Why mess with a good thing?
“Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went” (Acts 8:4).
I like comfortable. In my book it’s a happy word. One that conjures up warm feelings of, life is good, nothing is seemingly wrong, friends are plentiful, the earth is spinning on its axis and everyone in my world is healthy and satisfied (for the most part).
Keeping all that in mind, good grief, can you give me a valid reason why I wouldn’t want to cozy up with comfortable?
A few years back my husband and I were in that special place when we were walloped with an unexpected life storm. God allowed us to be shattered and as a result, scattered to parts we felt unsure about, leaving behind what we knew and loved.
The new believers in Jerusalem (after Jesus’ resurrection) might have felt the same way.
The last thing Jesus told his disciples before he ascended into heaven was this, “Therefore go make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19).
At first this commissioned group of disciples stayed right where they were. They probably thought they didn’t need to go anywhere other than Jerusalem. They had plenty of people to reach right in their hometown. Proof of this is in Acts 1:15 and Act 2:41 where their small tribe of one hundred and twenty grew to over three-thousand after Pentecost.
I’m guessing they felt pretty good about their progress thus far in spreading the Gospel.
Acts 2: 42-47 says, “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer … All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people…”
Sounds like they were comfortable. Their lives were settled, friendly, satisfying. So why would you think God would allow this good thing to get messed with?
Because God knew He could make it better.
God allowed a storm of persecution to rush through this comfy crowd (starting with the stoning of Stephen Acts 7:54-60) breaking up their regular get togethers, shattering their new normal. Because of this, many were jolted from their Sunday afternoon Lazy-boy recliners and onto the dirt roads of unfamiliar towns allowing the seed of God’s Word to be scattered and spread (Acts 8:4).
I’m sure it wasn’t what they planned but it was what God allowed in order for the good news about Jesus to be cultivated outside the walls of Jerusalem.
It wasn’t our plan to make a move either. We felt peachy-keen right where we were. But perhaps we were so much so, we became complacent. We needed something to get us off our comfortable.
Shattering and scattering brings about change. And change always brings with it some kind of growth.
In our new city we were able to share all God was doing and the miraculous ways we saw Him at work in our lives. We grew closer as a couple and God added one more to our family of four.
In the end, though painful, our shattering and scattering gave us new perspectives and uncovered unknown talents. And I believe our temporary move served a purpose in God’s eternal plan.
- Our momentary struggles are achieving far more than we can see with our right-now- this-world vision. (2 Corinthians 4:17)
- Keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus and His glory can help us adopt a not-seen-yet but will- see-soon-eternal vision. (2 Corinthians 4:17)
- When we are shattered to be scattered God has an eternal benefit in mind. (Genesis 50:20)
Oh yeah, and it’s wise to never get too cozy with comfortable. In God’s economy messing with a good thing always makes it better.