When you're down on the mat, and the wrestler has his grip on you - the grip that has made you powerless - fighting isn't the way out of his grasp. Surrender is.

Yesterday we said that the only way to destroy the foe of self - even the self of fitness and health - is by the Cross.  Tomorrow we dive into Tozer's narrative of Abraham and Isaac, but before we do, I need to ask you a question: Are you wrestling with the foe of self? Of fitness? Of health? Of status? Of comparison? Followers? Significance? Perhaps significance as a brand? As a voice?

Tozer says. "The way to deeper knowledge of God is through the lonely valleys of soul poverty. The blessed ones who possess the Kingdom are they who have repudiated every external thing and have rooted from their hearts all sense of possessing. These are the "poor in spirit." But the ancient curse will not go out painlessly. He will not lie down and die in obedience to our command. He must be torn out of our heart like a plant from the soil. He must be expelled from our soil by violence."

Plainly put, if our pursuit of fitness isn't leading us to a deeper knowledge of God, then that ache - the deepening root - that buries itself within our fibers and nourishes our desire for great health needs to be uprooted by force. And guys, it's not painless. It doesn't go away easily. It doesn't lie down in obedience. But it's when we stop fighting, stop comparing, stop striving, stop masking; that's when we overcome the enemy. It's when we tap out - even if it means being in worse physical shape - that we gain all things. It's when we surrender that-  "ours is the Kingdom of Heaven."

-Jimmy Peña

For Discussion: I may have mentioned that Tozer is like Nolan Ryan pitching to me as a 5-year old, well, any disagreements? From the last couple of days, what phrase of Tozer has stood out to you. One that we could spend a week on is "the lonely valleys of soul poverty." What does that mean to you and how can we relate soul poverty to our pursuit of physical stewardship? Is there any connection? I think there is...