Live Long and Prosper

Life and prosperity are traditionally two words the world doesn’t understand, and their true biblical essence eludes many. Most people have only a limited sense of what these words represent, because of what man-made religion dictates to them and tells them to think. The world defines life as the few years on earth when we scratch out an existence, and it defines prosperity in monetary terms, but God’s definitions are infinitely broader in scope. His plans for us include blessings above and beyond our wildest imaginations.

Life and prosperity begin in the spiritual realm, and they find their way to those who put God first before earthly riches. During Jesus’ earthly ministry, He encountered many who were poor according to the world’s standards, but in the divine order, things are not always what they appear to be. Jesus had plenty to say about the blessings of life and prosperity (Matthew 5:3-11, AMP). He preached that the humble peacemakers who sought mercy and righteousness would receive God’s favor.

In the 1960s television series Star Trek, Mr. Spock often used the greeting “Live long and prosper,” derived from a Jewish blessing. The greeting involved forming the shape of the Hebrew letter “shin,” the first letter in the words Shaddai (a name for God) and shalom (which means peace). When we put God’s kingdom first, regardless of what the world is doing, we discover that the life and prosperity Jesus talked about brings a peace that defies intellectual understanding. The origins of this kind of peace aren’t found anywhere on earth. “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27).

The spirit of the “Live long and prosper” greeting is found in the Scriptures. “The Elder, to the beloved Gaius, whom I love in truth: Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers”(3 John 1:1, 2, NKJV). Here, we see that prosperity includes not just material things, but the life of the soul as well. When we earnestly seek God’s will for our lives, we receive His grace, favor, and protection against evil. “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 5:23).

The kind of prosperity God has in mind for us goes way beyond simple financial blessings. Money is just the starting point—when we trust Him enough to give to help others, we connect ourselves to what He has already set aside for us (Philippians 4:19). God’s type of prosperity also includes love, joy, peace, forgiveness, salvation, and freedom from sin.

Life will defeat anyone trying to live it in the flesh, which is why Jesus offers us a victorious spirit-filled life through Him. “For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live” (Romans 8:13, NKJV). God wants us not to simply exist, but to have an abundant and prosperous life to show the world. “The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows)” (John 10:10, AMP). Clearly, this kind of prosperous living is something the devil doesn’t want us to have!

— Creflo Dollar