God does not always call us to comfortability but to faithfulness. In the times where those two are in tension, choose faithfulness over comfortability.
I remember speaking those words recently. Truth be told, I’ve said those words a lot recently. Those are dangerous words, and a dangerous belief. It is what can cause a family to uproot and move halfway across the country. This move wasn’t planned or scheduled, but rather called upon as an act of faithfulness.
I know, because that’s where my family has found ourselves.
The greatest teaching any of us offer the world is the way in which we live our lives. Words matter. They can create stories and narratives about values, beliefs, and culture. Words construe meaning. They can empower or tear apart, build up or tear down, honor or discourage. But more than our words those around us will see the lives that we live and know what we really value.
We see this when John instructs us what it means to be real followers of Christ: “Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness. Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble. But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them.”
When others look at us, they can hear our words but they only place value on them if our actions are in agreement with them. If choosing between belief in our actions or our words, people by default believe the actions.
In an effort to live out the words of faithfulness and discipleship that I regularly share, we chose to make a move back to California to be near family. We hadn’t planned on it. We didn’t have a job lined up. No plan for housing, no firm sense of direction, and no “Plan B.”
All we knew was that in the grand adventure of life, we must choose faithfulness over comfortability.
So here we are, less than a week into our journey, and we have seen God’s faithfulness displayed numerous times. We have seen generosity poured out on us in abundant measure.
The church family we left in Denver blessed us immensely, leaving my wife and I in tears.
The physical family we have in California has enthusiastically welcomed us back and graciously welcomed us into their busy lives on short notice.
Friends have poured words of encouragement and affirmation into our souls.
At every step of the journey we have learned more about gratitude, humility, and the warmth of God’s people.
It has left me blown away.
I honestly can’t tell you what’s next for us yet. We have some prospects. Some look really really good and promising. Some will expand my understanding and perspective of the Kingdom in new and exciting ways. Teaching opportunities exist, so do chances to help churches grow and thrive as missional leaders and world changers. In just over a week, I’ll be taking my final doctoral class before I begin researching and writing in earnest on my thesis.
The one thing I do remain firmly convinced of though is that God blesses the decisions that his people make when they choose faithfulness over comfortability. Prophets do it for a profession, regularly receiving the scornful bite of a culture and society that wants nothing to do with godly rebuke. (That’s true both in and out of the church).
A rough working title for my thesis is Future Forward Innovation. It’s going to examine churches that create new and innovative ideas, especially as it relates to multiethnic and multicultural movements.
But more than that, I think it’s becoming a mantra on how I live my life. God calls his people to be firmly focused on the future. God is not done writing his story on the hearts of people. He is not done calling men and women to lead fearlessly the charge of justice, peace, and reconciliation; nor is God not done rewarding his people when they choose faithfulness over comfortability.
God is not done with you.
So choose this day to live future forward. Take fearless and passionate steps to follow, do, and be all that God has for you.
Grace and Peace