Live Long and Prosper
Any trekkies out there? Being married to one, I am all too familiar with the phrase “live long and prosper.” I suppose the reason this phrase is repeated so often is it really is the desire of our hearts. Who doesn’t want to live long and prosper? When you look at how most of us live, the focus is usually on extending our lives in some fashion with diet, exercise, medicine, surgery, or pursuing the fountain of youth! Prosperity is the American dream, right? While prosperity can refer to many things, it is often associated with financial gain. Just look around. You can see people’s pursuit of prosperity around every corner.
You might find it interesting that this desire to live long and prosper has been around since the beginning. In the Garden, Adam and Eve ignored God’s command so that they could benefit from eating the fruit. They allowed the promise of prosperity (you can be like God) to sway them into disobedience. We all know the ripple effect of this one decision.
The good news is God does want us to live long and prosper. Jesus came so we could have an abundant life (John 10:10). So what does it take to live long and prosper? I wouldn’t dare claim to have the answer to this question, but God does. Sometimes God reveals the answers to our questions via His Word, His Holy Spirit, Godly friends, or our circumstances. At other times, however, the answers elude us. Only God knows when we are ready to hear His answer. To be honest, I didn’t really have this question—What does it take to live long and prosper?—until I was reading Deuteronomy 30.
The book of Deuteronomy consists of a series of farewell messages from Moses to the new generation destined to possess the promised land, those who had survived the forty years of wilderness wandering. The first section of this chapter is often entitled, “Prosperity After Turning to the Lord”. As I read through these verses a strong theme, an answer, emerged. Yes, God promises prosperity and blessing but not without obedience. Check this out.
v. 2 and when you and your children return to the v.3-5 then the Lord your God will restore your
Lord your God and obey him with all your heart and fortunes and have compassion on you and gather
with all your soul according to everything I command you again from all the nations where he scattered
you today you. Even if you have been banished to the most
distant land under the heavens, from there the Lord
your God will gather you and bring you back. He will
bring you to the land that belonged to your ancestors,
and you will take possession of it. He will make you
more prosperous and numerous than your ancestors.
v. 8 You will again obey the Lord and follow all his v. 9 Then the Lord your God will make you most
commands I am giving you today. prosperous in all the work of your hands and in the
fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and
v. 10 If you obey the Lord your God and keep his the crops of your land. The Lord will again delight
commands and decrees that are written in this Book of the in you and make you prosperous, just as he
Law and turn to the Lord your God with all your heart and delighted in your ancestors.
with all your soul.
v. 16a For I command you today to love the Lord your God, v. 16b then you will live and increase, and the Lord
to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, your God will bless you in the land you are entering
decrees and laws; to possess.
v. 19-20a Now choose life, so that you and your children v. 20b For the Lord is your life, and he will give you
may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen many years in the land he swore to give to your
to his voice, and hold fast to him. fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
I love how God speaks to us through His Word. I could read the same passage on two different days and the Holy Spirit will teach me something new each time. As I meditated on these verses, I was reminded that our obedience should not come from a place of duty but a place of thankfulness for the love, grace and mercy that God lavishes on us every day. He so wants to bless us but He CANNOT reward disobedience. HE IS HOLY. It would be impossible for a Holy God to bless our poor choices, our defiance, or our blatant disregard for His Word.
Ultimately, God is sovereign and He will determine our days. However, while we are here, if we want to live long and prosper, we can learn from Moses’ message. Reread the verses above and focus on the bold words.
I don’t know how God will choose to prosper you or me. As a Christian prosperity means much more than financial gain. However, I DO KNOW that we will prosper in our Christian walk when we are obedient.
Live long and prosper, my friend.