We have seen God’s will is for us to have a long and full life. In Psalm 91:16, God’s promise to those who dwell in the secret place of the Almighty is: “With LONG LIFE will I SATISFY him, and show Him My salvation.”
In John 10:10, Jesus said that although satan comes to steal, kill and destroy, Jesus has come to give us abundant life now, and long life and eternal life: "The thief comes not, but to steal, kill, and destroy: (BUT) I am come that they might have LIFE, and that more ABUNDANTLY."
God’s PROMISES of long-life come with CONDITIONS. The PROMISE is given to build our FAITH to believe and receive it, for it reveals that God’s will is for us to have it.THE CONDITIONS are given to impart His WISDOM to us, so we know how to live and what to avoid, so that we can see the promise fulfilled in us, rather than it being aborted.
When God gives conditions it does not mean that longevity is not really His will and so He is wanting to make it difficult for us to achieve, but because it is His will, and so He is showing us how we can attain the promise and see it fulfilled in our life. He gives His commandments, so that by obeying them we might have LIFE (spiritual and physical). He tells us what to do and what to avoid, so that we can have a good and long life. When He tells us not to do something, He does so because He loves us and He knows that that sin will bring death into our lives and shorten our life-span. His laws warn us to avoid things that will kill us and cut our life short:
Proverbs 13:14: “The law of the wise is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares (traps) of death.”
In this Chapter we will point out 6 KILLERS revealed in God’s Word. These are snares that can cut our life short.
*KILLER 1: FOOLISHNESS.
WISDOM is the skilful application of God’s Word to our life. It comes from God’s Word and will lengthen our life:
“Let your heart retain my WORDS: keep my commands, and LIVE. GET WISDOM...Forsake her (WISDOM) not, and she(WISDOM) will preserve you, love her (WISDOM, and she (WISDOM) will keep you” (Proverbs 4:4,5).
“By me (WISDOM) your days will be multiplied,
and the years of your life increased” (Proverbs 9:11). “Happy (blessed) is the man who finds WISDOM, ...Length of days is in her right hand” (Proverbs 3:13-16).
“Whosoever finds me (WISDOM) finds LIFE... But he who sins against me (WISDOM) wrongs his own soul: all they who hate me love DEATH” (Proverbs 8:34-36).
GENERAL WISDOM (that applies to all people equally) comes from the Word. We also need SPECIAL WISDOM for specific situations we face, and this comes from the Spirit of Wisdom (the Holy-Spirit) Who lives within us. We are invited to ask God for His wisdom and receive it whenever we need it (James 1:5). As we open ourselves up to hear His wisdom and pray in the Spirit, it will come into our minds. We must learn to be led by the Spirit (Romans 8:14).
FOOLISHNESS is to ignore the warnings of WISDOM, by which we can avoid satan’s traps, and stay clear of danger.
There are 2 main ways to die young:
“Be not overly (1) WICKED (sin will shorten your life,
for the wages of sin is death), nor (2) FOOLISH, why should you die before your time?” (Ecclesiastes 7:17).
Foolishness may not involve deliberate sinning, but it is always a lack of wisdom. It includes such things as eating wrong, not drinking enough water, smoking, being passive and not taking exercise; or overworking and not taking enough rest; or letting ourselves get stressed out too much.
Often we do not handle stress well. There are times when we are under great pressure and our mind and body adjusts to that, but we must not live in that state for a prolonged time. We must take time out of the rush of doing and seeing to TRUST GOD for He will provide for us. He is the Source of our life: “I lay in Zion for a foundation a tried, precious corner stone, a sure foundation (JESUS); he who believes (trusts in Him) shall not make haste” (Isaiah 28:16).
Jesus said: “Come to Me, all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).
We need to take time out, to get the big picture, to see our life in God’s hands and that He will provide for us: “He gives power to the faint; and to them with no might He increases strength...they who wait on the Lord will renew their strength; they will mount up with wings as eagles’, they will run and not be weary; they will walk and not faint. Keep silence before Me... and let the people renew their strength: let them come near” (Isaiah 39:29-40:1). The world will not come to an end if we stop our activity!
There is a rhythm of life. God has designed us to live in that rhythm. He created the DAYS, WEEKS and YEARS. Stress will build up in our mind and body when we lose our rhythm.
