What’s the key to life?

“Loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and committing yourself firmly to him. This is the key to your life.”

Deuteronomy 30:20

We all ask ourselves what’s the key to life. Who wouldn’t like to know what is that one thing that unlocks what life is about? In the search for the answer, some people turn to self-help resources, others to building a family, a hobby, meaningful career or having more money. The bottom line is – we all want to know what is the key to life.

The things mentioned above may give you some answers but they will not give you the answer. There’s only one place to find and it’s with God.

You may be surprised that all this time the answer has been right under our nose, in Deuteronomy 30.

“You can make this choice by loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and committing yourself firmly to him. This is the key to your life. And if you love and obey the Lord, you will live long in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”

Deuteronomy 30:20

Love above everything else

What's the key to life

In this verse, God, through Moses, tells us to do three things to unlock the life that He has prepared for us and to enter our promised land: love God, obey Him and commit to Him.

It’s no coincidence that in this trio, love is the first one. However obedient and committed we may be, if the root of both isn’t love, none of them will be genuine or lasting. Obedience and commitment without love is not the point. They make religion not a relationship and that’s not what God is after.

God loves us with love that we cannot and won’t get from anyone else. A little while ago I’ve read a fascinating article by Melissa Briggs about 5 Hebrew words every Christian should know. One of the words that the author refers to is ‘love’ – special love that God has for his people – Chesed.

She says: “Chesed is a permanent, covenant, faithful love; not changeable, temporary or based on feelings, as it is in our modern culture. Chesed is the security, acceptance and devotion within a committed relationship, which every human heart longs to experience.”

Melissa Briggs

God loves you with a special, unique and absolutely unconditional love – what do you respond with? Only obedience or commitment? Or loving Him in a special way and giving Him your all? Having been given this kind of love, we can only respond by loving above everything else.

How do I love God?

You may find it difficult to love God – I certainly did. Until I started understanding how He loves me and what it means to me personally. I still sometimes struggle with this but since I’ve got a much better understanding of His love, it’s an occasional doubt.

“How do I love God?” – I hear you say. It’s not an easy thing – we cannot see God. Besides, we often have a wrong picture of Him which doesn’t make Him very lovable in the earthly sense.

If you desire to love God, even if you don’t know how and you don’t think you’ve done it so far, pray and tell God about it. You’ll see what amazing transformation in your heart He can bring. And I promise you if you commit to that, you’ll really find the key to life.

Explore what His love is and where it comes from through reading His word and articles like the one above. Pray on your findings and God will lead you.

Obey & commit

Our obedience and commitment to the Lord will flow out of our love. Knowing that we’re loved with Chesed , we’ll want to respond by giving Jesus our all. Other things will develop in the right time and will come naturally.

If you tasted and see that the Lord is good – you’ve tasted his love and saw that obeying him really makes sense, you’ll commit to him, trust him, stick to him and will only want more.

The prize is sweet. You’ll unlock your life, you’ll see what life really is when you live close to God and you’ll enter your promised land of abundant life. And I can tell you, it’s absolutely fantastic. Not always easy but peace means more than easy and comfortable.

If we obey God and commit to him firmly, life will open before us. We’ll see the areas of life that have been locked to us so far.

The verse from Deuteronomy doesn’t say it’s the key to life in general but to your life. Doing these three things will show you God’s specific purpose for your life and will give you a long life in the land of milk and honey.

Who wouldn’t like that?

What’s the key to life: Biblical background

Apart from practical application, it’s worth looking at the Biblical background of this verse.

The Israelites heard these words when they were about to enter the Promised Land. Moses was nearing his death and about to pass on the leadership to Joshua. He knew that the Israelites weren’t always faithful to God, so for one last time, he reminded them what really matters in life and what is the wisest choice, no matter the circumstances. It’s a good daily reminder for all of us.

If they forgot everything from all his speeches, he wanted them to remember this one last appeal: love the Lord your God, obey him and commit yourself firmly to him. This is the key. The key to their promised life in the Promised Land. He gave a long speech and the quoted verse comes from the end of it. If someone gives a long speech, a message at the end is the one he wants his listeners to remember.

what's the key to life

What’s the key to life: A Commentary

I like what Theology of Work Bible Commentary says about this verse:

“Moses concludes with a third speech, a final appeal for obedience to God’s covenant, which will result in human thriving. (…) Obedience to God leads to blessing and life, while disobedience leads to curses and death. In this context, “obedience to God” meant keeping the Sinai covenant, and was thus an obligation that related solely to Israel. Yet obedience to God, leading to blessing, is a timeless principle not limited to ancient Israel, and it applies to work and life today.

If we love God and do as he commands, we find it the best plan for our life and in work. This does not mean that following Christ never involves hardship and want (Christians may be persecuted, ostracized, or imprisoned. (…) Even in evil times, when obedience to God may lead to persecution, the sweet fruit of God’s blessing is better than the sour residue of complicity in evil. In the big picture, we are always better off in God’s ways than in any other.”

what's the key to life

Get the key, start a new life

Key to life is not something unattainable or available only to a group of chosen people. No, it’s for everyone and it’s right here, right now available to you. You may have looked for it in the wrong places or didn’t think it’s something to be truly found – today, you can have hope – the key to life is right under your nose and it’s found in loving God.

Choosing to love God before everything else will transform your life. It’ll show you different areas of life in all their abundance and in a way that you’ve never seen before. If you’ve ever searched for the key to life and not succeeded in your search for the answer, this verse from Deuteronomy is your answer and will guide you every day.

What has been your choice in life so far? If you chose to love, obey and commit to something else than God, read at this post again and see how you can change going forward and why it is the right choice. It’s not just about living a better life but it’s about being closer to God every day. Choosing to love God is choosing life and blessings instead of death and curses.

If you would like to share how loving God has transformed your life, comment below or email me at [email protected]

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