Living Long

Genesis 6: 3

Then the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, because he also is flesh; nevertheless his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.”

How long should we live? In this passage from Genesis God says a hundred and twenty years. Personally, I think that should be a minimum because this was after the fall. In other words, man in his fallen state should live to be one hundred and twenty years old. How long, then, should redeemed, restored people live? Before the fall and before the curse presumably people would live longer. Or before people learned how to die young, they lived longer.

Even in the depths of our disobedience people had an expectation of long life. In Psalm 90: 10 Moses wrote, “As for the days of our life, they contain seventy years, or if due to strength, eighty years, yet their pride is but labor and sorrow; for soon it is gone and we fly away.” In this Psalm Moses wrote about the Israelites’ fallen state and how they had invoked the anger of the Lord. It is a lament, not a declaration. He is almost weeping as he writes this dirge. The Israelites were not living in the grace of the Lord. They had spurned the loving grace of God and chosen instead to worship idols. Still you couldn’t kill these guys. The life of God within them continued to bear witness in their flesh despite their gross disobedience. And to further undermine this life span limitation, Moses lived to the age of one hundred and twenty. Furthermore, “Although Moses was one hundred and twenty years old when he died, his eye was not dim, nor his vigor abated” (Deuteronomy 34: 7). Moses was still climbing mountains when he reached the end of his life. He wasn’t feeble and broken and you are not meant to be either. We are children of the King, endowed with the life giving power of God Almighty living in our bones. He that called forth life from the very beginning is alive and well in every cell of our bodies right now. Only, we have the switch. We can be in life and health or we can increase in sickness. God said, “I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants” (Deuteronomy 30: 19). Why, then, do we keep choosing death? For goodness sakes, Moses was 80 years old when he went into ministry. “Moses was eighty years old and Aaron eighty-three, when they spoke to Pharaoh” (Exodus 7: 7). His ministry was just beginning. The job that he is still known for didn’t even begin until he was what some may consider advanced in years and then he stayed in that job for forty years. Let’s get a revelation folks. We have been lied to.

Now let us quickly look at Psalm 91: 16, “With a long life I will satisfy him and let him see My salvation.” While the 90th Psalm was written in the context of disobedience and God’s anger with the rebellious Israelites, the 91st Psalm is written about they who trust in the Lord. If you have section headers you may want to look in your Bible at this Psalm. My chapter heading reads “Security of the one who trusts in the Lord.” This is a direct promise to you if you live your life in Christ as we have been taught. If you trust God with you daily life then you should move out of the 90th Psalm into the 91st and expect to be satisfied with a long life. The late Kenneth Hagin said, “If you hear I have passed on you will know that I got satisfied.” And he did. He was satisfied with a long life and just laid his body down and moved to heaven.

Live as long as you want to and remain in good health the whole time. Be active and fruitful. Our Father has said “And I shall fulfill the number of your days” (Exodus 23: 26). So don’t go early unless you are satisfied. If you want to see your great-grandchildren then hang around and rely on the life giving power of our Heavenly Father.

Living Long

Psalm 55: 23

But Thou, O God, will bring them down to the pit of destruction; men of bloodshed and deceit will not live out half their days. But I will trust in Thee.

So, do you want to live a long life? Well, there is a hidden pearl of wisdom here. Men of deceit will not live out half their days. Ouch!! Now you see what is happening to the life span. Honesty has life in it. Deceit carries death with it. 

Deceit is interesting. I think of deceit primarily as not telling the truth but that really does not represent the thrust of the definition. According to the New American Heritage Dictionary deceit is misrepresentation, deception. It is characterized by trickiness and falseness. Deceitful means: Given to cheating or deceiving, misleading or deceptive. Some of the words associated with this idea are deceive, betray, mislead, beguile, delude, dupe, hoodwink, bamboozle, outwit, and double-cross. So what is the point? 

Deceit is not simply telling a lie. That is part of it, of course, but the greater part of deceit is to be intentionally misleading. One could tell a truth then, answer a question true technically and yet mislead the hearer. This deception is often seen in how we couch our facts. It is deceitful to represent the facts in a way which best paints the picture you want perceived when you know it is not really truthful. It is a twisting of the truth in order to mislead someone. This is a manipulation of the truth and of the person being addressed. It is reprehensible to God and will limit the number of days of the speaker. Just ponder this for a moment. We have all seen this and some of us even been guilty of it. We speak what is 10% true and leave out the other 90% of the truth because we do not like how it reflects on us or that it won’t bring about the desired result. I have watched people completely reframe an event in order to look guiltless. They will argue they did not lie because they spoke a bit of the truth but the reality is that in cloaking the greater part of the truth they are attempting to deceive someone. Now I want you to search your gut at this moment and see if you can tell how incensed this makes God. “There are six things which the Lord hates, yes seven which are an abomination to Him” (Proverb 6: 16). Out of the seven two are about not being truthful. This deceitfulness is right in the middle of all that God hates. I am guessing that is not where we want to hang out.

Jesus is truth. We are called to be the people of Jesus, therefore people of truth. It is a slap in God’s face when we mischaracterize something even it if is not a bald-face lie. In the eyes of our Father it is exactly the same thing. And why do people lie and deceive? In the end of things it is because they do not trust the Lord, their God. How much more can we insult God? Do you want to live a long and fruitful life? Be people of the truth.

