The true Biblical measure of man's full potential life-span is 120 years (Genesis 6:3). This should change the way we think about ourselves. By letting God’s Word on long-life renew our mind, our life will be transformed (Romans 12:2).
The things we BELIEVE and DO either shorten or lengthen our life. The length of our life is not preordained. We can believe and do things that will either shorten or lengthen it. When we die is not all up to God, but we have a big say in it."The fear of the Lord prolongs days: but the years of the wicked shall be shortened" (Proverbs 10:27).
The two areas of right BELIEVING and right DOING, involve: 1. having FAITH in God’s promises of long-life, and 2. obeying God’s WISDOM in our actions and life-style!WISDOM in living is just as needful to long-life as FAITH.
*We will now consider 6 KEYS to LONG LIFE.
The first is foundational to all the rest (putting the Word first). The next two concern our FAITH life (believing and speaking) Then the last three are about applying WISDOM to our life. So, let us now consider the positive things we can believe and do in order to attain a LONG and FULL LIFE.
*KEY 1. PUT THE WORD OF GOD FIRST.
This is foundational to everything for God’s Word is the source of FAITH and WISDOM for our lives, enabling us to both BELIEVE right and LIVE right and so lengthen our life. God’s life is in His Word, and so as we feed on it we are feeding on His life and strength.
Man is designed to run on the spiritual fuel of God’s Word: “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceeds out of the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). When we are not constantly taking in the Word we run on bad fuel which leads to shortened life (like a car working on inferior fuel). Living on good fuel brings long life. Cells in culture live long when well nourished. Likewise staying nourished by God’s Word is the first key to long-life.
Again and again God promises us that if we put His Word first, it will increase the quality and quantity of our life.
God’s Word will give us a LONG-LIFE of many good days: Deuteronomy 11:18-21: “You shall lay up these WORDS OF MINE in your heart and in your soul, and bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, that YOUR DAYS and the days of your children may BE MULTIPLIED in the land of which the Lord swore to your fathers to give them, like DAYS OF HEAVEN ON EARTH.”
Proverbs 3:1,2: “My son, forget not my law; but let your heart keep my commands, for length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they (God’s words) add to you.”
When you receive the wisdom in God’s Word, this Divine wisdom in your heart will LENGTHEN YOUR DAYS:
Proverbs 3:13-18: “Happy is the man who finds wisdom (in the Word), and the man who gains understanding; for her proceeds are better than the profits of silver, and her gain than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies, and all the things you may desire cannot compare with her.
LENGTH OF DAYS is in her right hand. In her left hand riches and honour. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of LIFE to those who take hold of her, and happy are all who retain her.”
Proverbs 8:34-36: “Whosoever finds me (the wisdom of God’s Word) finds LIFE,... But he who sins against me wrongs his own soul: all they who hate me love death.”
Proverbs 9:10,11: "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and knowledge of the Holy is understanding. Forby me (by God’s Word in you) your days shall be multiplied, and the years of your life increased."
God’s WORDS are LIFE to our spirit, soul and body, but for them to be effective we must get and keep them in our heart:
Proverbs 4:4,5: “Let your heart retain my words: keep my commands, and LIVE. Get wisdom...Forsake her not, and she will PRESERVE you: love her and she will keep you.”
Proverbs 4:10: "My son, receive My SAYINGS; and
THE YEARS OF YOUR LIFE WILL BE MANY."
Proverbs 4:13: “Take fast hold of instruction (the WORD); do not let her go: keep her; for SHE IS YOUR LIFE.”
Proverbs 7:1,2: “My son, keep My WORDS, and treasure my commands within you. Keep my commands and LIVE, and my law as the apple of your eye.”
Proverbs 4:20-23: “My son, attend to my WORDS; incline your ear to my SAYINGS. Let them (words of God) not depart from your eyes; keep them in the midst of your heart. For they are LIFE to those that find them, and HEALTH to all their flesh. Keep (protect) your heart with all diligence (in the Word of God), for out of it (the heart) spring the issues(forces) of LIFE (sustaining us).” Our whole life and health is sustained by the strength (life) that comes out of our heart and spirit (Proverbs 18:14), so we need to diligently feed it with God’s Word, which imparts His life to our heart, which then issues forth from there to our mind and body, giving us soundness of mind and health. God’s Word in our heart also keeps it strong in wisdom and faith, and guards (protects) it from foolishness and unbelief.
