When faced with stressful and overwhelming circumstances, we all tend to pull back and retreat into what is most familiar to us. If what is most familiar and comfortable to us is sin, then we will find ourselves indulging in sinful behaviors every time our world feels like it is collapsing around us. Thus, when we most need God (as if we aren’t in constant need!), we are rebelling against Him. It’s not a good plan.
A far better plan is to instill healthy spiritual disciplines that will cause us to retreat into habits like prayer and Bible reading when our life begins tilting upside down. Solomon wrote, “As shameful conduct is pleasure for a fool, so wisdom is for a man of understanding” (Proverbs 10:23). We need to be so obsessed with God and His Word that He becomes our comfort zone.
Sinful behavior is never a destination we arrive at by surprise. We don’t betray God and stumble into sin by accident. We fall into sin by intentionally taking a few exploratory trips into it. There is no human being that can survive the temptations of the devil by indulging in them. That’s not how life works. Our fallen nature has an insatiable desire for sin. Sin is a lot like chocolate chip cookies or potato chips. Once you partake, it is very difficult to stop. When the pressures of life build, you’ll crave the comfort zone of sin because it is where you find an escape from the pain of the world. But it’s a lie. Sin only compounds the pain and anxiety you are feeling.
The key to avoiding the vicious cycle of sin is establishing a new comfort zone in the words and arms of our Savior. I know many people who think the Bible is a dry and boring book. They struggle to read it consistently. In the same way, many struggle with prayer because they feel like their words are bouncing off the ceiling. Some think praying to an invisible God is just plain weird. Here is what I know: the more you read the Bible, the more you will want to read the Bible. The more you read the Bible, the more you will learn about God, and the more you learn about God, the more you will want to talk to Him in prayer.
When you are consistently reading God’s Word and seeking Him in prayer, you will change your comfort zone. Instead of falling back into sinful pleasures to ease your heartache, you will crave being in God’s presence. After fifty years of being a Christian, I have never been more in love with God and His Word. They are as indispensable to me as breathing. While there are still times my actions may betray my heart, there is nothing I would rather do than spend my time studying God’s Word. Nothing brings me more peace than talking with my Creator and Lord. Simply being in His presence melts all the cares of this world away.
Don’t let the empty promises of the evil one deceive you. There is no lasting peace or comfort in his ways. We find true peace, joy, and rest only in Jesus. He is the only true comfort zone. He is the only one who loves you beyond all measure. Christ alone knows what will soothe your ache and salve your pain. Don’t settle for temporary and ineffective relief. Don’t fall back into your old comfort zones. Seek first the Kingdom of God, and He will provide you with everything you need (Matthew 6:31-33).