Have you ever shopped for a bed? If not, get ready to be shocked. Carissa and I went shortly after being married, and we were blown away. Why? Beds are expensive. Like, stupid expensive. When asking the salesman if they had cheaper options, he said, “You don’t want cheaper. I know its expensive, but you have to pay for comfort.”
Comfort is an interesting thing. In the world of furniture and clothes, it’s an idea that we all understand. While comfort varies for people, we all understand the value of comfortable clothing, beds, couches and shoes. We understand the value of this because we have all experienced a lack of comfort in these areas. We know that comfort should be a priority in these areas. However, what about comfort in other areas?
I am addicted to comfort. I am addicted to my phone (it’s like my safety net). I am addicted to having things that I see as something that can improve my life. I want everything instantly. I chase after comfort, because my joy is found in my own satisfaction.
Comfort isn’t bad on its own. I believe Jesus came to bring an abundant life, and things that bring comfort are good. However, when our comfort is what brings our joy and satisfaction, we have a problem. We want the latest and greatest because those things make us feel full. However, when the next model of whatever it is comes out, we believe our’s to now be crap. We need the new version. See why its a problem? It’s a vicious circle of temporary satisfaction. What would happen if we lost our comforts? Would we still be satisfied with our lives at all?
One of the saddest stories in the Bible is of the rich young man, in Luke 10. Here, a man asks Jesus what it takes to go to heaven. Jesus ultimately calls the man to sell everything to follow Jesus. The Bible says that the man leaves sad, because He was wealthy. Jesus doesn’t say this because anyone who is wealthy cannot be a Jesus follower. He says this because the man has allowed these things to satisfy him, and Jesus is calling him to give up what he has made the source of his joy. Jesus wants to be the source of our joy and satisfaction.
Satisfaction from sources other than Jesus is a dangerous thing. We can’t allow other things to fill that role, because they will not ultimately last. Andy Mineo released a song called “Uncomfortable” about this. There is a quote from this song, about the above story:
“He said it’s hard for a rich man to get to heaven. When we feel like we don’t need God, then we forget Him.”
Here is his point, and its a good one: When we seek satisfaction outside of God, we are saying He is replaceable. If we can be ultimately satisfied from other sources, then what is God except a way to get out of hell?
When we constantly seek outside satisfaction, the worst type of comfort sets in. We become complacent in our walk with Christ. We become the rich young man; we want the benefits of a relationship with Jesus without having to follow Him… without the sacrifice. We think we don’t need to serve Him in radical ways, or follow Him how He tells us to. We have the relationship. And we go to church after all. Isn’t that enough?
I have been there. I am actually always battling to get myself out of that place. For me, it has been worse. At times in my life and ministry, I feel like I have loved the church and doing life with Christians more than I care to see people far from God meet Him. I mean, I’ll tell people about Jesus, but it isn’t what drives me in these seasons. It isn’t until I step out of that place that I realize how wrong I am. When we lose sight of why we serve, we will lose sight of our purpose as well.
I read a quote on a blog that I follow called DadTired, that shook me recently. It isn’t a new revelation, but one that I need to continually repeat to myself:
“The Bible teaches us that God is not as concerned with your comfort as he is your character.”
We need to remember that God wants us to follow Him more than He wants us to chase our desires. Comfort is such a useful tool for Satan, and we constantly let comfort control us. Jesus didn’t come and die so that we can have the latest and greatest, or so we could attend church and call that following Jesus. Jesus came so that we can have life; life defined by joy and satisfaction found in Him.
Jesus has called us all to a radical life of following Him. This will look different for everyone. For me, this means that I must be constantly seeking Jesus. I find that Satan’s greatest attack in my life is to make me feel complacent in ministry, and think I am doing enough. As crazy as this sounds, most of the time, I am complacent with my own spiritual life, and just focus on the spiritual life of others. And while that may sound super spiritual and selfless, it’s dangerous. I cannot allow myself to overlook my own walk with Christ. My focus, and your focus, needs to be on where we are with Christ first and foremost. When we do this, and get intentional about it, we will be in a place where Jesus is our source of satisfaction.
This is a constant battle. This isn’t a one time thing you get over. You need to daily seek Jesus and pray that He helps focus you. I would encourage you to be transparent and share this with someone else. Work through this with someone else. There is power in accountability and transparency. My prayer is that I break my addiction to comfort and seek satisfaction in Jesus alone. I hope you’ll join me on this difficult journey.
Trust the process. Take your next step. Now is your moment.