3John 2-4 is a prayer inspired by the Spirit of God: “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in HEALTH(God’s will for us is health and long-life), just as your soul prospers (in God’s Word, which is TRUTH - John 17:17). For I rejoiced greatly when brethren came and testified of the TRUTH (the Word) that is in you, just as you walk in the TRUTH (the Word). I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in TRUTH (the Word).” Divine health is God’s will for us, but it is not automatic.
It is according to the prosperity of our soul (mind), which depends on how much it is filled with and controlled by God’s Word. If the TRUTH of the WORD is IN US and we WALK IN IT, then our soul will prosper, and as a result we will prosper in all things, and enjoy health and a longer life.
2Peter 1:3,4: “His divine power HAS GIVEN to us ALL THINGS that pertain to LIFE and godliness, through the KNOWLEDGE of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious PROMISES, that through these you may be PARTAKERS of the divine nature (His life and health).”In Christ, God has already given us abundant and long life.But we still have to receive (partake of) His gift by faith. It is through the promises (words) of God that we gain the knowledge of God’s will and so obtain the faith we need to receive His life. Thus as we put His Word first, we come to the knowledge that God has given us all we need, and this gives us the confidence to come to Him and partake (receive).
So first we must meditate on God’s Word until we KNOW the promise of long-life and believe it. Then on the basis of the promise, we can come to Him in confident prayer and PARTAKE of (believe we RECEIVE) that life for ourselves (Mark 11:24). This next step is the subject of KEY 2:
KEY 2. BELIEVING PRAYER
The blessings of God do not come upon us automatically, for we must receive them by faith. Faith begins when the will of God is known. We come to know God’s will from His Word. His Word tells us He wants us to have long-life and days of heaven on earth. Once we know God’s will for us, then we must embrace (believe we receive) it for ourselves, praying that His will (a long, blessed life) be done on earth (in our lives) as it is in heaven. If we want abundant life, long-life or eternal life from God, we must come to Him and ask for it:
Psalm 21:4: “He asked LIFE from You, and You gave it to him— LENGTH OF DAYS forever and ever.”
James 4:2 says: “We have not, because we ask not.”
But to ask successfully and receive it, we must ask in FAITH: James 1:5-7: “If any of you lacks wisdom (or LIFE), let him ask of God, who GIVES to ALL LIBERALLY and without reproach (not withholding the answer) and it (LIFE) will be GIVEN to him. But let him ask in faith (believing that God gives to all freely, liberally, without holding back) with no doubting (that God is a liberal giver who gives it to him when he asks), for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man (who doubts) suppose he will receive anything from the Lord (the Lord still gives it, but he is unable to receive it).”
To ask in faith means to come to God, and ask and receive it, trusting His promise that it is already ours in Christ, bought and paid for by His blood, and so it is freely available to us upon request. Knowing He freely gives it to us when we ask, we can come boldly to His Throne of Grace to obtain it:
Hebrews 4:16: “Let us therefore come boldly (in confident faith that He wants to answer us and that He will freely give Life to us) to the Throne of GRACE, that we may OBTAIN MERCY and find grace to help in time of need.”
Romans 10:12,13: “The same Lord over all is RICH (gives freely) TO ALL who call upon Him (who ask Him for life). For: "ALL who call on the Name of the Lord (Jesus), shall be saved (all who ask in faith shall receive His life).”
Mark 11:24: “Therefore I say to you, whatever things you desire (such as long-life), when you pray, believe that you receive them (long-life), and you will have them.” If you know it is God’s will to have long-life, and that He freely gives it to us when we ask Him, we can come to Him and pray the prayer of faith, and believe we receive it when we pray. Then the answer shall be manifested in our lives.
1John 5:14,15 gives the basis for us praying Mark 11:24: “Now this is the CONFIDENCE that we have IN HIM (in His Character), that if we ask anything according to His Will (His Word), He hears (answers) us. And if we know that He hears (answers) us, whatever we ask (according to His will), we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him (we know we received it when we prayed).”
