As I continue working on Sunday’s message on, “Does Life have a Purpose?” Maslow’s voice cried out to me from his grave to say some basic needs must be met before man can even consider such lofty thoughts. Indeed missions experience says that some have trouble seeing a need for anything as long as there survival is in question. The eternal may seem inconsequential to an aids infected mother with aids infected children for whom she is having trouble providing enough calories in their diet even to survive. Often on the mission field we satisfy physical needs in order to reach and meet the individual’s spiritual needs. Maslow however would also put safety, belonging, and esteem ahead of the question, “What purpose does my life have?” And certainly asking what purpose God has for man would be last in his list of expressed needs. In 1943, Maslow based his conclusions on the top 1% of his group intellectually with no spiritual consideration at all. Indeed one might perceive an anti-spiritual bias.
John 7:37 On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. 38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” 39 But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. NKJV
The heart of verse 38 is sometimes translated ‘belly’ and refers to an empty place within man that seemingly only God through the Holy Spirit can fill. Both Augustine and Pascal made reference to the God shaped hole in man’s inner being that only He can fill. The apostle John quotes Jesus as saying that this filling will help satisfy the thirst of others. The direction is from finding purpose that leads us to service. Lord help me to communicate that first the indwelling of the Spirit and then the expression of His power through service is the proper order. Faith first.