God originally designed the human body—starting with Adam and Eve—to live forever. He never meant for us to die. He never intended for us to enjoy just a few decades of life on this earth then call it a day. God’s master plan has always been for us to live in His goodness and blessing forever, enjoying life without stress or strain. Even after the Fall of mankind, generations lived nearly a thousand years on average, and yet, today we seem to be willing to settle for far less. In the United States, for example, the average life expectancy is approximately 76 years…the average in the entire world is even less—approximately 71 years. Based on this, we tend to think if we make it to 70 or 80 years old, we’ve lived a good life. But when God gave us His resurrection life (Romans 8:11), He had for more in mind for us than just 70 or 80 years!
In Psalm 90, Moses is recorded as having interceded on behalf of the people of Israel who were aging and dying off much sooner than they should have. He said to God, “You spread out our sins before you—our secret sins—and you see them all. We live our lives beneath your wrath, ending our years with a groan. Seventy years are given to us! Some even live to eighty. But even the best years are filled with pain and trouble; soon they disappear, and we fly away” (verses 8-10).
What’s more, a footnote to Psalm 90 in the AMPC says, “This psalm is credited to Moses, who is interceding with God to remove the curse which made it necessary for every Israelite over twenty years of age (when they rebelled against God at Kadesh-barnea) to die before reaching the promised land (Numbers 14:26-35). Moses says most of them are dying at seventy years of age. This number has often been mistaken as a set span of life for all mankind. It was not intended to refer to anyone except those Israelites under the curse during that particular forty years. Seventy years has never been the average span of life for humanity. When Jacob, the father of the twelve tribes, had reached 130 years (Genesis 47:9), he complained that he had not attained to the years of his immediate ancestors. In fact, Moses himself lived to be 120 years old, Aaron 123, Miriam several years older, and Joshua 110 years of age. Note as well that in the Millennium a person dying at 100 will still be thought a child (Isaiah 65:20).”
It’s important to understand that Moses was quite clear as to why this misery and early onset of death was happening to God’s own chosen people, to the ones who were supposed to be living the blessed life—and a long and satisfying one, at that. The reason was sin.
As born-again believers and followers of Christ, we can be confident that our sins are no longer set before God. They have been washed away by the redeeming blood of Jesus. We no longer have to fear “passing away in God’s wrath” as the Israelites once did. We have been saved from His wrath (Romans 5:9). Therefore, the lifespan of 70 years—or at best, 80—that Moses referred to does not apply to us.
What good news! It should be no surprise that God views our aging differently than we typically do, and certainly a lot differently than our modern culture does. The world glorifies physical youth and covets the strength and beauty of youth far more than the wisdom, maturity and experience that can come with age. Our society tends to dread old age rather than embrace and respect it.
Consequently, too many Christians are of the world’s mindset and do not expect more of God’s blessings as they grow older. Like everyone else, they anticipate decline in their later years and are willing to lie down and allow the devil to run all over them—where their physical and mental health are concerned, where their spiritual impact is concerned, and where their safety, strength and length of days are concerned.
Time To Throw Off the Limits
It’s time for us to change our perspective. Proverbs 23:7 tells us, “For as [a man] thinks in his heart, so is he” (AMPC). If we are going to live long and strong with the full number of days God intended, the first thing we must do is straighten out our thinking. We must adjust our thoughts and actions to agree with God’s Word and align our expectations with the written revelation of His perfect will.
For instance, many people read Hebrews 9:27-28 and wrongly interpret it as meaning that God has a time for each of us to die, which is not the case at all. “And just as each person is destined to die once and after that comes judgment, so also Christ was offered once for all time as a sacrifice to take ways the sins of many people….”
All this passage says is that the Lord has ordained that we die just one time. And once that happens, we will all face judgment. There is no “appointed time”—at least, not by God—for our departure from this earth.
According to King Solomon in Ecclesiastes 3:1-2, there is indeed “a time to die”; however, in the context of what he was saying, he was only referring to death as one of the many seasons we experience in our lives. He was not saying there is a specific, appointed time or moment for our death.
So, God is not the one who limits or determine our lifespan; we are. God clearly desires for each of us to live much longer than perhaps we have been thinking we should.
Are You Ready To Live Longer?
The truth is, we should not even allow those words spoken by God Himself to limit our thinking about our lifespan in this earth—because they were not about us! When He said those things, God was referring to the unbelieving, rebellious and wicked people who were the vast majority of the earth’s population just prior to the Flood. He was not talking about the righteous few, like Noah and his family, who were living well into their 900s at the time.
That should shed a whole new light on our thinking about aging. The Bible tells us that rejuvenation belongs to all of God’s obedient people. It is, in fact, one of the many benefits of our salvation we find throughout Scripture:
- “Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: who forgives all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from destruction, who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s” (Psalm 103:2-5, NKJV).
- “Those who are planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bear fruit in old age; they shall be fresh and flourishing” (Psalm 92:13-14, NKJV).
- “Those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31, NKJV).
Through Jesus, God has set every believer back into the garden of His goodness. He has made available to us “exceedingly great and precious promises” that are divinely designed to help us escape the corruption that is in the world through sin (2 Peter 1:4, NKJV). And many of those promises offer us…
- long, full lives (Exodus 23:25-26)
- prolonged days on the earth (Deuteronomy 4:39-40, 6:2; Proverbs 10:27)
- long, satisfying lives (Psalm 91:16)
- length of days (Proverbs 3:16)
- many years of life (Proverbs 4:10)
- old age (Isaiah 46:4)
- a long, good life (Ephesians 6:2-3).
It’s time we all raised the standard and began making choices to help us live to be 120 years old. When we were born again, we were raised to walk in newness of life. We were given God’s resurrection power—the power to help us live. “The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you” (Romans 8:11).
Let’s let the resurrection power of Jesus living in us be our standard now. Make God’s standard yours from now on!
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