From comfort zones to confidence

Published 3:09 pm Monday, September 5, 2016

Reading stories of courageous people gives me confidence to go unfamiliar places, to interact with people who are different and to complete tasks outside my normal routine.

The Bible is full of people who may have questioned God’s voice but eventually made His plan their choice. Knowledge of their stories helps me transition from comfort zones to confidence in what God has called me to do.

“God told Abram: ‘Leave your country, your family, and your father’s home for a land that I will show you.’” That was a lot to leave behind. But scripture says, “…Abram left just as God said.”

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Despite being considered a foreigner and second-class citizen, Ruth traveled to unfamiliar places, too. When her mother-in-law, Naomi, returned to Bethlehem, Ruth accompanied her and made this solemn pledge: “Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.”

God rewarded Ruth by supplying her needs and blessing her relationships. Boaz, her kinsman redeemer, became so entranced with her beauty that he took her into his family. Once they were married and gave birth to a son named Obed, Ruth became a link in the lineage of Jesus Christ.

Many people are familiar with Jonah’s attempt to avoid preaching in Nineveh. After being tossed from a boat, swallowed by a fish, spending three days in its belly and being spewed onto a beach, Jonah gained motivation to complete his God-given assignment.

The Lord knew eye-popping miracles were needed for Moses to accept his calling, too. So while Moses was shepherding his father-in-law’s flock, the angel of God appeared to him in a burning bush saying: “I’ve taken a good, long look at the affliction of my people in Egypt. I’ve heard their cries for deliverance from their slave masters; I know all about their pain…. It’s time for you to go back: I’m sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people, the people of Israel, out of Egypt.”

Moses replied, “…But why me? What makes you think that I could ever go to Pharaoh and lead the children of Israel out of Egypt?” God said, “I’ll be with you … and this will be the proof that I am the one who sent you: When you have brought my people out of Egypt, you will worship God right here at this very mountain.”

Moses asked several “what if” questions to which God responded: “I Am WHO I AM. Tell the People of Israel, ‘I-AM sent me to you.’” When all was said and done, Israelites worshipped, just as the angel foretold.

I have insecurities, just like people in the Bible. Sometimes I vacillate by saying, “Lord, send me. I’ll go” or “Are You sure, Lord? Because I don’t know.” At those times I’m thankful for reminders of my God-given assignments.

Consistency in prayer and faithfulness to “go” is what brings me out of comfort zones to confidence in what God has called me to do.

Tonya Swindell writes a blog for and a teacher for Kingdom Building Equipping School ( She can be reached at