We are designed to live in cycles of ACTIVITY and REST:
(1) The daily cycle of night (rest) and day (activity) -Genesis 1. In our dreams the build-up of the day’s events is discharged and our brain is renewed to work again, so good sleep is necessary to our mental and physical health. If we learn to live ONE DAY AT A TIME (Matthew 6:11,34; Psalm 118:24, Lamentations 3:22,23), daily receiving the grace we need for that day and not worrying about tomorrow, rejoicing in each day the Lord gives and living it to the full, then we will manage the stress and pressures of life so much better.
(2) The weekly sabbatical cycle. God made the world in 6 days and rested on the 7th day (Genesis 1), establishing the week as a basic cycle of life, with the Creation week being a blueprint for every week. He commanded Israel to strictly observe this pattern of life, by resting on the Sabbath (Exodus 20:8-11, Deuteronomy 5:12-15). In correcting their legalism Jesus said: “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27). Therefore, it is for our good to rest one day a week to honour God, acknowledging that He is our Creator, and so our whole life comes from Him by grace. Therefore God gives us a day of rest from normal activities to learn that our life ultimately rests in God’s grace and not our works (that’s why getting legalistic over the Sabbath defeats its purpose). God gives us a day of rest to relax and focus on God, to regain perspective (by getting the big picture and rising above the details) and to thank, worship and enjoy God.
Thus any build-up of stress and exhaustion from the week can be washed away, and we can enter the new week refreshed and renewed to work better, living out from the rest and grace of God. God made us and so He knows what is best for us. He knows what will cause us to live better and longer and so He has given us the sabbath principle to live by.
God designed us to live according to a weekly cycle of work and rest and in His love God revealed this sabbath-principle to us for our benefit, but if we abuse it we will pay a price in the quality and quantity of our days on earth. At one pointRussian Communism tried to bring in a 10 day week instead, but it led to less production and more sickness, so they were forced to go back to a 7 day week - God knows best!
The loss of the Sabbath-principle in our society is a big reason for increased mental problems, for people have no rhythm to their lives. They don’t discharge their stress properly and they don’t recharge spiritually. When they work all week, and don’t rest, they will lose efficiency and grind themselves down to an early death. Science shows that living cells in a culture dish that are kept under constant stress (pressure) die young. Our body and brain can be compared to a car. If we service it regularly it will work better and have a longer life. But if we keep it running without a service we will gradually grind it down to an early death.
We might be tempted to think we are too busy to take a day off for rest and a Service (!), but this is short-sighted, for what we gain in a longer-life and increased productivity through being renewed, is far greater than any time we think we ‘lose’ by stopping work for a day. Also ignoring the Sabbath rest will increasingly cause us to lose working-time through increased sickness. The change of pace and focus brings us a necessary resting, refreshing and renewing.
Now the Sabbath was given to Israel as a binding Law as part of the Old-Covenant through Moses. The New Covenant in Christ does not make Sabbath observance a commandment in the same way (although other commandments are repeated in the New Testament, the Sabbath is not). However, the Law given to Israel is a revelation of God’s character and contains important WISDOM that applies to all mankind and this includes the Sabbath-principle. Jesus confirmed this when He said:“the Sabbath was made for man” (Mark 2:27), and that He was: “the Lord of the Sabbath” (Mark 2:28).
Therefore, whatever our working-patterns and rotas are,
if we want to walk in wisdom and honour God as our Creator, we will endevour to implement the Sabbath principle into our way of life as best we can, whether it is Saturday, Sunday or some other day. To ignore God’s wisdom is FOOLISHNESS and ultimately it will shorten our life, for without a weekly renewal we will wear out sooner.
Foolishness can also be ignoring warnings of the Spirit. Often we can get too busy to pray and meditate in God’s Word, so we fail to dwell under the shadow (protection) of the Almighty as we ought (see Chapter 10). This makes us more vulnerable to sickness and means we fail to hear God when He warns us about danger and wants to guide us around it. Ministers, especially when they become successful, can fall into this trap, putting their ministry before their relationship with God.
*KILLER 2: SIN
Ecclesiastes 7:17 points out the two main ways to die young: “Be not overly (1) WICKED, nor (2) FOOLISH, why should you die before your time?” We have just looked at the dangers of FOOLISHNESS, now we will point out that SIN (wickedness) will surely shorten your life, for: “The wages of SIN is DEATH” (Romans 6:23). SIN always leads to death.This is the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2)
James 1:14,15: “But each one is tempted when
he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.
Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and SIN, when it is full-grown, brings forth DEATH.”
In particular, different scriptures tell us that violent men, deceivers (Psalm 55:23; Proverbs 28:17); thieves (1:18,19), adulterers (2:18, 19; 5:3-5; 7:22-27,9:18) will see their lives cut short. For example, 1Corinthians 6:18: “Flee fornication. Every sin a man does is outside the body; but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.”
We must understand clearly that sin ALWAYS leads to death for it has been one of satan’s main deceptions from the beginning to deny this truth, in order to encourage us to sin:
In Genesis 2:17, God said: “of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it (the day you DISOBEY and SIN) you shall surely die.”God specifically warns them that sin will lead to death.
In Genesis 3:2-4 satan tries to get them to question this truth: “The woman said to the serpent (satan), “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.” Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will NOT surely die.”He tried fooling them into believing that sin has no serious bad consequences, that we can sin and get away with it. He even went one step further and said it would do them good, increasing their experience and developing their potential (v5)! However they soon found out that it was all a lie, and their sin had opened he door to disease, destruction and death. But satan still tries the same deception on each of us today! The truth of God stands firm: “The wages of sin is death.”
On the other hand, just as surely as SIN leads to DEATH, RIGHTEOUSNESS leads to LIFE:
“In the way of RIGHTEOUSNESS is LIFE; and...no DEATH” (Proverbs 12:28).
Proverbs 21:21: “He who follows RIGHTEOUSNESS
and mercy finds LIFE, righteousness, and honour.”
Proverbs 28:16: “A tyrannical ruler lacks judgement, but he who hates ill-gotten gain will enjoy a LONG LIFE.”
Deuteronomy 25:15: “You shall have a perfect and just (righteous) weight, a perfect and just measure, that your DAYS may be LENGTHENED in the land, which the Lord your God is giving you.”
Sin and righteousness are opposites leading to opposite results (death and life):
Proverbs 11:19: “As RIGHTEOUSNESS tends to LIFE;
so he who pursues EVIL to his own DEATH.”
Proverbs 10:27: “The fear of the Lord PROLONGS DAYS, but the YEARS of the wicked will be SHORTENED.”
Proverbs 24:16: “A righteous man may fall seven times and rise again, but the wicked shall fall by calamity.”
A righteous man can lay hold of God’s grace to rise again after falling, but sin spoils a man’s ability to rebound from setbacks. So a wicked man’s life will often be cut short, for he is in greater danger of not recovering when knocked down.
The length of our life depends to a great extent on our choices as to whether or not we trust in God’s grace, walk in His ways and heed His warnings. As He says in Deuteronomy 30:19,20:
“I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you LIFE and DEATH, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days.”
He is our LIFE, so the more we cling to Him and His ways the more we will receive His blessing of life and protection from the curse (death). Thus we CHOOSE LIFE (blessing) by choosing to trust and depend on God for every area of our life. We CHOOSE DEATH (curse), on the other hand, by choosing to live in SIN, which is going our own way in pride and independence from God, trusting in ourselves instead of God, living in separation from God who is Life (Jer 17:5-8).
Sin kills you in various ways. It cuts you off from the life of God, so that you lose your joy (spiritual strength). It weighs you down with guilt, and takes away your peace. It disrupts your relationships and the whole course of your life, causing an increase in stress. It gives satan (death) ground in your life.
Therefore it is essential that we quickly repent and confess our sin to God and He will then freely forgive and cleanse us:
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1John 1:9). We must keep a short account with God.
In Psalm 32:1-5, David tells of his experience after sinning with Bathsheba. For a few months he hid his sin and his mind and body suffered as a result, causing him to age rapidly. Then finally he confessed his sin and found the blessedness of forgiveness: “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit (when he no longer covers up his sin).
When I kept silent (when he did not confess his sin), my bones grew old through my groaning all the day long. (David aged quickly in this state and lost many years of life-cf Ps 51:8). For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me My vitality was turned into the drought of summer. Selah
(Finally) I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and You forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah.