Firstly, we must KNOW (have confidence) that what we are asking for (such as long-life) is according to God’s Will. Secondly, we must KNOW that when we ask for something that is His will, He hears and answers us WHEN WE PRAY (He freely releases the answer to us without delay). If we know both of these truths, then we can believe we receive the answer when we pray, and know that we have the answer to our petition. Hence we can go from His throne having the answer in our hands having obtained it by our confident faith.
Matthew 7:7-11: "Ask (for Healing and Long-Life) and it will be given to you (when you ask)...For everyone who asks receives (for it is yours and God gives it to you in the Spirit when you ask. The answer is always ‘Yes’, not ‘No’, or ‘wait, let me think about it’). Or what man is there among you, who if his son asks for bread (healing is the children’s bread, see Matthew 15:26) will give him a stone (leaving him hungry, keeping him waiting for the healing he needs) ... If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in Heaven(immediately) give good things (that are bought and paid for in the New Covenant in Christ) to those who ask Him!”
These promised blessings belong to us in Christ, but we still have to ask Him for them, but when we ask He immediately gives them to us, so at the moment we ask, we can receive:
Luke 11:9,10: “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.”
Matthew 21:22: “whatever things you ask in prayer, believing (the promise that it is yours and will be freely given to you upon request) you will receive (when you pray).”
The River of Life. Jesus says to us: "It is done! (it is all paid for on the Cross) I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning (Source) and the End. I will GIVE of the fountain of the WATER of LIFE FREELY to him who thirsts (asks)”(Revelation 21:6).
This Water (River) of LIFE contains ABUNDANT LIFE and HEALING. It flows from the atoning sacrifice of the LAMB: “He showed me a pure River of WATER OF LIFE, clear as crystal, proceeding from the Throne of God and of the LAMB...on either side of the River was the Tree of Life... the leaves of the Tree (which receives its life from the River) were for the HEALTH of the nations (therefore these waters contain Healing and Long-Life)...so, let him who thirsts (desires life) come. Whosoever desires (life), let him TAKE (receive by faith) the water of life (healing and long-life) freely (as a free-gift)” (Revelation 22:1,2,17).
All are invited to come and take (receive by faith) what has already been poured forth (given) to us through Christ. This River of Life flows freely to us in the Spirit from the Father, through the Son (the sacrificial Lamb) who has risen from the dead. It represents God freely giving us His Life and Healing, flowing to us in and by the Spirit, on the basis of the Blood.
We have seen the first two keys of receiving long-life by faith. Key 1 is to know the promise of God and be fully persuaded that it is God’s will for our life. This comes through meditating on the Word. Key 2 is the next step. On the basis of the promise, we must come to God in faith, and ask Him for what is promised, and believe we receive it.We now come to Key 3 which completes this process of faith.It is the Key to maintaining and strengthening our faith in the promise, and for bringing the answer (which we have now received into our spirit) into manifestation in our lives.
KEY 3 - USE YOUR TONGUE to speak life and health.
We are made in the image of God, who brings forth what He has in His Spirit into physical manifestation by SPEAKING WORDS (Genesis 1). So when we have received a promise of God by faith, we have the answer in our spirit. Now we are to bring it into manifestation by SPEAKING WORDS. As we do, we release God’s Spirit to work and perform the promise (Genesis 1:2,3; Psalm 33:6). As we CONFESS the promise and THANK God for bringing it to pass, we are ACTIVATING the power of God in us and CALLING the answer into manifestation. At the same time we are defending our heart against the entrance of doubt and unbelief.
Matthew 12:34,35: “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks (first we fill our heart with the Word, believing we receive His promises of life, then we speak life forth). Thus: A good man out of the good treasure of his heart (the Word stored in His heart) brings forth good things (by his words of life), and (likewise) an evil man out of his evil treasure brings forth (by his words) evil things (death).”
Proverbs 18:21 agrees: “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: they that love it shall eat its fruit.” You will eat your words! If you speak words of death you produce death in yourself, but if you speak life, you will release life.
