Comfort breeds confusion

I wanted to follow up on “The You Paradox” as I was travelling from California to Kenya.  In the interim I spent some time in Uganda.

The title pretty much says what I want to say, Comfort breeds confusion.  When we seek our own comfort, it confuses our purpose.  God wants the best for us, and most of the time, that is not for us to be comfortable.  So when we seek our own comfort, we are turning away from where God wants us to go.

I am able to see that with a little contrast here in Africa.  There are less of the “comforts of home” and therefore, if I give up seeking them, my direction, my purpose becomes so much clearer.  It is not about me, it is not about how I feel, it is all about Him.

That is not to say there are no comforts, or especially that I have given up seeking them.  I struggle with them on an hourly basis.  But the less access I have to them, the less I see them as a distraction.  We spend our whole lives building up the comfort level we live in, not to enable us to serve God better, but to be more comfortable.  That is counter productive.  It puts the focus on self and not where it should be.

If you want to hear about someone with clarity of purpose, read about Richard Wurmbrand.  He lived a tortured life in Romanian prisons as a pastor under the communist regime.  Once in prison, Wurmbrand and the other pastors saw it as an opportunity to preach to the guards.  However, the guards told them if they preached, they would be beaten.  Wurmbrand writes in his book Tortured for Christ, “We were happy preaching; they were happy beating us – so everyone was happy.”

That is the kind of focus, the clarity, the drive, one can have when one abandons self and one’s own comfort for eternal glory.  This is a focus Paul also knew well.

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed— always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.  For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.

Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.  2 Corinthians 4:7-11, 16-18 NKJV

God is looking for warriors.  We do not coddle soldiers, we beat them into submission.  They are trained to do a job, and to do it well.  They are taught to obey authority regardless of the self-sacrifice required.  Are we willing to be painfully molded into the sons and daughters He wants us to be?  The adopted sons and daughters that resemble His Son.  In the end, it is the sons and daughters we all ought to be, and that is what is best for us.

3 thoughts on “Comfort breeds confusion

  1. As always I appreciate your insight Paul. Your thoughts make me think about backpacking. The reason I love backpacking so much is the simplicity of carrying your whole life on your back and freedom that comes from not having to worry about anything else except where am I going to walk to today, what am I going to eat and where am I going to sleep.

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  3. Great post, Paul, and so true. God’s ways are so beyond ours. The diverse ways He makes a man strong are far beyond our ability to guess! Thanks for sharing!

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