Seven Indispensable Principles for Spiritual Success

The Sermon of the Beatitudes (1886-96) by Jame...
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Mick Turner

I vividly remember the confusion I sometimes felt during my first few months living in China. Talk about stepping out of my comfort zone. I was halfway around the world and suddenly thrust into a culture that was totally alien to me. I quickly realized that if I wanted to have a peaceful, orderly, and successful life, I needed to understand how the various rules and laws of behavior worked in that fascinating culture.

The same principle holds true when it comes to walking out our Christian faith on a daily basis. If we want to be successful, if we want to be all that God intends for us to be, we need to come to a deep understanding of certain spiritual laws and more importantly, how to implement those laws for their maximum benefit.

Dr. I.V. Hilliard, in his landmark book Living the Maximized Life, describes a series of seven spiritual laws that are indispensable in the life of a Christ-follower. According to Dr. Hilliard, if we apply ourselves to the implementation of these laws our efforts will not be in vain. These laws are as follows:

 

The Law of Perspective

The Law of Passion

The Law of Priority

The Law of Petition

The Law of Pattern

The Law of Profession

The Law of Progression

 

Dr. Hilliard asserts that implementation of these laws will enable us to “maximize life situations,” both positive and troublesome. Here at LifeBrook we frequently verbalize our mission statement, which is to:

Provide encouragement that will assist people to become the optimal version of themselves for the glory of God and the benefit of others.

Speaking from personal experience, I can say without reservation that these laws, when diligently applied, will greatly assist any Christian desirous of a rewarding, fulfilling spiritual life. Let us now turn to a brief discussion of each of these principles.

The Law of Perspective

The Law of Perspective is primarily concerned with vision and focus. God has implanted a personal calling, a mission, in the heart of each and every child of the Light. A personal “vision” involves the specific ways in which the Christ-follower will realize that calling. The vision provides perspective, a blueprint, and a matrix which helps the person make effective plans and precise decisions. In the words of Dr. Hilliard:

The Bible has multitudes of scriptures admonishing believers to control their visual focus. Seeing your future from God’s perspective is critical to accurate management of your mind. The term “vision” has the most dynamic and multi-faceted meaning. It means both natural visual perception and spiritual internal vision (or imagination).

God instructed Abram (later called Abraham) in how to look at things from a divine perspective – to get the God-sized big picture. In doing so, this enabled Abram to see more clearly and, at the same time, exercise his faith in God. Dr. Hilliard explains:

Abram is instructed to look from where he is to where he wants to go. This simple principle of focus will transform your life as you immerse yourself in images of the new you in possession of your faith’s desires.

The Law of Passion

 Passion is a sacred fuel that gives us the necessary drive to keep pursuing our desired outcome, even when the going gets rough. When we have passion about something, we give 110 percent, even when we don’t feel like giving 25 percent; passion is that which transforms average into good and good into great.

“Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled” (Matthew 5:6). Dr. Hilliard comments:

You and I will be filled, satisfied at the level of our hunger and thirst for the things of God. Hunger and thirst are synonymous terms for passion. I really like this passage because of the guarantee that is incorporated in the text. If you and I hunger and thirst for righteousness, then we can rest assured that God will empower us to obtain the righteous objectives we are passionate about. Learning how to stir up a hunger and a thirst for something is the key.

When we hunger and thirst we are passionate and when we are passionate and proactive, our chances of spiritual success are multiplied many times over.

The Law of Priority

Let’s face it, life in contemporary America is both fast-paced and complicated. Multi-tasking has become a seeming necessity, just to get by and for most of us, life can easily devolve into a juggling act at a moment’s notice. The fact is, unless we learn to set priorities we can easily find our self in a situation where trivial matters take precedent over critical issues – in essence – we end up majoring in the minors.

Dr. Hilliard stresses the importance of prioritizing, which he defines as making a focused effort on something, by stating:

The law of priority reveals the power of focused effort and discipline, which lead to skill and mastery. Understanding how to see priorities in life is critical if one wants to develop and implement a strategy to maximize life’s opportunities. Things that are highly valued and yield the most desirable results must be given priority.

The Law of Petition

The Law of Petition is intimately connected with the discipline of prayer and its dynamics are straightforward and simple. Dr. Hilliard reminds us that:

The law of petition is founded on the power of prayer and the Godly promises made to believers who will pray. Understanding these simple rules for prayer will equip and empower believers for maximized living. There is no substitute for a commitment to a time of daily prayer and spiritual devotion.

Put simply, if we expect to have success in God’s plan for our lives we have to establish and maintain consistent lines of communication with him.

The Law of Pattern

Although individual creativity, thinking out of the box, and trying out new things are all vitally important in navigating life, there are also times when following an established methodology for achieving success is the best strategy. We don’t always have to reinvent the wheel. Dr. Hilliard discusses the wisdom of following proven pathways when he says:

The law of pattern mandates that when we follow a proven plan of action or model the traits of other successful people out of a pure heart, we will eventually get similar results. “That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises” (Hebrews 6:12). If you work according to a proven pattern, you will achieve the same results others have attained.

The Law of Profession

The Law of Profession has to do with the words we speak and, in secular circles, is often referred to as “affirmation.” The primary difference here is that in “profession” the words we declare in positive prayer are in agreement with the Bible and its promises. There are many scriptural passages that affirm this principle but perhaps the most well-known is Mark 11:23-24:

I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, “May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,” and it will happen. But you must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart. I tell you the truth, you can pray for anything, and if you believe you have received it, it will be yours.

The Law of Progression

The Law of Progression can be summed up this way: Spiritual success is a process, not an event. Dr. Hilliard describes it this way:

The law of progression says the consistent effort of a proven plan of action will eventually produce the desired results on a gradual basis! The law of progression says things change little by little…………Our journey of success was not one giant leap, but a step-by-step process.

Jesus, as was often the case, turned to the natural world for examples that clearly describe the principle he is teaching. In Mark 4:26-28 the Master states:

So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast a seed into the ground, and should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how. For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.

An ear of corn is a process, not an event. The miracle of growth unfolds over a period of time and the same principle applies to matters of the spirit. We grow into Christ-character one small step at a time.

Taken as a whole, these seven principles operate together to help us achieve success in whatever our area of endeavor. The primary arena, however, where these principles may prove their effectiveness is in matters of spiritual formation. These spiritual laws have proven their beneficial nature time and time again and they will do so in our lives if we diligently apply them. With the help of the Holy Spirit, we can honor God and glorify the Master by becoming the very best that we can be – the optimal version of who and what we are.

© L.D. Turner 2011/All Rights Reserved

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One thought on “Seven Indispensable Principles for Spiritual Success

  1. Pingback: Positive Words for Reflection and Application | The Christian Optimist

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