HONEST confession alert: I would, apart from Jesus, choose COMFORTABLE every day of the week.
I would chose to be COMFORTABLE.
Comfortable, comfortable, comfortable.
But God simply will not have it. HE has heard my honest and sincere heart cries. HE has heard the burdens on my heart. HE knows the people in my life that I care deeply for and love, and HE cares more.
HE could care less about COMFORTABLE. We have all the evidence we need in people who have gone before us. People like Daniel, Moses, Abraham, Esther, Ruth, Naomi, Peter, Paul, Jonah, Martha, David and Jesus.
“Then God said, Take your son, your only son, whom you love – Isaac – and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.” Genesis 22:2
“And the Lord appointed a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.” Jonah 1:17
“And he called the twelve and began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over the unclean spirits. He charged them to take nothing for their journey, except a staff – no bread, no bag, no money in their belts.” Mark 6:7-8
HE. COULD. CARE. LESS. ABOUT. OUR. COMFORT.
As I’ve grown in my walk, I’ve learned to see things more and more through HIS lens. That’s grace friends, and all part of this walk as we move towards home.
Recently, I’ve found myself in the midst of some of the most uncomfortable circumstances, conversations, and relationships that I’ve ever experienced in my life. If I’m honest, there’s a part of me that would rather run to the mountain and hide in a cave, safely away from all the “uncomfortable-ness.” But HE won’t have that. HE has prepared me for this. In fact, HE has been clear in reminding me that I’m here, “for such a time as this.” There is no escaping the uncomfortable on this journey with Jesus and the people HE died for.
As I navigate these places, it’s become so apparent that my God is a simultaneous God.
A simultaneous God.
The same simultaneous God who we see in Scripture clearly working in the Prodigal’s life AND in the lives of his father, his brother and in anyone else in and around the story. (Luke 15:11-32) We LOVE a good story with multiple lessons, right? What about when that same simultaneous God shows up in YOUR world and wants you to be part of the story?
Because HE does.
How often, if we’re honest, do we even notice that when God is working on or in someone or something in your life, that HE too is working on something in you; often completely unrelated?
I don’t know about you, but I find it MUCH more COMFORTABLE to focus on “them” rather than the simultaneous work of the Lord. I’m the first to raise my hand and admit that too often I have neglected to pray into what God may be simultaneously exposing in me. I’m not talking surface stuff – I’m talking deep things. I’m talking issues that require prayer, honest conversation and confession before the Lord. It’s relatively easy to AVOID it, but that’s not ever what will lead to spiritual and emotional growth.
When a recent relationship was faced with a seismic jolt – a situation that the Lord was clearly exposing in “their” life, I found myself praying and interceding to the Lord for them, when suddenly emotions and burdens were stirred in me.
Why am I feeling this way? (This situation is about THEM Lord.)
Why can’t I shake it? (You’re clearly bringing up feelings in my spirit.)
What the heck is going on in me? It became clear that while this situation wasn’t about me, God was going to work simultaneously if I allowed it.
My instinct was to run from the UNCOMFORTABLE feelings and emotions and simply pray for “them,” but I knew better and I walked through the door with Jesus by my side. I walked through the door, that had NOTHING to do with “them and their issues,” but with me and mine.
This is what only a SIMULTANEOUS God can do.
He can take a situation in one person’s life and USE it to expose and move in someone else’s life. It throws us for a loop because despite what we believe, we were never created to be multi-taskers. Working simultaneously is NOT how we were designed.
Here’s the catch…..it’s COMFORTABLE watching from the sidelines when God has an aerial view and we are ALL ON THE FIELD.
Be honest. If you’re like me, you’d rather be on the sidelines keeping score, watching and praying for others; when we come to the realization that we too are on the field, with a work to be done in us, it’s a jarring revelation.
He will use any and all means to move us to HIS place of priority. A place where we are emotionally and spiritually healthy. He could care less if it makes us uncomfortable. He pursues holiness and disregards comfort and HE will use any and all means to get us there; often using other people’s issues and circumstances to highlight areas in our lives that HE would like to move in.
All this has led me to evaluate things differently. While I’d prefer to be in the black and white zone of issues, He’s got me looking at every circumstance, relationship, community and conversation that I’m a part of and asking, “what are you trying to do simultaneously in me?”
It’s a dangerous question.
It’s perhaps the most humbling question we can pose before the Lord.
It’s going to open up things that are UNCOMFORTABLE.
It’s also going to lead to new depth with Jesus; a depth with Him that requires that we veer off the COMFORTABLE path and into a place where HE can move and transform us.
What circumstances, relationships or communities does the Lord have you in that maybe, just maybe HE would like to shift your perspective and have you view it from HIS lens of a simultaneous work in you?
I’d encourage you to take one situation or relationship that you’re currently engaged in and honestly ask the Lord what HE would have you see in yourself that is apart from what it directly looks like to you. Be prepared for uncomfortable. Be prepared for revelation. Be prepared to be amazed by a SIMULTANEOUS God.