by Gloria Copeland
I’m amazed at how often people claim to have discovered the “fountain of youth.” Month after month, year after year, magazine covers and book jackets tout the latest and greatest longevity secrets. Scientists come up with genetic keys, and nutritionists proclaim the one…or two…or seven foods that guarantee long, healthy lives to those who eat them. Fitness experts invent exercise plans and equipment that promise to keep us young, slim and agile at any age.
Although good nutrition and exercise really do help, no one has yet come up with a guaranteed life-lengthening, youth-renewing plan that provides people in their 80s, 90s, hundreds and beyond the strength and vitality of people half their age.
No one, that is, except Moses.
His secret for long, strong life, echoed throughout the Bible, is the only one that really works. He proved it beyond any doubt by staying youthful to the ripe old age of 120. Moses practiced what he preached. Despite his rugged life in the wilderness and his potentially high-stress job of leading a million-plus cantankerous, unbelieving people to the Promised Land, he tapped in to a fountain of youth that kept him young year after year, decade after decade. He found a source of life-renewing power that kept him sharp-eyed and physically strong 20 years beyond the century mark.
What was Moses’ secret? What was the force that kept him going so strong for so long?
The living Word of Almighty God.
Just before he sent the Israelites into the Promised Land, Moses called them together and said: “Set your hearts unto all the words which I testify among you this day, which ye shall command your children to observe to do, all the words of this law. For it is not a vain thing for you; because it is your life: and through this thing ye shall prolong your days in the land” (Deuteronomy 32:46-47, KJV, italics added).
The New Living Translation quotes verse 47 this way: “These instructions are not empty words—they are your life! By obeying them you will enjoy a long life….” The key to long life is the Word of God.
Over the years, I’ve experienced renewal during my time in the Word. Not only spiritual and emotional renewal, but physical renewal. Of course, I haven’t just dabbled in the Word. I’ve spent hours getting the Word inside me—studying it, praying it, living it.
Through my experience, I can tell you that God’s Word is as alive and full of power as it ever was. Under the New Testament we live by faith in Jesus because He is the Word. Look at how John 1:1-4, 14 says it:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him [In whom? In the Word!] was life; and the life was the light of men…. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth (KJV).
That passage makes it very clear: Life is in Jesus, and Jesus is the Word made flesh. It is impossible to separate Jesus from God’s Word. He and the Word are one. What’s more, Hebrews 4:12 tells us that the Word affects us as born-again believers in a real and dynamic way. It is life to us:
- The word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart (nkjv).
- The Word that God speaks is alive and full of power [making it active, operative, energizing, and effective]; it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life (soul) and [the immortal] spirit, and of joints and marrow [of the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart (ampC).
- The word of God is full of living power. It is sharper than the sharpest knife, cutting deep into our innermost thoughts and desires. It exposes us for what we really are.
It’s not surprising that I can sometimes sense the Word affecting my physical body because, according to that verse, the Word impacts more than our souls and spirits. It penetrates all through our cells and organs to the innermost part of our bones. It reaches all the way to our marrow—a place where our blood is made!