If God Says "No," Will You Still Say "Yes"?
- Matthew Pryor BodyTithe.com
- Published Aug 09, 2016
He wants the best for you and His plans are better than yours. Therefore, it’s in your best interest to be obedient to His voice.
Sometimes though, if we’re really being honest with ourselves, it’s hard to see it that way. During these times it’s tempting to only be obedient when there’s something in it for us.
I’ll love my neighbor as myself because she can get me a discount at Macy’s.
Or we are obedient after there’s been a direct blessing in our lives.
I guess I can start tithing since I got the promotion.
As a personal trainer, I see all kinds of reasons people have for their fitness: lose weight, grow stronger, get healthier, run faster, look better, and so on. For the most part, Christians have these same purposes for their fitness.
And for the most part, Christians are wrong.
The primary purpose for our fitness should be to honor God with our bodies. We do this why? Because we are told to in Scripture (1 Corinthians 6:19-20; Romans 12:1). Out of plain and simple obedience, we should take care of our bodies no matter what the outcome.
Admittedly, that can be hard. If we know that we’re never going to fit into that size 8 dress or get that 6-pack or reach such-n-such a goal, enthusiasm wanes.
By the way, this kind of tension between obedience and outcome isn’t confined to fitness. Would you still be a joyful giver if you knew you were always going to live paycheck to paycheck? Or Would you still love your neighbor even if you knew they would never reciprocate?
Fortunately, Moses is a good illustration on how to reconcile this kind of friction.
We pick up the story in Numbers 20. Moses is once again dealing with the grumbling, thirsty Israelites. The Lord gives Moses specific instructions on how to perform a miracle: speak to the rock and water will pour out.
Moses, however, did more than speak to it. He struck it with his staff a couple times and then took credit for the water that came out.
God rightfully interpreted Moses’ actions as disobedience stemming from a lack of trust and honor. The consequence? Moses would not be the one to lead the Israelites into the land that had been promised to them.
Moses is then faced with a choice: continue in disobedience or start obeying again even though he would never reach his goal. Moses chose the latter.
Fast forward to the end of Moses’ life.
“Then the Lord said to him, ‘This is the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob when I said, ‘I will give it to your descendants.’ I have let you see it with your eyes, but you will not cross over into it. And Moses the servant of the Lord died there in Moab, as the Lord had said.”—Deuteronomy 34:4-5
Moses lived an admirable life, in spite of his occasional hiccups. He finished in obedience even though he knew he wouldn’t cross the finish line into the Holy Land.
Can I ask you a question? If God said, "No, my child, you will never get the results you want with your fitness," would you still say "Yes" to Him when He calls you to honor Him with your body?
My prayer for you is that you would. You see, God, in His loving kindness, has gifted us with amazing, one of a kind bodies. So out of both gratitude and obedience, we should seek to glorify Him with how we care for them.
We do this now, not later.
We do this whether we can reach the “Fitness Promised Land” or not.
And we do this because it’s the obedience that brings Him the glory, not the outcome.
Matthew Pryor is the author of ”The Body Tithe Devotional: Spiritual Encouragement for Your Fitness Journey." He is also a personal trainer and the founder of the Christian fitness site Body Tithe University (BTU). BTU specializes in helping Christians get fit with one objective in mind: live more so you can give more.
Publication date: August 11, 2016