Apples of Gold
Radio Script for September 29, 2009
“Declare War on Spiritual Atrophy”
Hello, I’m Doug Apple…with Apples of Gold.
My daughter’s headlights were terrible.
The plastic was all clouded over, and she said that even with her brights on it was hard to see.
So I stopped by the auto parts store, and the price to replace both headlights was over $300!
“Wow,” I said. “That’s a little steep for a vehicle on its last legs.”
“There is another option,” said the clerk. “It’s a kit that will clean them up like new.”
“Well it’s not that they’re dirty,” I said. “It’s more like the plastic is just old and going bad.”
“No, no,” she said. “That’s just on the surface. Trust me, it works. My husband just did it on my truck and the headlights look like new.”
So I bought the kit. It was still 20 bucks, but for a savings of $280 it was worth a shot!
So I sanded with the course sandpaper, and sanded with the fine sandpaper. Then I used the polish, then I added the clear coat, and … it worked! It was amazing, the headlights really do look just like new.
Now I look around at all the cars with cloudy headlights and I think, “Why are you putting up with that?”
Well I know why most people put up with it – because they don’t even notice. It happens so slowly over time. But day in and day out their headlights get worse and worse until one day they realize, “What on earth? I can hardly see!”
It makes me think of the word “atrophy,” which is usually applied to the human body, as in muscular atrophy. For example, when you break your arm and it’s stuck in a cast for a few weeks, those unused muscles get weak, they shrink, they atrophy.
You don’t even notice until you get the cast off and try to do something. Then you realize just how weak you’ve become.
And pretty much everything works like this. If you don’t work hard to keep it strong, it atrophies.
The same thing happens to us spiritually. If we don’t work hard to keep growing as Christians, then we automatically grow weak. It’s spiritual atrophy. Some call it “backsliding.”
Yesterday we aired the testimony of Jhenai Wilkerson, a student at FSU from New Jersey. She became a Christian in high school, and was very fired up for God. Then she moved to Tallahassee.
She still went to church every Sunday and Wednesday. “But I was not in the same place in my relationship with God,” she said. “I began to backslide, having one foot in the church and one foot out.”
In 2007, at 19 years old, she found herself unmarried and pregnant. She went to the clinic, she paid her money, and even though it went against everything she believed, she scheduled an abortion.
Now how do you go from being fired up for God to going against everything you believe?
One step at a time. That’s how backsliding happens, one step at a time.
Think of Lot in the Bible. He was Abraham’s nephew, and with Abraham he was right in the middle of God’s blessing.
But then in Genesis 13:12 we have this fateful line, “Lot…pitched his tents near Sodom.” The next verse says, “Now the men of Sodom were wicked and were sinning greatly against the Lord.”
So there’s Lot, moving away from Abraham and toward wicked Sodom.
Now jump ahead to Genesis 14:12. By this time Lot was actually living in Sodom.
Out in the country, Abraham was meeting with God, and God was making promises to Abraham. But in the city, Lot had surrounded himself with wickedness.
The city was so wicked that when two angels came to rescue Lot, the men surrounded his house and demanded that the “men” be brought out for their pleasure.
And Lot was so messed up that he offered up his own daughters for their abuse. Talk about backsliding!
I like this word picture for backsliding: pitching your tent toward Sodom.
It’s what Jhenai Wilkerson called having “one foot in the church and one foot out.”
The good news is, Jhenai realized the truth of her situation just in time, jumped off the abortionist’s table and ran out, saving her baby.
With the help of the angels, Lot barely escaped Sodom with his life.
And what about you? Are you in a backslidden condition today? Have your spiritual headlights grown dim? Have your spiritual muscles atrophied?
Then this is your call to get right! It’s time to get that one foot out of the world. It’s time to seek the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. It’s time to hear the voice of the Good Shepherd who is calling out your name. It’s time to draw near to Him and love Him and obey Him.
It’s time to declare war on spiritual atrophy!
E-mail me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
May God bless you today! With Apples of Gold…I’m Doug Apple.
© 2009 The Arrow’s Tip
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(Proverbs 25:11 – “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.”)
Why “The Arrow’s Tip”? Each morning, after diligently seeking the Lord, I write Apples of Gold. Then before I release it to the public I pray one final prayer, “Lord, send forth your arrows.” I envision Apples of Gold as arrows, tips dipped in the river of the water of life that flows from the throne of God (Rev. 22:1), sailing toward the hearts and minds of men and women around the world.
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