In 1943, Abraham Maslow proposed a theory in psychology known as “Maslow’s hierarchy of needs” and represented as a pyramid with five levels of needs. It is a motivational theory that argues that while people aim to meet basic needs, they seek to meet successively higher needs in form of a pyramid.
The five levels of needs, according to the theory, are: physiological needs, safety needs, social needs, self-esteem needs and self-actualisation needs.
The most fundamental of these needs are physiological needs, which include necessities such as air, food, water, sleep, clothing and shelter. We require physiological needs to stay alive. Once these needs are met, we have need for safety and then social needs, followed by self-esteem and finally self-actualisation.
Maslow did not consider spiritual needs in his pyramid. But, obviously, people have spiritual needs, too. At the physiological level, people tend to be closer to God for their needs. However, spiritual needs run throughout the levels of the hierarchy in different ways.
Jesus appreciates the importance of physiological needs. He knows that without satisfying them, we cannot survive and hence cannot move up the pyramid. This is why He promised to provide them and asked us not to worry about them. He says in Matthew 6:31-33, “Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? Or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?…for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
Sometimes, we think there is no way our needs can be satisfied but Jesus says He is the way. He makes a way where there is no way. The first miracle He performed was provision of wine needed for a wedding ceremony in Cana of Galilee. One remarkable thing about that miracle was that, before it was performed, His mother, Mary, had said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.” I believe that one key that opens divine provision of our needs is this expression: Whatever He tells you to do, do it.
Sometime ago, my cash flow was not good and what occupied my mind was what God wanted me to do to remedy the situation. I was asking for divine ideas and actions to take. God responded with some ideas that worked. Incidentally, one of the ideas was to give out money for certain purposes. This action even depleted my lean purse – but, eventually, my problem was solved. If God tells you to do something and you fail to do it, it is disobedience.
When you obey and do whatever He tells you to do, He not only provides food, drink, and clothing but opens doors leading to higher levels. His favour, goodness and mercy will follow you.
In order to experience divine provisions, you must believe that your salary or income is not your source of supply. If your focus is centred on your occupational source of income, you have already placed a limit to what God can do for you. You will enjoy abundant life if you believe that God is your Source and Provider. He does not depend on your income or resources.
God is not limited to what you have. He takes whatever you have and multiplies it. He multiplies your income. He even multiplies your time. We all have 24 hours in a day but a believer can achieve a 30-hour output in one day. You may call it efficiency or effectiveness but what I am saying is more than that. I have personally experienced it. He does not need to command the sun to stand still again, as He did to enable Joshua overcome his enemies.
The miracle of multiplying a boy’s lunch of five barley loaves and two small fish to feed 5,000 men (without counting women and children) is one that Jesus keeps doing today, for those who believe. God is not just multiplying, He also creating from nothing.
When Jesus was required to pay temple tax of half a shekel in Capernaum, there was no coin available. He just asked Peter to go the sea, catch the first fish that came up, open its mouth, and get out a shekel. That shekel was used to pay the temple tax for Jesus and Peter. Isn’t that fantastic? How did a shekel get into the mouth of that fish? One shekel was all that was needed for the temple tax. If more than one shekel was needed, Jesus could have provided it.
This is how Jesus provides our needs today. He knows exactly what we need and desires to provide them. This is why He said we should not worry. Sometimes, we want to accumulate what we don’t really need. This is greed and lust. Peter did exactly what his Master told him to do and a miracle happened and a need was met instantly. Whatever He says to you, do it. Miracle happens whenever you do what He asks you to do.