What is 'The Good Life?'
Americans are on the hunt for a fulfilling life, searching for everything and anything in order to satisfy unfulfilled desires, misplaced shame, and an uneasy conscience. Consumer experts and skilled inventors televise their promises of a happy life in forty-second intervals, capturing anxious hearts with cheap psychological tactics and childish gimmicks in a blink of an eye. The reciprocating truth dauntingly catches backup: we search for life in all the wrong places.
God created us in such a way that a happy, satisfied, content life is only found in Jesus.
In a clear and heart-searching tone, Proverbs pointedly speaks to twenty-first century Christians.
My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments,In one sense, any person who lives on earth as a Christian has “the good life.” In another, it is true that living a good life will be an ongoing choice. Another way to say this is that all Christians are blessed in this life, but living an enriched life is indicative of our treasuring Christ by keeping God’s Word.
for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you. (Prov. 3:1-2 ESV)
God’s blessing of the good life showers upon those who diligently seek to guard His commandments in their hearts.
So, how do you diligently seek to guard His commandments in your heart?Training our hearts to faithfully obey God’s Word is not an easy task. The heart is incomprehensibly deep, and we often forget that. From our heart flows the springs of life (Prov. 4:23). Our heart is the center by which we interpret, enjoy, and make meaning of life. For example, what we see visibly can excite inner emotion by which the heart feels pleasure and joy. Think of seeing the blue ocean or wide canyons or open fields or tropical islands. Certain smells can trigger memories, reminding the heart of both good and bad times. Taste can even spike emotion, ushering in thoughts of God’s goodness and childhood pastimes. What kind of information we allow our hearts to consume will dictate how “good” we live on earth.
After being disciplined for forty years in the desert, Israel still had trouble treasuring God’s Word in their heart. God vowed to bless His people in the Promised Land if they would obey Him (Deut. 28:2, 11). When they finally entered the land, God’s people failed to destroy the idols and altars of the inhabitants of Canaan, and by consequence opted for another way of living (Judg. 2:2). What would make Israel lose focus so quickly when God promised to bless them with a robust life in a breathtaking land? The Israelites were inspired by the wealth of the land (see Num. 13) and fell prey to their gods for they interpreted that what the Canaanites had was a better choice than following after their Redeemer. Today we have the same struggle.
Our world of images and entertainment diligently pursues preeminence in our hearts.
Complacency in the things of God is a constant battle for all of us.
Our information overload via text, movies, Facebook, television, computer, email, smart-phone, video games, sensual and vain propaganda, twitter, and plenty more do not help us to keep a heart satisfied in God’s Word. Throughout any given day we are usually distracted and restless, anxiously trying to fill our minds so that the silence of a still conscience won’t haunt us. But God is glorified as He sanctifies our hearts in the things that please Him—and so He moves within us in a more needed way than the air we breathe.
God is true to His promises—He promises to bless His people with a fulfilling life if they treasure His Word.Imagine what peace and joy and hope we could have if we constantly thought how the Bible says we should think. Perhaps one day we will experience such God-exulting, human-pleasing bliss. Until then, we can prepare for battle in a world of distraction and put to memory God’s inspired text. What could be more pleasing than to walk in God’s blessing by following the Book that was written specifically to teach faulty humans how to rightly live?
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