Staying in your own little bubble may be familiar and comfortable; however, if you're never uncomfortable, how are you trusting God to grow you? Certainly, you can grow by being in community and by engaging in God's Word. However, He called us to get out of our comfort zone to go unto all nations. In today's world, with Christians being persecuted everywhere, going to the nations is not very comfortable. Here are some helpful, simple hints I've picked up along the way that allow me to step out of my comfort zone and trust God to move.
1. Get to know someone new everyday.
For me, it is so easy to just go through the motions of going to work (or school) and hurrying home to change into my sweatpants as soon as possible. Something I've been challenging myself to do lately is to not only meet someone new everyday, but get to know them. For me, this is as simple as asking how their day has been, where they're from, etc. In our society, it is out of the ordinary to truly attempt to get acquainted with someone.
2. Go to places that are new & nerve-wracking for you.
If you're always staying somewhere that's comfortable to you, you're not growing in faith that the Lord will move in you in uncomfortable situations. This is added on to the first point because it allows you to meet new people. It's also a great conversation starter. For instance if you're at a new restaurant, ask the person in front of you in line, "Hey, this is my first time here... What's good to order?" Don't be afraid to look weird and ask questions, you won't look weird at all. Who knows, you could make a new friend or find a new favorite restaurant.
3. Take off your cool jacket.
My friend has this analogy where we all have these cool jackets on, like that one guy who wears his high school Letterman jacket, years after he should have stopped, because he's holding onto something that made him comfortable - being the big man on campus. He's not maturing into a new identity as an adult if he is still holding onto high school. Allow yourself to be weird, look silly, or make mistakes. Reveal who you really are. This is the only way you will be able to mature in knowing you are truly loved in Christ an no one else's opinion of you truly matters in the end.
4. Surround yourself with people who have different views than you.
This is very difficult for me. I always find it so hard to be around others who think, act, or vote differently than I do. I'm always scared to say or do something that will offend them and automatically lose their trust.
5. Pray for opportunities that force you to rely on God.
You may be surprised to see how quickly God provides opportunities for you to step out in faith and trust him to be glorified in your actions and words. When you pray for God's will to be done and to glorify Him, He will surely provide opportunities for you to do so.
I'm not saying that if you do these five things, you're going to want to always step out of your comfort zone. I've been trying to get out of my comfort zone for a few years to grow in trusting the Lord; still, more days then not, I find myself hanging out at home with people who are so similar to me. However, because you trust Him to provide strength and boldness in situations, you will begin to see God growing you in some of your weaknesses. It truly is a great feeling; getting to experience moments of God moving through you is like none other.
Start small. Think of a few areas in which you can trust God to move you. Trust Him in those areas daily and you will start to see Him provide for you.