Life Success Notes

Scriptural views on prosperity

Making a Difference

making a difference

God sent Jesus to preach good news to me, to heal my broken heart, to announce my freedom from the prison house of sin and death, and to pardon me. He sent Him to announce to me the year of His grace – a celebration of the destruction of my enemies – and to comfort me as I mourn, to care for my needs, to give me bouquets of roses instead of ashes, messages of joy instead of news of doom, to give me a praising heart instead of a languid spirit. He renamed me an Oak of Righteousness planted by Him to display His glory! (Based on Isaiah 61:1-3 MSG)

This affirmation tells me that God wants me to grow and flourish in all areas of my life; He wants me to make a positive difference in the lives of others.

You have probably heard of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. It’s not new. This is the hierarchy:-

Level 5 – Self-actualisation / fulfillment
Level 4 – Self-esteem & recognition
Level 3 – Belonging & love
Level 2 – Safety & security- self-preservation
Level 1 – Physiological – food & shelter, survival

Maslow puts self-centred needs at the bottom – the basic needs, but finishes off with self-actualisation at the top – orientation to service and connection with others. These needs are genuine. They are part of our humanity – the way God has made us. The higher needs in this hierarchy only come into focus when the lower needs are met. Once an individual has moved upwards to the next level, needs in the lower level will no longer be prioritised. If a lower set of needs is no longer being met, the individual will temporarily re-prioritise those needs by focusing attention on the unfulfilled needs, but will not permanently regress to the lower level. E.g. a man having an asthma attack focuses at that moment purely on the need for air, rather than the need for a sense of fulfillment in his life …

What does Jesus say about needs?

At level 1, He says we shouldn’t focus on survival – rather give priority to higher levels – “take NO thought, saying, What shall we eat? … But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness … ” Matthew 6.31-33. He promised to care for our needs – for the needs of those who mourn in Zion – Isaiah 61.3.
Moving up to level 2, Paul said he doesn’t care about his own physical safety and security – he’s moved on from that … his security is in the Lord. Yes we may suffer but only as Christ permits and as we are able to bear it… 2 Cor.11.23-27, 2 Cor.12.9-10.
Regarding level 3, as Christians we have a sense of belonging to God’s family. We are filled with the love of God Rom.5.5.
Our identity is in Christ who acknowledges us as of value through Him – Ps 8.4-5, Ps 18.18-19 (level 4) …
Lastly the self-actualized person is very much abiding in the promise of Christ. We find our need for self-fulfillment satisfied as we orientate ourselves towards service and connection to others. “I delight to do Your will, O my God, And Your law is within my heart.” Psalm 40.8 NKJV

What’s the advantage of adopting these concepts?

Physiological Needs – these are for survival – for life – we need air to breathe, food, shelter, clothing. But Jesus fed the crowds and He can and does feed you. Indeed He meets the physical needs of the world whether we acknowledge Him or not. But as Christians we can move our focus from this level of need because we trust Him to meet these needs. DO WE DO THIS? Or are we trapped at this level? – concerned about making a living to the exclusion of meeting our other higher needs? Are we like the birds of the air who spend all day every day looking for food and eating it. WE NEED TO TAKE THE LEAP OF FAITH TO MOVE ON UP.

Safety & Security Needs – self preservation – we naturally value our life and want to protect and preserve it. But God promises us eternal security – Eternal Life in Heaven John 3:16. We are not condemned Rom 8:1. But the fool is without hope … Upon the wicked He will rain coals; Fire and brimstone and a burning wind Shall be the portion of their cup. Psalm 11.6 NKJV.

We need to belong and to express and receive love – a sense of belonging to and sharing with our earthly families and friends, and our Heavenly family. The Bible says it is not good for man to be alone. Genesis 2:18; and let us love one another for God is Love 1 John 4:7-8. Any expression of love is a result of God’s working in our lives. Satan is without God. His fruits are the harvest we reap in the absence of love – adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries (from Gal.5.19-21).