His sin opened the door to many more major problems with his sons (2Samuel 12:10-12). The stress of these combined with the premature ageing caused by his unconfessed sin, explains why David (a great man of God) only lived till 70.
Proverbs 28:13: “He who covers his sins will not prosper (live long), but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy (healing, renewal of life and restoration).”
1Corinthians 11:30,31: “For this reason (unconfessed sin) many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged.”
When we sin, we should judge ourselves and confess our sin to God. This will close the door on satan. But if we do not confess our sin we lose our connection to the life of God and so open the door to sickness, physical weakness and even early death (‘sleep’ here is a term used for the death of a believer).
Paul clearly says that unconfessed sin is a cause for Christians to be sick and to die early, but if they would judge themselves and confess their sin, they could receive forgiveness and healing and prevent their lives from being cut short (see also James 5:14-16). We all sin, but if we are quick to repent and confess it, then it will have no power to kill us.
*KILLER 3: UNFORGIVENESS.
Jesus included forgiveness in the Lord’s Prayer: “forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us” (Matthew 6:12). After giving the prayer He emphasised the importance of forgiveness: “For if you forgive meant their sins, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: but if you do not forgive men their sins, neither will your Father forgive your sins” (v14,15). You only hurt yourself when you do not forgive, not the person you are trying to punish. If you refuse to forgive, then your sins will stay upon you and they will have power over you to bring you death. The answer to your prayers (God’s flow of grace and life to you) is impeded by the presence of your unforgiven sins, so you come under the dominion of the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2).
The same warning is given after the prayer of faith in Mark 11:24: “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” (Mark 11:25,26).
This is further emphasised in a Parable (Matthew 18:21-35) The King (representing God) had forgiven a man’s debt of millions of pounds, but then that man (representing us) refused to forgive another man of just 20 pounds. When the king heard about this, he: “was angry, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. So likewise shall my heavenly Father do to you, if you from your hearts do not forgive everyone his brother their sins” (v34,35). God has forgiven us so much, and if we do not forgive others, our past sins come back on us and have power over us to bring death (we open the door to satan, and give him the right to torment and hurt us).
Forgiveness is especially important with those close to us for they are most likely to upset us. Do not let barriers of cold anger and resentment build up. We must also forgive our-selves once we have confessed our sin with proper contrition. Blaming God for something is also a form of unforgiveness.
So, walking in daily forgiveness is a major key to long-life. It is a DECISION not a feeling. We are to forgive freely and completely, just as God has forgiven us (Ephesians 4:32). When God forgives us He forgets (Jeremiah 31:34, Hebrews 8:12). He does not bring it up again to His conscious mind.
To test if you have truly forgiven them ask: “Can you pray for the person? Are you always bringing up their sin? Do you interpret everything they do in a negative light?”
*KILLER 4 - EVIL SPEECH
We have seen how speaking God’s words release life and blessing to us, but words can also be containers of death. Evil speech about God, ourselves or others will bring us death.
Proverbs 18:21: “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: they that love it shall eat its fruit (death or life).” You will eat the fruit of your own tongue. Words contain the power of life or death. If you speak evil and death those empowered words go into you (you literally eat your words!).
Psalm 109:17-19: “As he loved cursing so let it come to him As he did not delight in blessing, so let it be far from him. As he clothed himself with cursing as with his garment, so let it enter his body like water, and like oil into his bones. Let it be to him like the garment which covers him, and for a belt with which he girds himself continually.”
Proverbs 15:4: “A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness in it - a breach in the spirit.”
Proverbs 13:3: “He who keeps his mouth keeps his life: but he who opens wide his lips shall have destruction”.
James 3:5,6: “The tongue boasts great things....the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among ourmembers, it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature (it disrupts and destroys the cycle of your life, cutting your life short); and it is set on fire of hell.” If you allow your tongue to be set alight by the fire of hell, your words will release that evil hell-fire and it will destroy your health and your life, as well as hurting others.
Psalm 34:12,13: “Who is the man who desires life, and loves many days, that he may see good? Keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking deceit.”
1Peter 3:9,10: “He who desires life, and loves to see
many good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil.”
Mark 11:23 says that you will have what you say, especially if you believe that what you are saying will come to pass. This will work in the negative as well as in the positive. So if you speak death you will have it. Elvis Presley kept saying that he would die at age 42, and he had what he said!