Psalm 103:5: “He satisfies (fills) your MOUTH with good things, so your YOUTH is RENEWED like the eagle’s.” If we let God feed us with His Word, so that our heart and MOUTH are filled with good things (such as His promises of long-life), then our youth will be renewed unto long-life.
1Timothy 6:12: “Fight the good fight of (the) faith (HOW?)(1) lay hold on eternal life (the life of God) to which you were also called (which therefore belongs to you in Christ), (2) and have confessed the good confession (of the Word).”We are not to be passive in our faith, but we must fight for our life, because there is an enemy trying to take life from us by trying to get us into sin and unbelief through his deception. Don't be robbed of one day. This life is short enough anyway -don’t let it be cut short. It is a fight, which means we must put forth effort to overcome opposition. It is a fight of faith, which is won by means of our faith in the Word of God. So we must KNOW IT, BELIEVE IT and SPEAK IT.
It is a good fight, because we will always win it, if we hold fast to the Word, for the power of the Word of God will always overcome the lies and power of the enemy. In this fight we must actively lay hold of the life of God which has been given to us, and then we are to keep a firm hold on it.We do this by laying hold of the Word, for God’s life is in His Word. Our connection to His life is through His Word.
Firstly, we are to establish our faith on the promises of God’s Word, and ‘believe we receive’ His (long and abundant) life. Thus, we are to “lay hold of His life”, by firmly laying hold of (embracing) His word (promise) to us, by faith.
Secondly, having laid hold of His promise of life and received it, we are then to stand our ground in faith and refuse to let go of the promise. We do this by: “confessing a good confession”, that is, we are to make a bold confession of faith in the promise of God. When attacked by satan’s lies, or contrary feelings and circumstances, or other pressures to let go of the promise, we must confess God’s Word over our lives. We are to speak God’s Word out loud, just as Jesus did when He was under attack (Matthew 4), by saying: “It is written”, and then confess with confidence God’s promises of long-life. We should take our stand and declare: “I shall not die (young), but live (long), and declare the works of the Long”(Psalm 118:17). This will nullify satan’s attack, protect your heart from his lies and unbelief and tighten your grip on God’s promise. We must fight unbelief, sickness, fear and the spirit of death with God’s Word on our lips.
If Jesus fought the fight of faith by knowing, believing and speaking God’s Word so should we. If Jesus had speak God’s Word in the face of attack in order to defeat the enemy, then how much more is it necessary for us to do the same!
James 4:7: “(1) Submit to God (by believing we receive His promise), then (2) resist the devil (by confessing His Word)and (as a result) he will flee from you (in terror).”
First, you must know the Word - this is the BELT of TRUTH.Then, you must embrace it, wrapping it around yourself, making it yours, believing you receive it - this is PUTTING ON the BELT of TRUTH. Then especially when under attack we take a promise out from the truth we know and have received, and confess it boldly with our lips. This is taking the SWORD of the SPIRIT (which is the ‘rhema’ or spoken word of God) out from the BELT of TRUTH and cutting the enemy with it, making him flee from you (Ephesians 6:13-17).
Hebrews 11:13 reveals the same process of faith:
“(1) having seen them (the promises) afar off were ASSURED (persuaded) of them (they KNEW the promises),EMBRACED them (they personally RECEIVED them),
(2) and CONFESSED that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth (they SPOKE and ACTED on them).” 2Corinthians 1:20: “All the promises of God in Him (Christ) are ‘Yes’, and in Him (we say the) ‘Amen’, to the glory (manifestation)of God through us (our faith).”
God says ‘Yes’, confirming all His covenant promises in Christ (through His death and resurrection), including the promise of long-life, but for Him to bring them to pass in us, He also requires our agreement. We must SAY our ‘Amen’ to His promise to us, declaring the promise to be true for us.Then the glory of God (the fulfilment of the promise) can be revealed though us. We must believe and speak His promise.
We must not only BELIEVE God’s promises of youth-renewal and long-life, but we must also SPEAK them, if they are to be established in our heart and fulfilled in our lives.God gave Abram a promise of youth-renewal, in order for him to have a son at 100 years old. Abram (1) believed and (2) spoke the promise of youth-renewal, and it came to pass!