Revealed Secrets

Proverb 3: 2

For length of days and years of life, and peace they will add to you.

Length of days, years of life and peace are all things most of us deeply desire. Too bad the author didn’t tell us how to receive them. Okay, he did, I’m kidding. It is in verse 1 which reads, “My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments.” Aw man, it’s the same old drill. God hasn’t changed his mind yet. The benefits of his promises are in following Him. Go figure!

You know, it kind of perturbs me today to listen to people talk about life expectancy and getting old. First of all, most people have no expectation of living long and this is true even of Christians in spite of the many promises from God about long life. The other point that is becoming all too clear to me is that we shorten our life expectancy in so many ways the loudest of which is in not following God. When Jesus left he sent his Holy Spirit to lead us in the way we should go but probably more Christians than not never listen to what the Holy Spirit is telling them much less follow his advice. I know this was true of me and it was really showing in my life and health. But now, I have a new lease on life because I have found God’s secrets. He hid them right where I should have found them but wasn’t looking – between the covers of my Bible. But now the lid is off because I know where His secret stash is and that knowledge is now showing in my body and health too. The comparison, in fact, is like night and day.

The first part of the equation is His Word. Hey guys, it really is no mystery. There is life in that book and as I got back into it and started applying the Word, things began to change. I went from hobbling along like an ancient person to riding my mountain bike 35 miles at a time. Doesn’t that sound like a miracle to you? Well, it is but the key for this one was that I was a participant. I helped Dad bring this miracle about by hearkening to His Word, believing it and doing it.

Do you want to know super huge secret number 2? Can you handle it? Okay. The second mystery is found in the 11th word of verse 1. It is the word “heart”. Do you hate hearing that as much as I used to? No, you guys wouldn’t but it used to make my skin peel back. I just hated all that goo-goo stuff that some preachers spoke, like love and heart. Do you know what I mean? I was so intellectually entrenched that I had lost track of where I had put my heart. And just because I say that I was intellectually entrenched that does not mean that I was all that smart. Obviously, because if I really was smart I would not have made my mind and my thoughts the center of the universe. Really? How smart is that? No, it was just that my approach to the world, to problems and even to God was to think about it, to reason. Wow! Find that in the Bible. Now, however, I am on a heart journey and literally that impacts every area of my life including my health and physical well-being. God is now at work within me healing, guiding and repairing the damage. His Word lives within me, in my heart and it is spreading through me like warm honey. And it really is making a difference in how I feel, how I am able to move and how healthy I am. His Word in my heart really does work. I know Dad has been telling us that for thousands of years now but I just finally heard it so I am catching up.

There is one last thing that I have noticed that damages our life expectancy. While today’s verse is good news there are also the verses that tell us what will happen when we don’t follow the good advice that God is giving us. Just yesterday we looked at Isaiah 41: 11 which tells us what will happen to those who hassle God’s kids or who do not treat us with love. They are going to disappear. And you see, this is even true for Christians who gossip, backbite and deal dishonestly. So one of the reasons that we are seeing people die before they should is because we have not been dealing fairly with each other. Brother, when you talk that negative junk behind someone’s back you are planting a seed that is going to produce a crop that you don’t want. Then when that seed begins bearing fruit folks start blaming God. Hey, we don’t have to blame God. He is telling us up front how to live long, healthy lives. Read the Word and do it. You are going to reap great rewards.

Length of Days

Proverb 3: 1 – 2

My son, do not forget my teaching but let your heart keep my commandments; for length of days and years of life, and peace they will add to you.

Proverbs is one of my favorite books of the Bible and this has long been one of my favorite proverbs. However, now that I am studying the heart I am hearing everything differently. Before when I have read or even when I have meditated on this scripture I have focused on “keeping His commandments” and the benefit that confers onto me. However, that isn’t really what this passage says. It doesn’t say for me to keep the commandments but rather for my heart to keep them. Why the distinction? Well, anything else would be a work of the flesh. Keeping the commandments might make me a good Pharisee but my heart keeping them makes me a good Christian or “friend of Christ” which is my definition of Christianity.

We can help ourselves to remember His teaching by continuing in Bible study. To keep it in our hearts requires us to spend some time with our hearts. We have learned that God has inscribed the entirety of His word on our hearts as part of the New Covenant which we have become a party to through the new birth. However, there is an uncovering or a discovery of all that is written there that must take place in order for us to actually keep His Word with our hearts. Head knowledge is not going to satisfy the condition precedent for the promise that God has given us in this passage. In order to have fullness of days and length of years we must keep the Word with our hearts. That first means falling in love with Jesus since He is the Word and then it means going into our hearts where God resides and allowing that Word to be revealed in the heart library. It must become real to our hearts and we must guard and keep it with our hearts rather than our brains for it to have power. Everything else is just, as one friend calls it, intellectual Christianity; fun for your brain and intellect but without life and power. The Holy Spirit doesn’t live in your brain.

God isn’t promising to do something for us if we will do what He says. He is teaching us that long life is the natural byproduct of keeping His statutes with our hearts. He isn’t so much giving a promise here as showing cause and effect. When you worship God through and with your heart you touch all that He is and when you do that, your life is always improved. So, open up the library vault of your heart through your discovery of the Word of God. Meditate therein until the indelible ink of God has saturated your being. Then all manner of blessing will flow from it.

You thought this was going to be a devotional on healing, didn’t you? Well, it is. To your good health ….