Once Jesus ascended into heaven, the apostles were left standing still and staring towards the sky. Had it not been for the angels who reminded them, who knows how long they would have waited there instead of moving to enact the mission Jesus had given them in the meantime.

It’s easy for us to look at the disciples and wonder what would have kept them standing still instead of getting busy sharing the gospel with the world. But we’re often guilty of the same delaying joining Jesus’ mission to the world, too.

Here are a few reasons why we might find ourselves standing still instead of getting busy sharing the gospel with those around us:

1 // Comfort

There’s no place in the Bible where we find God changing his plan so that his people can be more comfortable. Instead, he calls his followers to break down boundaries and to bring his message of reconciliation into new places. Comfort should always be viewed with suspicion because it can keep us stagnant, instead of focusing on God’s mission and moving the gospel further.

2 // Success

Depending upon past success can keep you in a place when God wants you to move forward. You might begin to believe that because God used you in a certain way before, he wants you to stay there, but we serve a God who is moving and active. It wouldn’t be out of character for God to ask you to relinquish your work so that someone else can build upon your foundation.

3 // Fear

Fear might keep you from getting caught staring into the sky, but it won’t keep you from navel-gazing. Your fears—of failure, of comparison, or of criticism—will keep us from moving forward as we stay focused on ourselves. Remember, the disciples weren’t perfect people, but they didn’t let fear keep them from sharing the good news with the world.

4 // Distraction

Maybe you’re not exactly standing still. Maybe you’re so busy with your agenda that you don’t have the time or the bandwidth to get involved with God’s mission on earth. This doesn’t mean you’re involved in bad things. Good things can be just as much of a distraction from the best thing. Obedience isn’t just about saying “no” to bad things, but saying “yes” to the right things that place God’s mission first.

The antidote to standing still is to depend on God’s direction. Sometimes that will involve waiting—like it did for the disciples—but even in our waiting we can be ready to follow God’s direction and join in his mission to the world.