Monday, April 3, 2017

How to Have a Long and Satisfying Life


As a physician, I've spent countless hours explaining the importance of controlling blood pressure, reducing cholesterol levels, decreasing the Hgb A1c, maintaining a healthy weight, and getting regular exercise. All those actions result in better health. They're also believed to result in longer life.

There's an another, and often overlooked, action that can result in longer life, and we'd do well to incorporate it into our health strategy.

Obedience to God.

Scripture repeatedly tells us that obedience is related to both the length and quality of life.

The fifth commandment, honor your parents, comes with a promise. 

"Honor your father and mother. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the Lord is giving you." Exodus 20:12 nlt

The promise is not that we'll live until we are old, frail, and unable to get about. The promise is for a "long, full life" in the place God has given us. 

Deuteronomy 6:2 tells us that, when we are careful to obey God's commands, our lives will be "prolonged." 

Proverbs 3 suggests that obedience can bring peace as well as length of days: 
"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 3:1-2 nasb

My favorite "long life" verses are found in Psalm 91.

"Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him;
I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name.
He will call upon Me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will rescue and honor him.
With a long life I will satisfy him,
And let him behold My salvation."
Psalm 81:14-16 nasb

The psalmist makes it clear. Obedience to a set of rules is not the secret to long life. A love relationship with our God is the key.

If we want a long and satisfying life, we must start by getting to know our Lord in a deep and intimate way. Call on Him when we're in need. Obey Him. Love Him. 

When we do, He'll deliver us, answer us, rescue and honor us, and give a life that satisfies. 

With that said, we have to recognize that we live in a broken, fallen world and, as a result, our bodies are not the perfect creations God intended. There is sickness. Premature death. Chronic disability. 

Relationship with and obedience to God don't negate the results of the fall. They do, however, put us in a position of blessing. One of those blessings is a life that brings contentment and peace. It can also bring prolongation of days.

Do you want a long, healthy, and satisfying life?

Follow your doctor's advice, but don't overlook the importance of the Great Physician's advice. Love. Trust. Obey. 
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In case you missed it, here's the link to yesterday's post: Will We Answer the Call to a Deeper, More Lavish Love?

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