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

--Jimmy Peña

For Discussion: A quick glance back at the week, we began with a proclamation of being unashamed. And yesterday we resolved it was time to go to worthy war. When do you find is your best time for those quiet moments alone with Him?

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