Originally published Tuesday, 09 March 2021.
If you’re like me, you’ve seen plenty of online ads promising to teach you how to “get anything you want.” The promise sounds unbelievable and appealing at the same time. How can someone teach me how not only to get something I want, but anything I want? Most of these promises are founded in the teaching of manifesting. This new age term refers to one’s ability to use their thoughts and beliefs to attract the positive outcomes in their lives that they want. The idea is that whatever you focus on, you can manifest or bring into your physical reality.
As I shared in my last video on the types of thoughts the Bible warns against, the scriptures have a lot to say about our thoughts. Manifesting raises the question of how should Christians be using our thoughts? Should we be using our thoughts for the sole purpose to attract what we want?
Well, 2 Corinthians 10:5 tells us:
“We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:5 ESV)
The Bible doesn’t tell us to use our thoughts to get whatever we want, but to make our thoughts obedient to Christ. God wants us to use our minds to glorify Him. Jesus tells us that we are to:
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” (Mark 12:30 ESV)
We are called to love God with all our minds. Everything that God has entrusted to us, even our thoughts and imaginations, were given to us so that we would use our mind for His glory.
Now you may be wondering, how does manifesting stop me from loving God the way He’s called me to? God has called us to show our love by our faith and trust in Him.
When I manifest to attract whatever I want, I can easily take God out of the equation. I don’t need God when I can use my thoughts to control my destiny. And that is where we cross a dangerous line in our faith, because the truth is we can’t do anything without God.
Now, most Christians know that we need God; that’s why we’re Christians in the first place. But with any type of secular philosophy, there is the temptation to try to merge the two. So we’ll move from I’m not going to manifest what I want to I’m going to manifest what God wants for me.
Still, another problem arises with that thought. Am I then using my thoughts to manipulate God to give me what I want? Because in that scenario, the power is still given to the thoughts. Our thoughts are still idols that we serve to get what we want, or what we think God wants for us. As Christians, we must always remember our thoughts are not our source. God is.
Christians don’t need to manifest; we need to pray. So let me explain the difference:
- Manifesting is using my thoughts to attract my desired outcome.
- Prayer is accessing the power of God to see His will manifest in my life.
- Manifesting requires trust in myself. Can I think positively enough to produce a positive outcome in my life?
- Prayer requires trust in God and surrender to His will. Do I trust that God loves me and has my best interest in mind so I can surrender my life and will to Him?
The main problem that we have here is we don’t trust God. We think our ways are better than His ways, and so the idea of manifesting becomes very attractive because I can control my thoughts, but I can not control God. And when you don’t truly know God, that’s scary. Why would I allow this God that I don’t trust to lead my life? So it becomes easier to lead and control my life myself, with my thinking.
Here’s the thing. Our thoughts are powerful enough to impact the curse of our lives, which is why Philippians 4:8 gives a lengthy list of the things believers should be thinking about.
Still, we must not miss the point that our thoughts, as powerful as they are, will never supersede the will of God. And praise God for that because Lord knows my thoughts did not get me to where I am today. God did. My thoughts are not more powerful than God. Isaiah 55:9 puts it this way:
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:9 ESV)
If I confine my density to my own thinking, I limit what God can do in my life. I can’t out-think God. I don’t receive God’s best for my life by thinking about the blessing, but by seeking the One through whom all good things come. (James 1:17) I’m not saying that God doesn’t want you to have that house, or car, or spouse, but He certainly doesn’t want you to idolize them. We are not called to seek out the blessing, we’re called to seek the Kingdom and it is then the Bible tells us those things God knows we need will be added unto us. (Matthew 6:33)
I think of King David who was very wealthy. Yet over and over again in the Psalm, He talks about meditating on God’s truth, thinking on God’s Word, and seeking God alone. Listen to what he wrote in Psalm 73: 25-26). He says:
“Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” (Psalm 73:25-26 ESV)
David wasn’t focused on his palace, although He had one. He wasn’t focused on his riches, although he had plenty. He wasn’t even focused on his power. He was focused on God because he knew there was nothing in this world greater than his God.
When we focus our thinking to only receive the things of this world, we limit ourselves from receiving the best from our God who the Bible tells us:
“is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us. (Ephesians 3:20 ESV)
We don’t have the capacity to even begin to think or imagine what God has for us. Let’s not limit ourselves to manifesting what we want, and keep our focus on God alone. He is faithful to give us everything we need and more.
Now I’d love to hear from you, Beloved! Have you ever heard of manifesting, or is this your first time hearing about it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
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As always, thank you so much for reading, and until next time, be beautiful, be blessed, and beloved.
Christina Patterson is a wife and stay-at-home mom with a passion to encourage women in the love of Jesus Christ and the truth of God’s Word. When she is not folding laundry or playing blocks you will find her with her head deep in her Bible or a commentary. She holds her masters in Theology from Liberty University and is the founder of Beloved Women, a non-profit providing resources and community for women to truly know who they are in Christ: His Beloved. She blogs at belovedwomen.org.