Romans 4:17: “I have made you a father of many nations (= Abraham)”, in the Presence of Him whom he believed: God, Who (1) GIVES LIFE to the dead and (2) CALLS (speaks) those things which do not exist as though they did.”
God gave him the promise to believe, and then told him to walk before Him in fellowship, to believe Him and follow His lead (Genesis 17:1). The first thing God does, according to the promise, is to give a renewal of life and youth to their dying bodies. So their first response as they lived in God’s Presence had to be to believe they received His life for their bodies. The second thing God did was to call him ‘Abraham’, meaning ‘father of many nations’, speaking the promise as true, even before it was manifested. In fact by calling him Abraham, He was calling (speaking) the promise into reality.So, Abram’s second response to walk in agreement with God, was to call himself: ‘Abraham, father of many nations’, evenbefore it became a reality in his life. Thus by faith, he was to confess the promise as true, before he saw it come to pass.
Based on God’s promise, He was to CALL what did not exist as if it did, and by doing so, he was to CALL the promise to come into manifestation in his life. By his words (speaking God’s promise) he was to call and bring forth what already existed and was established in the spiritual realm into the natural realm. This is how God created the universe - by calling what did not exist as though it did (“Light be!”) and by so doing He called it into existence, bringing it forth from His Spirit into being, by His words. So Abraham was to walk in agreement with God, believing and receiving His promise of life, and then confessing it as true (saying the same thing as God). Then God would be able to bring His promise of youth-renewal and long-life to pass through Abraham’s faith.
Abraham followed God’s instructions - Romans 4:18-21: “who, contrary to (natural) hope, in hope believed (the promise),so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your seed be.” And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a 100 years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but
(1) received strength (life into his body) by faith
(by believing he received it),
(2) giving glory to God (confessing the promise and thanking God for bringing to pass, before he saw the answer), being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.”
Likewise we are to walk in fellowship with God, believing and receiving His promises of youth-renewal and long-life and then calling them into manifestation by confessing the promises and giving glory to God for fulfilling them in us.
We have seen that in the face of death, the Messiah released His faith in the same way, for newness of resurrection life to overcome death. He declares God’s promise over His life:
“I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living” (Psalm 116:9). Then He explained the process of faith at work:
“(1) I believed (the promise), therefore
(2) I (also) spoke (the promise)” (Psalm 116:10). By speaking the word He released His faith and God’s power to bring the promise to pass. Paul, in 2Corinthians 4:13-14, refers to these verses in Psalm 116, and calls us to exercise our faith in the same way to get the same results: “Since we have the same spirit of faith (as the Messiah), according to what is written,
“(1) I believed (the Word), and therefore (2) I spoke (the Word)”, we also (1) believe (the Word), and therefore (2) speak (the Word), knowing that He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus.”
We are to move in the same spirit of faith as Jesus, believing and speaking life in the face of weakness, sickness and death, knowing that just as God fulfilled His promise to Jesus to raise Him up to newness of life, so He will also fulfil His promises to us, by imparting His resurrection life to us. The same power that raised up Jesus, overcoming (reversing) death and filling Him with life is freely available to us, to be received by the same kind of faith that Jesus walked in.
Romans 10:9,10: “If you CONFESS with your mouth Jesus as Lord and BELIEVE in your heart God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved (receive the promise of life). For (1) with the heart one BELIEVES (and receives the promise) unto righteousness, and (2) with the mouth CONFESSION (of the promise) is made unto salvation (producing manifestation of the promise).”
Jesus described this process of faith in Mark 11:22-24:
Mark 11:22: "Have faith in God (literally: “have the faith of God” or “have the God-kind of faith”). He is telling us to operate in the very same kind of faith as God did at Creation that is: (1) to BELIEVE-RECEIVE it in our heart, and then (2) to SPEAK it into manifestation with our lips (confession).
Then Jesus focused on the SPEAKING part in Mark 11:23:
“For surely, I say to you, whoever SAYS to this mountain (whatever is blocking the promise being fulfilled)
‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart (literally: ‘does not let doubt enter into his heart’) but believes that those things he SAYS will be done (come to pass) he will have (manifested) whatever he SAYS.”
