“She had a good life.” This is what I recently heard a coworker say about an actress who had purportedly passed away recently at age 93. When I heard this I couldn’t help but think that this woman’s life couldn’t have been that good, in that her life was so short. Short? She was 93 and lived longer than most, but I’ve stopped using the same standard as most people when I measure lifespan. Consider Isaiah 65:20-22:
“Never again will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his years; the one who dies at a hundred will be thought a mere child; the one who fails to reach a hundred will be considered accursed. They will build houses and dwell in them; they will plant vineyards and eat their fruit. No longer will they build houses and others live in them, or plant and others eat. For as the days of a tree, so will be the days of my people; my chosen ones will long enjoy the work of their hands.” (NIV)
God actually has a much different picture of long life than we do, and one-hundred years of age is akin to what we consider a child–someone not usually more than ten years old. In other words, if you want to get a picture of how God views how long we should be living, add a zero to each year of life. Scripturally speaking, God expects us to live at least ten times what we consider a normal lifespan! Why, then, are we dying so young?
I suggest a significant part of our problem is consciousness. We believe we are designed to die. It is ingrained in our understanding of how the world works. In fact, the thing I hear the most frequently when I say we are not designed to die is the question “How many people do you know who are over 200 years old?” People who as me this are not only completely missing the point, but they demonstrate part of the root problem–unbelief.
I don’t think there are many people, if any, who will live hundreds or thousands of years that do not believe it is possible. There is a much-needed shift that is taking place in the Body of Christ where a few are starting to realize Jesus purchased much more for us than we were previously taught. Jesus didn’t just die to fix sin so we could go to heaven when we died. No, he died on our behalf once for all so that in him we could die in baptism and be raised with Him in newness of life, never to die again! We are designed for immortality!
If we want to live forever as God designed we have to make some not-so-subtle shifts in how we think. First, we have to rid ourselves of such silly notions as there being a “time to die.” Yes, I am familiar with the verse in Ecclesiastes. No, I do not think Solomon had a clear revelation of Jesus’ finished work on the cross. Moving on. We need to rid ourselves of language that says “when I get old I am . . .” I cannot tell you how many nurses I have worked with who have already decided what kind of dementia patient they will be like when they grow old. I fail to understand why they are planning to get dementia in the first place, but they take it a step further. Not only are they expecting to get it, but they actively decree over their lives that they will grow senile as they age. Speaking death over ourselves will never help, but speaking life can!
We must learn to speak life to our bodies. We have to discover new ways of looking at things, even to the point of overcoming long-held and deeply ingrained beliefs. We have to catch ourselves when we speak and stop saying things like “This is what a sixty-year old body feels like” even if we find our joints aching. No, we need to start decreeing that rivers of living water flow through our veins out of the temple of our heart, straight from the heart of Jesus. That even as His temple is set up inside our hearts and the river flows from that temple, that Jesus’ life-blood from heaven transforms our blood into a river of life that courses through our body and constantly feeds each cell with glory-light from heaven. We need to start decreeing that we will live and not die, that long life is ours and that God will show us his salvation. That we who eat his flesh and drink his blood will have life within us and whoever lives and believes in him will never die.
Unlike common past-belief, I do not believe the Isaiah passage above is a far-off reality that will exist in a future someday-kingdom that Jesus will come and set up in person on the earth. Maybe he will come someday and do that, but the Bible actually says that Jesus will return when all things have been placed in submission to him, and it also says the last enemy to be destroyed is death. In order for this to occur, we must take authority over death and stop dying! Want to see Jesus return? Get a revelation of immortality. Discover what it means that God loved the world so much that he sent his son so that we would not die, but have everlasting life. Don’t sit and wait for death to come knocking on your door–hunt it down! Put it on the defensive and take you rightful place as an heir of the Father–one of the many who He promised he would raise up in the last days, those who will walk in everlasting life and who will never die.