On the other hand we can speak LIFE. We can establish our faith in God’s promises of long-life by confessing them. We should take our stand and declare: “I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord” (Psalm 118:17).When under pressure and attack, we can prevail as long as we keep control of our tongue, refusing to speak satan’s words of unbelief and death, and holding fast our confession of God’s words of faith and life: “I will not die young, but I will live long and fulfil my life and ministry.”
When bad things happen and we are feeling down, our flesh will want to say something negative, but that will only make thing worse. Knowing the power of words, if in doubt say nought! Refuse to speak an evil word. Remember that if you have a bad thought or feeling it can have no power over you unless you take it and give it voice. If it is not spoken or acted on it will die unborn. So don’t be a fool and curse yourself! Take control of your tongue, and start praising God and thanking Him for working all things together for your good (Romans 8:28). Confess the Word of God which is Life. You choose life or death by the words you speak!
Matthew 12:35-37: “Out of the abundance of the heart the MOUTH SPEAKS: A good man out of the good treasure (the Word) of his heart BRINGS FORTH (into his life) good things (by his words), and an evil man out of his evil treasure BRINGS FORTH (into his life) evil things (by the evil words he speaks). But I say to you that for every idle WORD men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgement. For by your WORDS you will be justified, and by your WORDS you will be condemned.”
KILLER 5 - WORRY
We have seen that our MENTAL STATE has a big effect on our HEALTH. Peace and contentment lead to long-life, but worry is a constant and common danger to having a healthy mind and body. The world encourages covetousness, the sense of never having enough, which makes us restless. As we focus on our problems anxiety builds up and we lose perspective, especially forgetting that the Lord loves us, and is ready and willing to help us. The details and things of life get too important. Worry builds up and we become stressed when we carry the cares and burdens of life upon ourselves, rather than giving them to the Lord, trusting Him to work it all out. Our minds are fragile and are not designed to carry these weights and pressures of life. Therefore if we carry them, they will wear us out and grind us down. Continual worrying will make us weary and cause an early death.
The antidote is to meditate on how much God loves and cares for us personally (Matthew 6:25-34). By praising Him for His greatness and thanking Him for His goodness we magnify God and then problems seem smaller. Knowing He cares for us gives us the confidence to cast all our cares on Him: “Cast all your cares on the Lord, for He cares for you” (1Peter 5:7).
Psalm 55:22: “Cast your burden on the Lord [releasing the whole weight of it onto Him] and He will sustain you.”
Psalm 37:5: Commit your way to the Lord [roll and repose each care of your load on Him]; trust (lean on, rely on, and be confident) also in Him and He will bring it to pass.”
Proverbs 3:5,6: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”
Philippians 4:6,7: “Be anxious for nothing, but in every-thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God, and the peace of God that passes understanding shall guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” The answer to worry is prayer. Instead of worrying, which is useless anyway, give it to the Lord in prayer. When prayer moves into thanksgiving, you know you have given it to Him, for you are now thanking Him for taking the burden from you and working on it. If you hold onto it yourself then He can’t help you, but when you give it to Him you give Him the right to move on your behalf. Then the first thing He does is give you His supernatural peace, protecting your mind from worry and assuring you He is in control. In this way, believers can live with the constant inner calm of God’s peace guarding our hearts and minds.
KILLER 6 - PASSIVITY.
It is well known that FIGHTERS with a strong will to live, will live longer. Passivity invites death. It is important for us to stay spiritually, mentally and physically active.
*We saw in chapter 6 that there is a spiritual battle over our life and we must actively lay hold of God’s life by faith, and resist satan’s lies with the Word of God (1Timothy 6:12). Paul is our example. He fought a good fight and laid hold of God’s strength and life until the end, when he knew he had finished his course. His final words were: "I am now ready (to die) the time of my departure (to Heaven to be with the Lord) is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished my race, I have kept the faith: Finally there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness" (2Timothy 4:6-8).
Spiritual passivity means we do not put up any spiritual resistance to sickness, tiredness and the spirit of death. We become lazy, waiting for God to do something about it, rather than laying hold of God’s promises of life and rising up and speaking His Word: “The Lord is the strength of my life. Lord, You are my Strength, You are my Healer”, and then acting on it (acting as if it were true - which it is), for faith without corresponding actions is dead (James 2:17).
