Principle of the Moral Universe
God has written universal laws written into the creation and into each of us. These are communicated to is by Jesus, the God made man. When we live in harmony with these laws and principles, we experience long term peace and live abundant lives (John 10:10). When we break these laws and live against them this is known as sin and evil and creates destructive, and even deadly, consequences in our lives.
“God has planted eternity in the human heart . . . ” (Ecclesiastes 3:11)
The Principle of Waiting / Incubating
Like seeds, there are times in our life and faith when we experience incubation or gestation. These are not times to be passive in our interaction with God or others, but to wait actively for the spirit to reveal new opportunities and plans. “Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly.” (Psalm 5:3) A seed can only grow when it takes in nutrients. We grow when we take in all that God provides. This is living by grace.
The Rhythm of Receptivity and Response
E. Stanley Jones says it best, “(I)f your life-poem has nothing but self-effort, you are weak; if it contains nothing but God-dependence, you are also weak. But where the two are blended, so that you work as if the whole thing depended on yourself and you trust as if the whole thing depended on God, you have caught the rhythm of ‘receptivity and response,’ the alternate beats of a single heart.” (Abundant Living, p. 160) All human action is tempered with the recognition of God’s aseity. This means that God is the final and primary cause of all things and is in need of nothing from us. We are living grace — living in God’s grace — each moment of our lives.
The Principle of the Efficacy of Prayer and Reflection Time
Prayer is reflection, discernment, and tuning one’s life and attention to the active presence of God. It can happen in focused times of meditation in an environment of solitude, and in a moment of awareness that comes during the day. There is a benefit that comes from taking time to deliberately read the Bible and other inspirational literature, meditate on their words, craft and refine one’s life principles, think, reflect, journal, and be unplugged from the noise of daily life. This is time to cultivate the soul and hear from God directly.
The Power Principle of Vision, Planning and Living in Faith and Prayer
Having visions, goals and plans for the future are powerful ways to craft my life in ways that are meaningful to me. I am always amazed at the power of the subconscious mind to work toward goals that may have only been created and reviewed as little as once a year.
+ “Then Jesus told them, ‘I tell you the truth, if you have faith and don’t doubt, you can do things like this and much more. You can even say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen.” (Matthew 21:21)
+ “Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it!” (John 14:14)
The Principle of the Connection Between Thought and Reality
Our thoughts, including our self talk and internal conversation and reflection, can create powerful results in our lives. I find I am able to self talk myself into deeper levels of anger and resentment. I am also able to talk myself into peace, courage and joy.
There is a distinctly human endowment that enables me to stand outside myself, my thoughts and behavior and reflect on how I am feeling and viewing a situation. I am able to ask myself, “Am I seeing this situation clearly.” “What anger or frustration do I have that I am displacing onto others and the world right now (i.e. why am I mad and driving my car fast and being rude to others or why am I yelling at my kids when I’m frustrated with a co-worker).
The Bible encourages us to engage in this higher order thinking, “Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” (Philippians 4:8)
Developing & Nurturing Your Spirit Grows Your Life and Relationships.
We are unified individuals with bodies (all that is physical) a soul (reason, emotions, will, memories, and personality) and a spirit (the seat of our being, that which relates to God, the place the Holy Spirit dwells in each of us). When you develop your spirit and tend to your relationship with God, it has a positive and lasting effect on your body and soul.
The Principle of Creativity
God has placed within us a desire to create and project something unique and positive out into the world. This is a vocation, a calling, activities for which we were created and make us feel most alive. This is may be the same as our ‘day job’, or it may be different.
The Principle of Abundant Giving (Stewardship)
Don’t lend money to people like family members or co-workers because it usually changes the relationship dynamics in negative ways. If someone has a true need, and you are not enabling bad behavior, simply give to them without expectation of getting back. Giving is freeing and liberating and comes without strings attached.
I think God, being the most free and liberated one of all, is the ultimate giver. He gives all we need for daily life (food, clothing, home, family, orderly society, friends, income, etc.) and he gives it freely and extravagantly (“For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.” — Matthew 5:45).
God has woven this principle of giving into the fabric of creation. When we give we live in harmony with this principle and experience the blessings of the Kingdom. Live to give! (See Numbers 18:25-29)
The Principle of Planting, Growth, and Harvesting
To build a deep life there must be a time of planting. Planting takes time and effort. There are no quick fixes in life and no shortcuts to deep, lasting and positive change. Wealth is built over time. Healthy weight loss happens over time. Churches grow over time. Leadership experience is gained over time. Character is built over time. This is what Christian A. Schwarz referes to as the difference between technocratic thinking which relies on human effort and a biotic or natural approach, which is based on God-given principles of growth and life. Stephen R. Covey calls this the law of the farm.