On a foggy winter morning, getting up from a warm bed wasn’t easy. It is easy surrendering ourself to sleep inertia.
“Get up now. It’s devotion time,” said my parents. Devotion, that’s how we say it locally.
It basically involved going to church or prayer house for giving thanks and praying. Although it was a good way to start a day, we are reluctant to getting ready every morning due to the cold weather outside.
“Please, get up now! You have to study when we get back.”
“Paa, can’t we just pray here inside our house?”
“We can do that. But not now. I’ll tell you the reason on our way to church.”
So, we got up, get dressed, and walked down few blocks before we reach our church building. It was really cold indeed.
Now, my father had told us the reasons. Some of them I could still remember:
In maintaining closer relationship with God, we have to sacrifice something on our part. Here, it would be leaving that warm bed, which requires physical movement.
We need to step aside in seeking if we wanted to hear His voice. Our family member, at that time, was more than a dozen people which means there was a possibility of disturbing each other.
In our imperfect world, there will be times when you need to have the determination to be with God. God is everywhere, which is true. But in order that you might get closer to your heart’s extent, you need to step out of your comfort zone.
Relationships are not one-sided. It is our contribution and reciprocation that makes a good relationship. We cannot simply sit idle cutting the good cakes at one place. We need to move forward or fall back in our search for a good relationship.
Once we realized we’ve been save by the blood of Christ, our eternity-long relationship with Jesus Christ had just begun. When we get absorbed in our own personal whims and ambitions, our relationship gets hurt. And that would be the best time to take one more step closer to Him.
Moving out, from our comfort zone, towards Him shows our determination to spent time with our God. While physically stepping out might be symbolic it plays an important role in our spiritual life too.
Out of comfort zone does not necessary implies physically being very active in the public realm. It is more of a situation inside our heart.
There must be so many things we might have missed, which happened or not happened, in our normal daily life. It is because we tend to take the place of God in our life and start ruling ourselves. We know that we cannot have all the fun without our self-determination put to work.
This important life lesson from my father was useful in my later life. Several times, through the wilderness and happiness, I was able to spend some time alone with my God. I am still looking forward to spending more time with Him.
This initiative from my parents led me to step out from God in seeking His presence; my time alone with God. It was in the form of visiting Prayer Cabin, Churches, and at home all alone. It was a great privilege to spend such times.
Here, you must’ve been familiar with the burning bush in Mount Horeb, the mountain of God. Moses saw the bush was on fire but it did not burn up. He got over near the bush checking out the strange happening. (Exodus 3:3-5)
It was from within the bush the Lord called out and gave the special task of delivering His people from Egypt. In short, Moses gave in to be part of God’s mission although he was adamant at first. On being part of His mission, Moses had the privilege of witnessing God’s work in his very own eyes.
In the contemporary world, watching the Holy Spirit working from distance would not benefit us, which many of us did.
When the Pool of Bethesda was stirred up, only those who stepped in were healed. A bystander would not get healed nor would they experience the work of the Lord, done through His angels. (John 5:1-7)
One Step Away From Safety:
In 2 Samuel 3:27-36, we read about the death of Abner’s death, which was followed by Kind David’s lamentation.
Abner was stabbed to death by Joab, in the gateway of Hebron – the City of Refuge. Once inside the city of refuge, he would be safe. Abner was a very brave soldier who guarded King Saul. Joab wanted to slain Abner to avenge for the death of his brother Asahel.
King David lamented: “Should Abner have died as the lawless die? Your hands were not bound; your feet were not fettered. You fell as one falls before the wicked.” So close yet so far to safety.
Should Abner do something on his part he could have escape for the moment. For this incident happen at the gateway of Hebron, this was a City of Refuge during those times. (Read Numbers 35:9-34 and Joshua 20 for City of Refuge)
The moral of the story is: stay inside the City of Refuge, which is our God. When we are outside the city, we are vulnerable to the work of evil.
Do what you can, on your part. Be willing to take one more step closer to God. Be safe in His presence!
There are times we simply can’t wait for God’s miracle to happen in our favor.