Sent:  June 28, 2002

Subject:  What Keeps God Away!

Good Morning Ethan & Emily:

From childhood I have heard people say:  “An apple a day, keeps the doctor away.”  This is an often quoted medical proverb whose origins are uncertain but was first found as a Welsh folk proverb toward the end of the 19th century:  “Eat an apple on going to bed,  And you’ll keep the doctor from earning his bread.”  Unfortunately, no one has been able to validate these physical attributes.  We eat a lot of apples and doctors are still in business, but in the spiritual realm, the Bible is very clear as to what will keep God away.

Ps. 138: 6 tells us:  “Though the Lord is great, He cares for the humble, but He keeps His distance from the proud.”  In fact, the Bible tells us that God actually “despises” pride (Prov. 16: 5) and that it “ends in humiliation.” (Prov. 29:23) 

In a very practical sense, Paul warned the early Church in choosing its elders that “an elder must not be a new Christian, because he might be proud of being chosen so soon, and the Devil will use that pride to make him fall.”  (1 Timothy 3: 6)

Pride is a dangerous illusion, as everything we have comes from God even though it might appear to be of our making.  King David, the greatest and richest ruler on earth at the time, acknowledged:  “Everything we have has come from you, and we give you only what you have already given us!”  (1 Chronicles 29:14)  

Being humble is a challenge for me, as I am an “achiever” and I like the competitive spirit of business.  But I have been blessed, as I daily give God the praise and credit for sales and any recognition that might come my way, as I truly want a close and intimate relationship with the Lord….not one from afar separated by pride.

There is an old hymn which goes:  “Just when I need Him most…Just when I need Him most, Jesus is near to comfort and cheer….Just when I need Him most.”  That’s certainly the desire of my heart, and I hope that it is yours also. 

In fact, Jesus Himself revealed the key to success:  “But those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”  (Matt. 23: 12) That’s good enough for me.

So, I would ask you to constantly be on guard for any inroads pride might make in your life.  You can keep your apples…but throw out your pride in honest confession and repentance.  Then keep God close at hand as you walk afresh in humbleness and in gratitude for all He has given you.

I close our time together this morning munching on my apple and thanking the Lord for you and everything else He has so blessed me with…

All my love,