Today I’m sharing a bit of borrowed wisdom from Prayfit founder, Jimmy Pena. Do we desire to be as fit as necessary to do what God has called us to do or to be as fit as possible?
It almost feels like cheating, borrowing another post from Jimmy Pena, over at PrayFit. However, the silliness of attempting to re-express something so well-written to begin with, has overridden my embarrassment.
I’ve included the full text here, but I highly recommend that you visit their website for numerous other excellent devotionals and fitness information.
Read: James 1
You’ve likely seen someone boast that health is “Always earned, never given.” Sounds reasonable, right? You put in the work, you get the reward. Soundsreasonable, but it’s not true. Health is not earned. Granted, some people appropriately celebrate their health (and hopefully more and more of us each day), but even the byproducts of that discipline — toned muscle, greater endurance, increased strength — gift…gift…gift. Oh we don’t like to admit it. We like to think we’ve earned the right to raise that banner and boast, “I EARNED THIS!” But in truth, it’s when we realize we have undeserved and unearned health that we can make the greatest impact with it.
You might also consider the flip-side. There are those among us who are statistically apparently healthy, but who choose a sedentary lifestyle over an active one. Those who opt for poor food choices over balanced, sensible meals. Despite great genetics, honorable stewardship is the furthest thing from their minds. If you’re like me, you may have people close to you who have absolutely no health issues, but have no issue with abusing it; alive but not living. Healthy vital signs? Sure. Earned? No. A gift. Unopened, but a gift nonetheless.
Whether they’re opened or still neatly wrapped, the bible says that every single gift comes from above and that includes the body. So just remember, as you wake up with grace and mercy, check and see if your limbs work and if your heart’s beating. If all systems are go, then celebrate! Treat life like a Christmas morning kind of present. Open it up! It’s when you see what’s inside that you can really see what’s inside you! And you can’t give God the glory and claim it at the same time. Christians have to choose. So choose to walk, train, run, swim, strive, push, claw, climb, and reach with every single, grateful, thankful, humble, undeserved, unearned gift of health you got.
Sometimes someone says something that you couldn’t say better yourself. Such is the case today. This article was written by Jimmy Pena, at PrayFit. I’m an avid reader of Jimmy’s blog and I subscriber to his teachings on fitness. I hope you enjoy this post:
“We live by faith, not by sight.”–2 Corinthians 5:7
I know we typically end our study with a question, but today we’re starting with one. I’m wondering: 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 and birthdays — but with 10Ks. Or perhaps you’re a fitness junkie. You lift, you sprint, you jump rope, you sweat 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 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 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?
Read this article at its original location, here. Also, I encourage you to take time to read many of Jimmy’s other devotionals.