Temperatures where I live can get down to 26 below zero Fahrenheit in the winter. (That’s -33 Celsius)
This gives you a mental picture of why what I am about to share is so mind blowing.
I was out running errands on my lunch break in January. I distinctly heard the Lord Yahweh say to me, “Take off your clothes and boots.” And I immediately did as I was told. But it gets even better. I walked around like this for three years! The freezing winters, and the hot, muggy summers where biting flies and mosquitoes would not leave me alone.
On that first day, I had stunned people whip out their phones and begin recording me. I became an internet sensation. Let me tell you, not a pretty picture either. Who wants to see a naked 60 year old woman with stretch marks and wrinkles? Absolutely no one. All the attention I was getting alerted the local law enforcement agencies, who came with sirens blaring and lights flashing. Who knew indecent exposure is a class 1 misdemeanor in Colorado? A conviction can carry up to 18 months in prison and a $5,000 fine. And a conviction for indecent exposure may also force you to register as a sex offender. But to His credit, God did not allow this to take place, hence why I was allowed to walk around like this for three years, naked and barefoot.
Needless to say my being obedient to God was taking me way out of my comfort zone.
Now, you can all relax, because this did not actually happen to me, but it did happen to the prophet Isaiah. God did this as a prophetic sign and as a warning of what was coming to the lands Egypt and Cush. It was a foretelling that the people would be taken away as captives, stripped and barefoot, with their buttocks exposed, totally ashamed because they put their trust in something other than God.
Micah, a prophet in the 8th century B.C, who was also a contemporary of Isaiah, told the people they would be held responsible for their actions for their rebellion and pride against God. Micah says in 1:8 that he will wail and lament, howling like a jackal. That he would walk naked and barefoot in sorrow and shame; for his people’s wounds are far to deep to heal, because they refused to turn back to God.
Before these two prophets, King David was made aware that a fellow king had died and his son, Hanun became the new king. David declared that he was going to show friendship to Hanun because of the kind things his father had done for David. So he sent a message of sympathy to Hanun. But when his ambassadors arrived, Hanun’s advisors told him not to believe that these men came in friendship, but instead to spy out the land to conquer it.
So King Hanun insulted, degraded, debased, and insulted them by shaving off half their beards, and cutting their robes off at the middle exposing their buttocks, and sent them back to David in shame. When someone told David what happened to his men, he sent messengers to meet them, since they had been thoroughly humiliated. He told them to remain in Jericho until their beards grew back in.
These poor men had to walk back through the crowed city, exposed for all to see, not at all in their comfort zone. They were just obeying their King by going and bringing a message of condolences to Hanan. (See 1 Chron. 19:3-5)
Sometimes obeying God is difficult. We become so content just where we are. We come up with a million excuses why should not do what God is clearly asking us to do. But if we don’t obey, we will become like a stinking pool of stagnant water, because His Holy Spirit is not flowing through us. If we don’t obey, He will see we are not ready to move on and grow up spiritually, becoming all that He has in store for us. And sadly, He will move on to someone who is willing to obey, and we will have missed out on an amazing opportunity. I don’t want to be the person who arrives in heaven and is told by Jesus, “I have never known you, remove yourselves far from me.” (Matt. 7:23)
No sirree Bob! Not me! I chose to get out of my own head and my perceived comfort zone. As Pastor Charles Stanley says, “I want my intimacy with God to be the highest priority for my life, because I know it determines the impact of my life. He also says we are to obey God and leave all the consequences to Him. He further states, to obey in the Bible primarily means to listen. It can also mean to heed, agree, consent, understand, and yield to. To obey God means you must listen for His voice and trust what He is telling you. Obeying God is absolutely essential to pleasing Him. If you choose to disobey God, what you are really saying is that you don’t have confidence in Him. What is God leading yo to do? Your choice in this situation will determine whether you succeed or fail; therefore, obey God and leave in His hands whatever consequence is causing you to fear. If God makes a promise to you, you can be assured He will bring it to pass.” (30 Life Principles)
What I want to hear from Jesus, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” (Matt 25:23)
This just puts into perspective what God is asking me to do is not nearly as bad as me going around naked and barefoot for three years! Wow, would you look at that? Yet another thing to give thanks and praise to God for! And trust me if you saw the aforementioned YouTube video of my naked self, you would be thanking and praising God that He did not ask me do do this too!
Step out of your comfort zone today! God will handle the rest.
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