn’t be coming home!”…like so many others who were in that building…a week later, Al’s body was found in the rubble. Al’s wife—Jeannie and his son--Christopher were devastated! Then…then…the reports began to trickle in from friends and acquaintances…Some people on the 105th floor had made a ‘last call’ or sent a ‘final e-mail’ to a loved one saying that “a man” was leading people in prayer. A few referred to Al by name. Al’s family learned that Al had indeed been ministering to people during the attack! When Al realized that they were all trapped in the building and would not be able to escape, Al shared the gospel with a group of 50 co-workers and led them in prayer. This news came as no surprise to Al’s wife—Jeannie…for years, she and Al had been praying for the salvation of these men and women. According to Jeannie, Al hated his job…he couldn’t stand the environment. It was a world so out of touch with his Christian values…but he wouldn’t quit. Al was convinced that God wanted him to stay there, to be a light in the darkness…and although Al would not have put it this way…to be a hero! Al was not ashamed of Christ and Christ’s words…and he paid the price of taking up his cross daily. Al shared his faith with his co-workers….many of whom sarcastically nicknamed him “The Rev.”