I was having a conversation with one of my minister friends and he shared with me that he was comfortable where he was. Not that he thought he’d “arrived” or anything, but that he’d reached a point where he was satisfied where he was.
I told him that the “comfort zone” is a dangerous place to be. I don’t ever want to be “comfortable;” I want to be ready for action – in a constant state of agitation.
God gave me an amazing visual: when you turn the ignition key in your car, it engages the fuel pump, which squirts air into a cylinder, where it is mixed with air from the intake manifold. As the starter motor turns the crankshaft, this volatile fuel-air mixture is agitated by the electrical charge given off by the spark-plug. The resulting controlled explosion results in the piston in the cylinder driven downward, where it is turned into thrust-generating power.
Another example is the transmission of electricity. In order for power to be transmitted from a power-generating station to homes and businesses, electrons must be agitated to move power across miles of power-lines.
Agitation was necessary for Abram (Abraham) to get up from the land he was born in and was used to, in order to go to the place where God had foreordained a blessing.
Jacob had to be agitated in order to get out of Laban’s house.
Moses had to be agitated first to be identified with his own people, then again to lead the people of Israel out of bondage in Egypt.
David had to be agitated first to slay Goliath and then, again, to fulfill his destiny as the King of Israel.
Agitation is necessary for alteration
Agitation is essential for change. The United States was founded on agitation – taxation without representation and other oppressive governance on the part of the British crown.
The civil-rights movement in America was borne of agitation of a people frustrated with second-class citizenship.
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nigo were so agitated with Nebuchadnezzer’s decree that all had to bow to his idol that they were willing to go into a furnace. They were not seeking to change Nebuchadnezzer or his plan, only to be obedient to God. However, their faithfulness brought forth the manifest presence of God AND a change in Nebuchadnezzer’s heart!
But God created and manifested the greatest agitation to bring about creations greatest alteration. In the fullness of time, He sent His only Begotten Son into the world to save, heal, and deliver mankind! God wrapped His very Word into flesh, bringing Himself eye-to-eye with His children.
God Loved so much He had to create. The whole world, indeed, the entire universe reflects His glory! Neither any art nor technology imagined by the minds of men is comparable to the majesty of creation. The fact that there are so many things that constitute the protection and sustaining of life is a testimony to a loving creator.
The great artists of the world all toiled out of love. Michelangelo spent years on his sculpture of David, often going days without food or sleep and plying with his hammer and chisel until blood streamed from his hands.
One of the common schools of thought is that God created man to give Him glory. While it is clear that man is God’s greatest creation and that we do give Him Glory, I submit to you that this IS NOT the only reason. Parents, when we decide to have children, it is not for our own vanity. It is a manifestation of the love we have within us. We choose to bring life into the world to love and to be loved by it. We feel we have something to pass on to posterity and we hope to do it through our children.
God has created us in His image and in His likeness. His desire is to reflect Him and, as He created, He expects us to. We are supposed to speak with confidence (faith); indeed, we are to speak things that are not as though they were!
True love leaves nothing the way it found it. Love improves everything it comes into contact with it. Jesus came into the world and completely upset the “apple-cart” of religion. When Jesus entered into His earthly ministry, He did not seek to establish himself or hob-knob with the religious leaders. He hung out with prostitutes, drunkards, and tax-collectors. Instead of observing the sabbath – His disciples picked corn and He healed on the sabbath – He explained that He IS the sabbath!
Jesus changed the atmosphere in all the communities he reached in such an impactful way that the religious and political leadership ultimately sought to see Him killed.
The Love of Christ should be so apparent in us that whenever we enter a room, someone should sense a difference. We should be like thermostats – with the innate ability to change the climate – rather than thermometers – which simply assess the temperature of the environment.
Love is compassion. Most of history’s great humanitarians were noted for their compassion. Mother Theresa, Martin Luther King, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and Harriet Beecher Stowe were all known for their love for all humanity, especially the downtrodden.
I believe it is just as impossible to love without compassion as it is to have faith without corresponding works.
When Jesus came into the world, He not only loved the people he came into contact with, he had extreme compassion. When he encountered blind Bartemaeus, Zacchaeus, or the rich young ruler, Jesus showed compassion. But in the most extreme example of compassion, when He hung on the cross at Calvary, He could have – within His rights – condemned those who condemned Him to death but, instead, He said, “Father, forgive them…”
One of the things that is hugely missing from the Body of Christ and many local church bodies is compassion. How do you react to the person who comes into the sanctuary who reeks of booze? Or the person who looks unclean and disheveled? Or how do we react to the person with an apparent physical disability? How we react to the least of people will reveal more of the Christ in us than any amount of scripture we can quote.
Now, I need to take a pause before closing here to let you know agitation and irritation are not the same thing. Agitation will always prompt you into forward motion, whereas irritation will hold you back. You need to embrace agitation but quickly rid yourself of irritation!
Without agitation, change cannot happen
Without agitation, the sinner cannot be led to the cross
Without agitation, the saint cannot be discipled.
© 2012 – Derrick Day (www.derrickday.com)