Shortly after we bought the shop we also bought an industrial dough mixer. It makes life so much easier. The staff were not willing to use it. They told us that they could mix the dough faster by hand. “But we’ve always done it that way,” was the reason. I had to demonstrate it and motivate, beg and threaten before they decided to use it. Now, if the machine is out of order, it’s a crisis because they got used to using it.” Does that sound familiar? My dad has his meals, coffee and tea at set times. He’s always done it that way. People don’t like change, they don’t like their routines to be disturbed. They are unhappy when their favourite TV show is aired a different time. What if you get to church on Sunday and the chairs have been packed in a different arrangement. What if someone is sitting on the seat you are used to sitting on? People are creatures of habit and most people are resistant to change. Should we resist change as strongly as we do or should we embrace it?
2 Timothy 4:2, “Preach the Word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.” Isaiah 30:21, “Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it,’ Whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left.” The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way.” 1 Peter 5:8, “Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil walk about like a roaring lion,, seeking whom he may devour.” Colossians 4:2, “Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving;” These verses illustrate that we cannot be stuck to old patterns of behavior. We have to be always willing to follow what the Lord is telling us to do and where He is leading us to go. If we hear the Lord telling us to go to someone and pray for them, or encourage them we must be ready to jump right in and do it. We can’t be so stuck in old habits that we can’t listen to Him. 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” Colossians 3:9-11, “Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the man who created him, where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.” Here it is clear that we cannot hold onto the way we have always done things. We have to be willing to change for the better, always for the better.
Isaiah 43:19, “Behold, I do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” If God is doing new things and He is going to do new things we have to be wide awake in our outlook to be able to see them. We cannot be stuck in a rut and complacent. Zephaniah 1:12, “And it shall come to pass at that time that I will search Jerusalem with lamps, and punish the men who are settled in complacency, who say in their heart, ‘The Lord will not do good, nor will He do evil.’ Proverbs 1:32, “For the turning away of the simple will slay them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them.” Isaiah 32:9-10, “Rise up, you women who are at ease, hear my voice; You complacent daughters, Give ear to my speech. In a year and some days you will be troubled, you complacent women; For the vintage will fail, the gathering will not come.”
A comfort zone is a very, very dangerous place to be. Don’t get stuck in a place which isn’t necessarily bad, but very comfortable. You aren’t vigilant when you’re comfortable. Just think of sitting in a soft chair and relaxing. That’s fine for a change, but if that is what you do all day you are soon not going to want to move out of that chair. If you’re stuck in a place you think you can’t get out of, or don’t want to get out of, you most probably aren’t going be able to hear God’s voice and act on it. Please don’t settle for complacency and a comfort zone, I don’t believe that’s what God expects of us.