Wednesday, February 11, 2009

God Had a Plan, An Apple a Day

An Apple a Day

Apples are great fruit. Full of vitamins, minerals and fiber, not to mention strength-yielding carbs. If you actually did eat one a day, I wonder how true the old saying would be that an apple a day keeps the doctor away. It would certainly keep you healthier and out of the doctor’s office more than if you rarely ever ate one.

However, what if that was all you ate? I mean, literally, you only ate exactly one apple a day. No steak, no salad, no oatmeal. Just one apple. Well, I think you’d get skinny real fast on a diet like that. You probably would actually starve yourself to death. Even if you lived a relatively long time, you’d begin to have severe health problems. That’s why humans consume several meals a day, hopefully well-balanced with things like protein and whole grains. It’s all part of the plan of God for the natural world.

God has a plan for the spiritual well-being of His children as well. It’s easy to see the comparison between an apple a day physically and a short scripture passage – just a verse or two – a day spiritually. One verse a day is certainly better than no Bible reading at all, especially if you meditated on that one verse throughout the day. But how long does a diet like that really sustain a person, spiritually speaking? Just as one apple a day would be a form of anorexia, one very short passage of scripture a day would be a sort of spiritual anorexia.

If God had a plan for the physical, He surely also had a plan for the spiritual. As new creatures in Christ, the new spiritual man has an appetite, and just as the old physical man needs food, so does the new inner man. A good healthy diet of the word of God, not just a verse or two here and there, but really at times “devouring” whole chapters, is just the thing to keep the new man healthy and growing. Neglecting the spiritual condition of the soul causes it to whither away, just as avoiding food starves the natural man.

Children don’t always cooperate with their parents’ plan for them to eat and be well-nourished. “But I hate spinach!” wails the child. The parent sighs and often gives up. I’m glad God doesn’t give up on His plan for our spiritual health. He continues to offer good “food” day after day. No, He rarely resorts to force-feeding, allowing us some room to reject what He offers. But He continues to work on our hearts until He truly becomes the desire of our hearts, and we gladly, voraciously consume all He wants to feed us.

Here’s a practical application. At my house and I am sure yours as well, I have to plan meals ahead of time. If I never go to the store and buy what I need I can’t make a meal. If I don’t get into the kitchen and do some cooking, nothing magically lands on the table at dinner time. (Although sometime I really wish it would! Sigh.) In the same way, it takes effort and planning to create special time in your day for the word of God. No it isn’t easy – but how spiritually well-fed are you going to be if you don’t make that time?

God loves us and desires the best for us. That’s why He’s provided everything we need to grow and be healthy through His Holy Spirit and His word. So be Mary – you know, the one who spent time at His feet – just soaking up His words – and your outcome will be life and peace.

Here are just a couple of “apples” to chew on – but if you sit down and “devour” the entire chapters these verses come from, you will be the better for it.

Romans 8:5-6 For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace,

2 Peter 1:2-3 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.

Job 42:1-2Then Job answered the LORD and said, "I know that You can do all things, And that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.

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