“He will have whatever he says”, but only if he “believes that what he says will be come to pass.” Thus we can only successfully speak the answer forth, if we are already in faith, having believed we have received it in our spirit. This is confirmed by the requirement of not letting doubt enter our heart. So in v23, we have already entered the realm of having believed we have received it, but there is a danger of letting unbelief into the heart, from looking at the mountain (the contradictory circumstance) that stands in the way. Therefore Mark 11:23 tells us that having believed we have received it, we must maintain our position of faith, protecting our heart from the entrance of doubts, and speak the promise into manifestation, calling and commanding life and healing-power to come into our body and commanding sickness to leave, believing that what we say will be done, for we will have what we say.
So, before we implement Mark 11:23, and speak the answer forth, believing it will come to pass, we must know we have it in the spirit. Thus we must first of all receive it from God by faith. When God calls something forth (as at Creation), He already has it in His Spirit, so likewise before we can successfully speak a promise into manifestation we must first receive it from God into our spirit.
Therefore, after Jesus tells us how to speak words of faith in v23, He tells us in v24 how to get into position to do it:"Therefore (in order to be in position to obey v23), I say to you, whatever things you desire (such as Long-Life), when you pray, believe that you receive them (into your spirit), and you will have them (see them manifested physically).”
Notice that ‘having’ the answer is mentioned in both verses: (1) “you will have them” (v24), and (2) “he will have what he says” (v23). The first key to having them, is believing we receive them from God. The second key to having them (manifested) is speaking them forth, believing that what we say will come to pass (through God’s power) for: “we will have whatever we say.” If we know we have received Healing and Long-Life, then we can speak it into our lives, and command sickness to be removed: “I will be satisfied with long-life and health. The Lord is the strength of my life. Body-be renewed! Sickness, be gone in Jesus Name!” and we will have what we say, if we believe that our words will come to pass through the Spirit of God working with us.
v24 says that if we believe we receive it, then we will have it,but v23 clarifies that this is not automatic, for it says that:“we will have what we SAY.” Thus ‘having it’ does not just depend on us RECEIVING it by faith, but also on SAYING (confessing) it by faith. We are only promised that we will have it, if we SAY it, believing that what we say will come to pass. Thus we will manifestly have what we have received by faith, if we continue in faith, calling it forth with the word of faith and commanding the removal of whatever is blocking it.
Therefore to have God’s promise of Long-Life manifested in us, we must: (1) receive it from God through the Prayer of Faith (v24) and then, (2) speak it forth by the Word of Faith, also commanding any mountain in the way to be removed, believing that what we say shall come to pass (v23). Thus we will HAVE what we SAY, if we BELIEVE it; that is, if we have believed we received it, and if we believe it is coming to pass (into manifestation) through our words. Thus, having received something through prayer, there must also be corresponding words and actions to help bring it to pass, or else God’s Power may become inactive through our passivity, especially if we allow doubts to enter into our heart (about whether we really received it), turning our switch of faith off, and thus short-circuiting God’s Power (which is what brings the manifestation) as v23 warns can happen.
Thus Mark 11:23-24 describes the operation of the God-kind of faith, using reverse logic: v23 says that to have the answer, we must say it, believing that what we say will be done. But to do this, says v24, we must first believe we receive it in prayer.
Thus to fulfil v23 we must first fulfil v24. Then Jesus takes this logic one step further, saying that in order to fulfil v24 we must first fulfil v25,26: “When you stand PRAYING forgive, if you have ought against any: that your Father in heaven may forgive your sins. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your sins.” Unforgiveness will hinder our prayers, so in order to pray and successfully believe we receive according to v24, we must walk in continual forgiveness, according to v25.
Therefore Jesus has given us step by step instructions on how to have God’s promises come to pass in our lives through faith. Let us now summarise these steps, putting them in chronological order, by reversing the order of the verses:
Step 1 (v25): Forgive all people as God has forgiven you.
Step 2 (v24): Then believe you receive the answer in your spirit, basing your faith on the promise of God.
