Over at Internet Cafe Devotions, the Cafe Chat has opened up the topic of operating out of your spiritul comfort zone. Boy, does that ever describe the season I’m in now! Over the last few months, the Lord has very gently shown me something about my character that I had never noticed before. I have always been a person who had great respect for authority. My mother raised my sister and I to obey adults, especially authority figures. Relatives, our friend’s parents, teachers, were all people to be obeyed. That respect for authority carried over to my adult life and I’m pretty sure it’s a major contributor to the work ethic that makes up a big part of who I am.

It also means I’m very comfortable to having people in authority over me, to having people tell me what needs to be done and then going about doing it. It doesn’t really matter the circumstance, it could be work, it could be ministry at church, whatever. I’m good at following instructions! But what if there’s no one to give instructions? What if there’s no one to tell me what to do? How good am I at doing what I should when there’s not a physical person telling me that something needs to be done? These are the quetions the Lord quietly put to me starting a few months back. I’m so glad He speaks quietly sometimes. Because I really had to think about this. And I was a little surprised by what I noticed about myself, what the Lord pointed out to me.

The truth is, I’m not very good at doing what needs to be done if there’s not a physical being in authority over me. And that’s where operating out of my spiritual comfort zone comes in. The Lord is calling me up and out into new areas of ministry which is very cool and very exciting. But these new areas are going to be directed by Him, not by a person He puts over me. John 4:24 tells me that God is spirit. His spirit guides and directs but you can’t see Him or have the interaction you have with a person. But the Lord is my ultimate authority. And what He’s teaching me through this new ministry adventure is that I have to learn to see and respond to Him as THE authority in my life at all times, even (or especially) when He chooses not to place someone over me. He’s going to grow in me the discipline I’ll need to serve Him in this new place. I love it when I can see Him working on my character, molding and shaping the person He wants me to become. It’s just another way He’s transforming me into the image of Jesus…

So my season of operating out of my comfort zone is now. I’m learning to see the Lord in a new way, to be sensitive to His presence and His leading in my life in ways I haven’t before. And I’m learning to be accountable to Him in ways I didn’t realize I needed to be. I’m left quiet by His desire to work this into me so He can use me more. I’m excited to see how He’ll use this newly surrendered part of me!