We achieve self esteem and recognition from others – we are all members of God’s family and as such have a purpose “For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function,” Rom 12.4). We also have self-confidence – I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength Philippians 4:13. And most importantly we recognise the value God places on us – You, Lord, have made all the delicate, inner parts of my body. You fabricated them in my mother’s womb Psalm 139:13. We gain confidence from accepting and understanding our identity that is from Christ, and the gifts God has endowed us with. Without this acknowledgement of God as our creator, we have no true identity, we don’t know who we are …

Self Actualisation, for me, is all about leading a fulfilled life wholly in God’s will for my life – and that includes His good works that He has prepared for me to do Ephesians 2.10. I am content in all situations “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation” Philippians 4:11. “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:1,2. Contrast this with the life of someone who has led a selfish life that is successful purely in worldly terms – perhaps a lot of wealth but not much else. Even the world recognises that this person is a sad person.

So what shall we do?

Acts 2.37-28 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. We can:-

1. Connect with people – tap into and build on Maslow’s concept of the 5 levels of human needs – food & shelter, safety, belonging & love, self-esteem & recognition, self-actualisation / fulfillment.  E.g a health ministry does this effectively – at level 1. A friendly church does this effectively – at level 3…. But the One who excelled at connecting was Jesus – see Him in action with the woman at the well (John 4).

2. Need – explain why a need is important to them – E.g. You need to feel healthy in order to work effectively and be happy…. You need to feel part of something – it’s natural…

3. Give satisfaction – present the solution, getting an agreement – E.g. We can help you reduce your blood pressure using natural non-invasive techniques. Or, join us – we’re welcoming and you’ll enjoy yourself with us…

4. Visualize – a picture of future conditions will intensify commitment to position. Compare how things will be if the solution is adopted vs if it is rejected – this gets commitment. – With your blood pressure down you’ll feel much better &…; if it doesn’t reduce, you’re in danger of… You’ll learn more about the Bible as your relationships with others grow… We don’t want you to miss out…  Jesus promised living water, with no more thirst v. the life of shame and discontent that the woman had been living. Bible study, especially prophecy, helps us visualise the future. It tells us what God’s universal plan is and our prominent role in it. It gives us an order of events. – Jesus prophesied in Matthew and Luke – once he’d built relationships with people, satisfied their various needs and taught about life.

5. Suggest an action – turn the agreement and commitment into positive action – suggest something proactive. – Why not have a consultation today and… Why not come and visit our Church next week…

Action is the result of knowing God’s will for our lives, which leads to self-fulfillment, or self-actualisation (Maslow’s highest level of need). How can we know God’s will? “By pursuing one line of thought exclusively, the mind often becomes unbalanced. But every faculty may be safely exercised if the mental and physical powers are equally taxed and the subjects of thought are varied. The nerves of the brain are the medium through which heaven communicates with man and affects the inmost life. Whatever hinders the circulation of the electric current in the nervous system, thus weakening the vital powers and lessening mental susceptibility, makes it more difficult to arouse the moral nature.” (Ellen White – Education p. 209) So we need to be balanced – between mental and physical activity, between one line of thought an another. Jesus had to manage His time too. He was balanced and heaven communicated with Him.

Conclusion

I want to conclude by saying that:-

1. Through Christ’s grace, We CAN climb this ladder and lead fulfilled lives – lives that achieve the goals the Lord has for us.

2. First we receive and accept faith in His promises for us, faith that He will supply all our earthly needs. Then we can look up, expecting the greater nobler needs to be met.

3. With faith, our safety and security is in the Lord. There is nothing that can really harm us.

4. We belong to God’s family on earth. We are loved and can express love to others. Indeed we are filled with His love.

5. Each of us has an identity – who we are in God’s eyes, when He conceived us before He placed us in our mother’s womb. We ARE broken vessels. But we can accept God’s gifts for us and do all things through Christ.

6. The brain nerves that connect with the whole system are the medium through which heaven communicates with man and affects the inmost life. By leading a balanced life, the circulation of the electric current in our nervous system will not be hindered; the vital powers will not be weakened; mental susceptibility will not be lessened, and the moral nature will be aroused. We WILL know God’s will for us. Completely surrendered to that will, we WILL lead lives of significance and fulfillment.

Posted by Julia Rosamund Brown 15 July 2009

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July 15, 2009 - Posted by | Biblical Success, Dreams, Love, Mind, Success | , , , , ,

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