Step 3 (v23): Then you can SPEAK it forth from your spirit, believing that it will come to pass, trusting the Spirit of God to do it. You do this by THANKING God for it, CALLING God’s Life forth into manifestation, and COMMANDING all opposing mountains (like sickness) to be completely removed.
So you will have the answer manifested in you, if you trust in God’s promise and believe you receive it in your spirit, and then using your God-given authority you speak it into your body, for He will bring to pass what you say if you believe it. God wants to bring His Word to pass in you, but He needs your agreement (through receiving and confessing His Word) because He has given you authority (free-will) over your life.
CONFESSION: "The Resurrection Power of Christ is at work in me. I will LIVE LONG and NOT DIE YOUNG. I will live to a full age. I will be satisfied with long-life.”
*KEY 4. The Secret to a Longer Life: Going to Church. God has made us to be part of His Church (Matthew 16:18). God’s will for all believers is to be part of a Church family: Hebrews 13:25: “not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together as is the manner of some.” This is healthy for us. We receive a supply of grace and spiritual cover through the fellowship of a Church. “The devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1Peter 5:8). A lion hunts by picking off those who are separated from the rest of the herd -easy pickings!
Regular churchgoing is good for our health, according to a scientific report. Scientists found that it dramatically raises our chances of living longer. The study published in the Journal ‘Health Psychology’ by US psychologist, Dr Michael McCullough found churchgoers have lower blood pressure, suffer less depression and have stronger immune systems. A survey of 126,000 people found that regular attenders at church were nearly a third more likely to live longer!
The health benefits of Church derive from the Presence of God, the Word of God, the encouragement toward a more healthy and moral lightly and the social support and friendship derived from frequent church attendance.
*KEY 5. HONOUR TRUE AUTHORITIES in your LIFE This is a key especially emphasised in the Bible, both in the Old Testaments (in the 10 Commandments) and in the New Testament, so it must have a special importance.
The primary authority of course is God and having the fear of God is a reverential respect and honouring of His authority. This is a major key to long-life:
Proverbs 9:10,11: "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and knowledge of the Holy is understanding. For by me (the reverential respect for God) your days shall be multiplied, and the years of your life increased."
Proverbs 10:27: "The fear of the LORD prolongs days:
but the years of the wicked shall be shortened."
The first earthly authority we meet in life and the most important is our parents, and how we relate to them (whether we honour them or disrespect them) has a massive effect on how the rest of our life works out.
Exodus 20:12: “Honour your father and your mother,
that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God is giving you.”
Deuteronomy 5:16: “Honour your father and your mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may be well with you in the land which the Lord your God is giving you.” This says that honouring parents is a key to good days and a long life.
This is re-affirmed in the New-Testament:
Ephesians 6:2-3: “Honour your father and mother
(the first commandment with promise) that it may be
WELL with you, and you LIVE LONG on the earth.”
Many have rebelled against their parents, or have bitterness and unforgiveness towards them and wonder why their lives are not working out well. To honour and respect your parents does not mean you always have to agree with them, but you still honour them and place they have in your life.If you don’t learn to honour the authority of your parents, then that will carry over to all your other relationships with authorities in the workplace and in society, so that your life will constantly be disrupted and not work out well.
Notice it says to honour those in authority: “that it MAY be well with us and that we live long on the earth.” This implies that if we do not honour them it is impossible for things to be well with us and that we live long on the earth. Honouringauthority, starting with our parents is essential for a long life.
DISCERNING and SUBMITTING TO TRUE DELEGATED AUTHORITY is essential to a good long life. Rebellion tries to usurp and undermine authority and it will shorten your life. Authority is the strongest stuff around because it derives from God and so it has a powerful effect on how your life works out. Where you meet true authority you meet God, so the way you honour or dishonour it has a big effect on how long and how well you live. (Any authority that overreaches its boundaries is false and you are not then required to obey it).
The main authorities that God has established in our life are: (1) Free-Will (we must respect people’s freedom of choice over their own lives and overriding that through manipulation or intimidation is a form of rebellion and witchcraft).
