Fall 2021 SS Magazine

Sports Spectrum Daily Devotional: Wednesday, September 23

“So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, ‘It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.'” — Genesis 32:30

The Pain of Discipline

I enjoy watching a hard-fought wrestling competition. No, not WWE, but collegiate or Olympic wrestling. These young men are tough. They are warriors. They refuse to give up or give in. Often, their matches last a long time. Both competitors’ stamina is amazing! Quite honestly, it makes me tired just watching them. However, can you imagine watching two competitors wrestling all night long, from nighttime until daybreak?

In the Old Testament, that is exactly what happened to Jacob. He, too, had a wrestling match and his wrestling match lasted all night long. Little did he know that he was wrestling with the Angel of the Lord. Of course, it was no competition for God Himself. He allowed Jacob to wrestle with Him from nighttime until daybreak. Then it happened: God said “enough” and He “touched” the hip of Jacob, and the wrestling match immediately ended. Jacob then walked the rest of his life with a permanent limp as a reminder of his encounter with God.

Often times, as children of God, we are no different. We refuse to listen to God. We refuse to obey God. We wrestle with God by doing our own thing, going our own way and living a lifestyle of sin, rebellion and disobedience. We are stubborn and refuse to walk with God.

Then it happens: God says “enough” and He touches the “hip” of our life and brings us to our knees in complete surrender to Him. Sometimes those “touches” are painful and can last a lifetime as a reminder of our personal encounter with God in our life.

I remind and encourage you today: Take the road less traveled. Trust God. Follow Him. Obey Him. Surrender to Him. Serve Him. Live for Him. Don’t wrestle with God; you will always come out on the losing end. Trust Him and surrender your life to Him as a living sacrifice. He loves you so much and has a great plan and purpose for your life.

Because the pain of discipline is always less than the pain of regret.

— Kevin Burrell

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