Summary: A look at moments when where God is pointing us is not where we want to go.
WHAT SHOULD I DO WHEN GOD'S LEADING MAKES ME UNCOMFORTABLE? There are times we’re fine with the Lord and then He pushes us in a direction we don’t like.
- Jonah 1:3.
- Our walk with God seems fine. Everything is going ok. We’ve been fine with what He’s asked of us in the past.
- Then He guides us into a situation that pushes us in a direction that we don’t like.
- Often, when we end up there, we do what Jonah did: we run in the opposite direction.
- We want to talk today about some specific examples of this in our lives, why God does that, and the choice that we’ve got to make.
EXAMPLES OF WAYS THAT GOD WILL CHALLENGE YOU:
- Jonah 1:1.
- In Jonah’s case, his prejudice was against the people of Nineveh. And let’s say: as an Israelite, Jonah had reasons (humanly speaking) to be angry with them and want their destruction. But God wanted their redemption. God is not the God of one group; He is the God of all people.
a. Racial prejudice.
- Let’s say there is an older Christian who has an interracial couple purchase a house in their neighborhood. Now, of course, there’s nothing Biblically wrong with interracial relationships, but this older Christian still has some of the attitudes of an earlier era in the back of their mind.
- God is challenging them to look beyond skin color and to love everyone as a child of God, but that’s not something that comes to them easily.
b. A broken family.
- There’s a couple that splits in an ugly divorce and people on both sides of the extended family choose sides. Feelings are hurt, friendships are destroyed, and hurt lingers. A couple years later, one of the family members is diagnosed with cancer. This is someone that was on the other side of the fight. God burdens a believer to go to the hospital to pray with that person. They don’t want to because they still have bad feelings toward the person because of the hurtful things they said as well as being uncertain of how their visit will be received (will they be angrily driven from the room)? They know God is speaking to them about going, but they don’t want to and it makes them uncomfortable.
2. Comfort zones.
- There are ways that we get comfortable and enjoy exercising our faith within those parameters. God wants to push us beyond what’s comfortable.
- A woman has a co-worker who is not a believer. The Lord begins to impress upon the woman the need to speak about faith to the co-worker, but the thought of doing that makes the woman sick to her stomach. She’s never done that before and doesn’t like saying anything that might not be received happily. Still God is clearly pushing her to do that.
- A man enjoys his church’s worship services. He is a part of the church, but only as a spectator. He begins to feel a push to serve within the church, but he’s never done that before. He doesn’t know if he’d do whatever he did wrong or what he’d even be good at doing within the church. He knows he should step up and begin to serve, but it’s more comfortable to just sit in the pew.
3. Pet sins.
- There are things that we justify within our lives. We get comfortable with our sin.
4. Blind spots.
- This one has to do with God growing us by bringing to our attention aspects of our Christian life where we’re not seeing things that He wants in our lives.
- A woman prays and reads the Bible, but then one day she comes across a gospel passage where it says that Jesus expects His disciples to fast. A couple days later, a co-worker talks about fasting for the revival that’s coming up that Sunday at her church. To the woman, fasting is a foreign concept. She’s never done it before and it’s not something that’s emphasized within her congregation. Yet she senses God pushing her to obey Christ in this area.
b. The American Dream.
- A man lives an upper-middle-class suburban life, just like everyone else around him. Reading the gospels causes him to begin to question whether that’s acceptable to God, even though no one else around him really seems to be bothered by it. He finds God pushing him to question the American Dream as being the true “good life.”
WHY WOULD GOD DELIBERATELY MAKE US UNCOMFORTABLE? There are two main reasons: (a) Kingdom impact and (b) personal growth.