Spiritual passivity means we are always giving into our feelings. We don’t feel like it, so we don’t do it. As a result we never stretch ourselves or step out in faith. Yet it is facing new challenges and doing new things that keeps us young.Often it is only as we step out in faith and move into action, that new life, strength and energy will begin to flow into us.
Spiritual passivity comes from become fatalistic, accepting everything that happens as the will of God. “Whatever will be will be. I can’t do anything about it. I don’t have this promised blessing, because God must not have given it to me. If God meant me to have it, He would have given it to me.” This is just a religious tranquilliser, that excuses failure and laziness. It is not Biblical spirituality. Biblical faith works differently. God has already done all that He needs to do. Christ died to purchase every blessing of life for us, and then He poured them all out freely for (upon) us in the Holy-Spirit.
Then He gave us His Word promising us that the blessing was ours, freely available for us to receive. Now we must be diligent in His Word, until we know it and are persuaded by it and then we can come to Him in faith and believe we receive it (put our foot on it). Just as with Joshua and Israel, God has already given us our Promised Land, but WE MUSTPOSSESS it, or it will not be possessed.
If we are passive and refuse to enter in, preferring to wait for God to do it, we will wander in the wilderness of lack and not enjoy a full and long-life, but it will not be God’s best and it will not be God’s fault. It will be because we lacked diligence in seeking God and meditating on His Word, which results in a lack of faith to receive from God and a lack of courage to act on the Word. God told Joshua that if he was diligent to meditate in His Word, then it would result in him being STRONG in faith (to believe the Word) and COURAGEOUS to act upon the Word, so that as a result, he would have good success in possessing the Promised Land (Joshua 1:2-9). Thus the promised blessings of God do not just fall on us, while we are being passive. We must actively possess them by: (1) KNOWING the promise, by meditating the Word and (2) PUTTING OUR FOOT on it (believing we receive it) and (3) CONFESSING it with our words and actions. In faith we are to start speaking and acting as if the promise was true.
So when we know God’s promises to give us LIFE, we are to claim them and then start basing our words and actions upon them, rising up and doing what we thought we could not do before, saying: ‘Lord you are my strength and life today.”
As we take action, even though we may not feel like it, the life of God will start to become manifested in our bodies.Passive people are waiting for God to do something, but God has made His move and he is waiting for us to do something!
God’s best is for us is not waiting until we get sick and then receiving His healing, but it is walking in Divine HEALTH, daily drawing upon the life of Christ that is available through the power of the Spirit within us by faith (Romans 8:11). This resurrection life has already overcome all sickness and death, so if we ask God to fill us with His life and health everyday (our daily bread), we will allow God’s life to have dominion in our body. We will be covered by a shield of Divine Health, and we will develop a stronger immunity to sickness, stopping it before it can even get a foothold in us.
*As well as being spiritually active in the Word and prayer, we must also keep our minds alert and active as we get older. A great trap nowadays is watching too much TV, for it makes us passive. It is much easier to do than say reading a book, because that requires more effort on our part, but that mental activity is good for us, for it keeps our minds fit and strong.Having a hobby, project, activity or interest outside our work is good for us and helps to keep us mentally active and young. One danger when people retire is that once the challenges and stimulations of work are removed, they have nothing else in their life that keeps them active, so they then quickly fall into passivity, and so as a result they do not live much longer.
Getting older does not mean that our mind has to get weak, so that we lose our memory or have other mental problems. Psalm 91:16 does not just promise us long-life, but also that we will be satisfied with it. This means having a mind and body that stay in basic good health, for if we live a long-life, but lose soundness of mind, so it does not function properly, then we would surely not be content and satisfied. So Psalm 91:16 includes the promise of maintaining our soundness of mind into old-age. Settle now by faith that you will always have a sound mind. Say: “God has not given me a spirit of fear; but of power, love and a sound mind” (2Timothy 1:7).
*We must also find ways to keep ourselves physically active as we get older. Although the activities we can do will change it is vital to give our body some form of exercise, even if it is just walking, for otherwise it will go downhill faster. Staying active lengthens our life. Depending on the toxic stimulation of drink, drugs and smoking will kill us in two ways:
(1) We are poisoning ourselves,
(2) they make us physically passive.