According to Maslow’s theory of personality development, the key to personal growth and fulfilment lies in focusing on what we have, not on what we don’t have or what we’ve lost. He went further to say people with growth orientation do not focus on what is missing but draw satisfaction from who they are, what they have and what they can do. This orientation opens the door to what Maslow called the peak experience, in which people feel joy in the mere fact of being human, and knowing that they are utilizing their fullest potential.

Maslow’s words resound with truth. Far too many of us live our lives from the outside in, instead of the reverse.  We set our gaze on the outward: what we don’t have, what we have lost, what is missing in our lives, what we must do to move the hand of God, and a lot of many other things we’ve been force-fed with by those whose teachings we’ve submitted our ourselves.

It’s a new year, and I know a lot of us have set goals and plans to actualize them, as well as made resolutions of things we will need to do more and those we will stop doing, to create the balance and be at the favour with God. As good as setting goals and putting plans in place to see them manifest is, it is important we approach them from the right perspective which springs from the right knowledge or else, we will get worn out with much toiling all through the year. Our approach to life this year should be from the standpoint of God’s grace: the understanding that God has already worked in us all we need and all we need to do is walk in the light of it and rest. This is where growth and fulfilment lies according to Maslowwhen we live from the inside out.

Hmm…I know some of us reading this post are beginning to get turned off like, ‘is he saying we should just fold our arms, rest and do nothing and things will just fall in place?’’ That's not what am saying! My point is that we should not depend on self-effort, what we are to do to get God to come through for us. Rather, focus on what God has done for us and rest. 

When we talk about resting in the grace of God, the first thing that comes to minds of some folks is that it inspires licentious living and breeds laziness but that’s not true. It is way beyond that! Nothing inspires focus, strength and productivity than the knowledge of the grace of God. Resting in the grace of God revealed in Christ doesn’t inspire irresponsibility nor does it breed laziness as some think. In resting, we submit totally to the leadership of the Spirit and draw from the inexhaustible energy of the Spirit to be productive and resourceful in anything we do. In resting, we do not beat the air or pride ourselves in self effort behind the mask of ‘I’m a superman, but we come bare, knowing there’s no strength in our self and completely rely on the Spirit as he directs our activities.

‘So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture…’’ Romans 12:1-2 MSG

The way to live this year and everyday is basking in God’s grace and God’s grace will result in productivity and success than any carnal human effort can account for. It is knowing that all things are yours in Christ and that God isn’t holding anything back from you. This will make you face life confidently and live everyday to the fullest. But when you depend on self-efforts, your focus is on what you don’t have, what is missing in you and as a such, you feel restrained, worn out which ultimately results in frustration. Friends, don’t get caught up in the ‘do, do, and do’ syndrome which exerts pressure on you and places a demand on your ability to God: self-effort. Rather, lean on God’s grace which is the better, nay, the best approach; for it places a demand on God’s ability to you and causes you to live life on the highest plane beyond where any self-effort can carry you.

Happy New Year!

Live from Rest.

About Jemine James


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