Aging is inevitable, but it doesn’t have to make us unfruitful and useless. The secret to living a productive life is not found in a pill, a drink or an exercise routine, but in heeding what the Lord says. God is the One who ultimately determines the number of our days, but we have the responsibility of doing what we can to live long and productive lives.

In Psalm 92:12-15, the Lord explains how to stay young and useful throughout our lives; however long we may live. The scripture says:

“The righteous man will flourish like the palm tree” (v. 12). This passage doesn’t apply to everyone but only to those who are righteous and godly. To flourish signifies the abundance of growth and fruit. The palm trees in this passage are date palms, which not only produced fruit but whose leaves were used for fences and roofs.

“He will grow like a cedar in Lebanon” (v. 12). These trees grow as high as 120 feet, and their branches extend straight out to a circumference of 30 feet. They are truly a majestic sight that symbolizes great strength.

“Planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish in the courts of our God” (v. 13). Spiritual abundance comes to those who stay close to the Lord.

“They will still yield fruit in old age; they shall be full of sap and very green, to declare that the Lord is upright” (vv. 14-15). Instead of being dry and of little use, the righteous person can continue to produce fruit throughout his or her life.

If you think it’s too late for you to become productive, think again. Instead of focusing on productivity as the world defines it, consider God’s description of a righteous person in Psalm 92. What spiritual fruit would you like the Lord to produce in you? Seek Him, and you’ll find you can live a successful Christian life for all your years to come.

Allen Tilley is senior pastor at First Baptist Church in Carthage.