(2) Parent’s and children
(3) Government authorities (police, judges etc.).
(4) Authorities in the Church.
(5) Authorities at work.
If we fear and respect God, we will give due honour to all these authorities in our life, even if we think they are wrong. As a result: “it will be well with us, and we will live long on the earth.”
*KEY 6. OBEYING and SERVING GOD WILLINGLY.
Exodus 23:25,26: “You will serve the LORD you God,
and He will bless your bread, and water; and I will take sickness away from your midst...and the number of your days (your full life-span) I will fulfil.”
“If you walk in my ways and commandments, then I will lengthen your days” (1 King 3:14; see Proverbs 28:16).
Isaiah 1:19: “If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land” (including a long life). The reward does come from just being obedient, but doing it with the right attitude of heart, being willing and obedient, serving the Lord with joy and enthusiasm, rather than as a burdensome duty. Kenneth Hagin tells when he was called to leave pastoring to go on the road as a travelling teacher, but for the first year he struggled financially. When he complained that things were not going well, when he had been obedient, the Lord gave him this scripture saying he had been obedient,
but he had not been willing, and it is the willing and obedient who will eat the good of the land. He had been obeying God but only reluctantly not joyfully. Kenneth Hagin said that he then got willing quick, and then the blessings started to flow!
So truly serving and obeying God means doing His will from the heart, with the right heart attitudes and motives. This means serving Him willingly and with enthusiasm, seeking His glory. It also means walking in an attitude of HUMILITY:
Proverbs 22:4: “By HUMILITY and the fear of the Lord are riches, and honour, and (long) LIFE.” Humility is to be correctable and being able to say we are sorry. It is hard to humble ourselves, but it releases life to us (James 4:6). Often there are faults on both sides, but we can always apologise for our part in any wrong. It takes more humility to apologise first, but it will soften the other person’s heart. Pride means never saying sorry, it is a deception that we are always right, that we always know best which makes us hard and unteachable and it will lead to a fall and early death.
“Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18). “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death” (16:25). “He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy. Happy is the man who is always reverent, but he who hardens his heart will fall into calamity” (28:13,14). “He who is often rebuked, and hardens his neck, will suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy” (29:1).
The attitudes of heart and mind that promote long-life are the very attitudes that the Holy-Spirit is seeking to produce in us:
Galatians 5:22,23: “The fruit of the Spirit is LOVE, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” These qualities are issuing forth from our reborn spirit which is united to the Holy-Spirit, so as we walk in the Spirit: “the law of the Spirit of LIFE in Christ Jesus makes me free from the law of sin and DEATH” (Romans 8:2). Jesus made it possible for us to experience this life of the Spirit through His death for us (v3). He took our sin so: “that the righteous requirement of the law (LOVE) might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.”
We choose to walk in the Spirit by setting our minds on the things of the Spirit: “those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit” (v5). If we mind the things of the Spirit and so cultivate the fruit of the Spirit, this will result in a longer life, whereas focusing on the flesh brings death (v6): “For to be carnally minded is DEATH, but to be spiritually minded is LIFE and peace.”
Two attitudes of the Spirit that will lead to LONG-LIFE are:
1. LOVE, the main commandment of God, means loving God with all our heart, and loving others as ourselves, doing unto them as we would have them do unto us. This includes freely FORGIVING them as God in Christ has forgiven us (Eph 4:32)
2. JOY - “the joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10). As you rejoice in God with praise and thanksgiving, the life and strength of God will be released into your being.Praise will silence the work of the enemy in your life (Ps 8:2).Proverbs 17:22: “A merry heart (the joy of the Lord) does good, like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones.”
Living under a spirit of fear and depression will sap our strength and shorten our life, but God wants: “to give us beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, and the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness” (Isaiah 61:3).
Proverbs 4:23: with all diligence “Guard your heart (from bad attitudes), for out of it spring life.”the issues of (your)Your life comes out from your heart, so if it is sound then your life-force will also be strong; but if bad attitudes enter your heart they will weaken your health and shorten your life:
Proverbs 14:30: “A sound heart is the life of the flesh; but envy (and hatred) causes rottenness of the bones.”