Alexis wasn’t the only retreater to be confronted by her love affair with Comfort.
As Lisa Whittle expounded on the little-g god Comfort, I also began to squirm uncomfortably. I whispered to my neighbor, “I want to leave now.” She smiled at me as though she thought I was joking. I wasn’t.
Who in the Bible was ever called to a life of comfort?
Was it Abraham, who was called to leave his father’s house and enter the land that God would show him? Was it Joseph, who was sold into slavery, and later thrown into prison because of his integrity?
Maybe we think Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego were unaware of how painful it would be to burn to death in a fiery furnace. These men were encouraged by their faith in God alone and answered the king of Babylon with confidence, “The God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.”
Me? I say with my lips, “I will follow You wherever You lead me,” and when He leads me into fires or, even over hot coals, I think, “This can’t be from You, God, because this makes no sense. From where I’m standing, this is uncomfortable!”
But should I choose a life of comfort over the good life of obedience, I turn my eyes away from “… Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Is it any wonder that we are called to share in the suffering of Christ?
When we choose the comfort of the physical world, we deny the penetrating comfort of God “who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”
Have I begun to think the words, “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy,” were written only to the early church and not to the Church at large, that which was and was yet to come.
Is it so strange that God should call us modern-day Believers into uncomfortable situations when the heroes of faith were called, out of logic and reason, and into unknown lands and into Kingdom-work though physical ailments and conflict persisted?
There are two choices any Believer faces at any moment of the day, and that is to bow our knee to the golden image of ourselves or to bow in submission to the good Savior who obeyed to the point of death for our good.
I pray that we Southern California Believers, who live in the lap of disquieting comfort, will yield our bodies to His perfect calling, and that we will scream over the raging flames in answer to the governing principalities, “We will not serve your god of comfort!”