by Matt Slick
There is a problem in the Christian church. We are too comfortable. Comfort can make us weak.
We get up in the morning to our alarm clock in our air-conditioned homes. We hop in shower, Adjust the temperature to suit our desire, and then go into our closets and retrieve fresh clothes. We go downstairs and the automatic coffee pot has turned on and fills the home with a pleasant aroma of coffee. Maybe we grab a quick something out of the fridge, put it in the microwave, and have a quick snack. Then we get in our GPS guided cars and head to church. At the front door nicely dressed people with smiles greet us, shake our hand, and give us a well-manicured bulletin. We mosey on in, exchange obligatory greetings, and go sit in comfortable pews. Then the worship team starts. The music is good, well done and the sermon is polished, but nothing too challenging. Maybe we are told how Jesus loves us and wants the best for us. After church we go to the Christian bookstore and pick up a copy of "Your Best Life Now"1 and maybe reminisce about "The Shack"2 and how good both books made you feel about yourself and God. Then, we head off to a restaurant to be served before we go home and watch the game on TV.
Now, being comfortable and having cars and air-conditioning are not bad. It's just that our spiritual muscles don't need to flex in a world where technology meets our most every need. Without real need, there is little dependence upon God. But, when you are trying to kick down the doors of the enemy's camp (Matthew 16:18) and have faced opposition and even persecution, then you turn to God, humble yourself, and ask for deliverance and empowerment to go forth in his name.
But that does not happen when everything is in place and comfortable.. It helps us to become lazy and the result is a spiritual atrophy which in turn leads to apostasy.
What do we do?
The first thing we need to do is take the word of God seriously and live according to what it says. God wants us to be holy (1 Peter 1:16) and he wants us to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:18-20). Therefore, in our desire to be holy we need to repent of our sins and in our obedience to make disciples, we need to be willing to be used. In our struggle against sin, we will have to depend on God more and more by faith as we struggle to be more Christ-like. This isn't always easy, but it is worth the struggle.
Second, we need to ask God to use us, to send us where he wishes us to go. But in order for him to do that he has to prepare us. This preparation involves pruning which can often be quite difficult. It is during this process of preparation that we learn to be more dependent upon God because he very often reveals our own sinfulness to us as he reshapes us.
Third, we need to be willing to be stretched and used in ways that were not accustomed to. This means that we will have to become uncomfortable. When we are uncomfortable we grow and in our growth we influence and affect people around us. If were not affecting people around us for the gospel, perhaps we might want to take a reassessment of our relationship with God.
Don't waste the gifts that God has given to you. They're meant to be used here on earth.