A Disciplined Faith

"I’m not going to offer God, my God, sacrifices that are no sacrifice.." --2 Samuel 24:24 (the msg) Another translation of the verse above? I won't give God anything that costs me nothing. Continuing our week's discussion on discipline, here's a tough question: Would you forfeit your health for the Lord? More specifically, would you give up your fitness lifestyle if God asked you to?

Maybe you're a runner. An avid runner. Your calendar is marked, not with holidays or birthdays, but with 10Ks. Or perhaps you're a fitness junkie. You lift, you sprint, you jump rope, you flip tires and you repeat it...six days a week. What if God asked you to give it all up? And no, He doesn't give you His reasoning because He doesn't need to explain Himself to you. All you know is that the one passion you have in life -- that one thing that fulfills you and makes you you -- He wants you to totally relinquish. No more gym. No more road. How would you feel? Sad, confused, both? What would you do?

Well, before you say, "Jimmy, I doubt God would ever ask me to give up something like that," let's visit a couple guys who would beg to differ...

When Abraham got to the top of Mt. Moriah, he was both confused and saddened. "Daddy, where's the lamb?" asked Isaac. But Abraham took the son he loved more than life itself, set him on the altar and raised his knife.

When the rich young ruler approached the Lord and asked Him what he needed to do to have eternal life, Jesus said to sell all his possessions, give to the poor and then follow Him. But the Bible says the rich man walked away sad because he was rich.

Two men, both asked to sacrifice the love of their life. One was sad but obedient, the other was sad because he couldn't be. The difference? Faith. Faith saved Isaac and spawned generations that outnumber the stars. Faith loved. Faith sensed guidance. Faith followed. Faith swallowed fear. Faith didn't walk away sad.

Now, Lord only knows what He's calling you to do (or not do) when it comes to His purpose for your life, but is there anything you need to sacrifice in order to be closer to Him? Since He's likely not asking you to give up your pursuit of fitness, could it mean you need to carve out time alone with Him? If He's asking for time with you, do you walk away sad because you're so "fit"? Or on the flip side, if you're not honoring your health like God desires, perhaps stewardship is your sacrifice. Maybe the hill of discipline is your Mount Moriah. What is God asking you to do?

--Jimmy Peña

For Discussion: This week is a challenge for all of us in one way or another. Anyone want to share what God is asking of you? Love to hear your thoughts.