I keep hearing about manifestation and manifesting and how it can help people achieve their life dreams and goals. Some people have told me that it’s actually based on a quotation from the Bible. They quote Matthew 21:22: “ And whatever you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive it all.” Well that is in the Bible and Jesus did say that so it must be ok, right? Well not so fast, because in essence they believe that all they have to do, is believe (I’m not sure what they think they have to believe in) and pray and much like the old genie in the bottle, they will get what they pray for. Since I’ve done numerous messages on prayer and belief, I know that’s not how it works, not even close.
In order to talk about if Manifestation is Biblical, I decided to do some research. You see I don’t like to go off half-cocked. Firstly, under no circumstance is God an ATM machine or a Genie in a Bottle, so let’s get rid of that idea right off the bat. James 4:3 tells us, “You ask and do not receive, because you ask with the wrong motives, so that you may spend what you request on your pleasures.” That’s also why the prosperity gospel or the name it and claim it theologies fall apart. You CAN’T ask God for selfish stuff. Eerything you pray for has to be something that brings glory to Him not to yourself. It’s important to also remember that sometimes God answers a pray with the word “no”. I understand that word isn’t really popular today, but it’s one that many of us will hear at some point in our life. OK, so if it isn’t biblical where does it come from?
As best I can tell, it’s really an amalgamation of several theories that have been going around for centuries. One of the theories that it stems from, and in fact seems to be the one most central to its core is the law of attraction. Believers in the law of attraction claim that it is a universal principle that states you will attract into your life whatever you focus on. Whatever you give your energy and attention to is what will come back to you. When you focus on the abundance of good things in your life, you will automatically attract more positive things into your life. This is also much like what used to be called, and maybe still is, creative visualization. That is where you try to see in your minds eye exactly what you want in your life. In sports coaches often tell players to visualize themselves getting a base hit, scoring a touchdown, or making a basket. An even older philosophy that these stem from is the Hindu belief in Karma, essentially cause and effect. What we do in life comes back to us in the same form. If we are evil we get evil back, if we are good we get good back.
All these beliefs are based on the idea that everything in the universe is comprised of energy and since we are part of the universe we too are connected to the energy all around us. That all we have to do to succeed in life and to get what we want is to tap into the good energy of abundance and all the worldly things we want will come into being. To make it palatable to Christians, they throw in the words from Matthew that I quoted earlier. Most of the people I know, or that I have heard of who use it and who say they are Christians are neglecting multiple other teachings of Jesus.
Jesus is very clear about where we should place our priorities. In Matthew 6:24, “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.” I’m not saying don’t strive for success, I am saying that if all you want out of life is material success, don’t pretend to be a Christian. Everything a Christian does should be to bring glory to God. This earthly existence will fade away, and any glory received in the here and now will fade into oblivion. If we pay attention to Matthew 6:19-21, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; 21 for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” then what we accomplish in our lives will bring glory to God and we will be rewarded in Heaven. We can still have good things, we just don’t need to make the act of getting them the sole focus of our lives and especially not of our prayers.
Don’t fall into the trap of believing that a person can simply wish things into being, it doesn’t work that way. When you pray, ask God to give you the wisdom to make the best decision. Ask Him to send the Holy Spirit into your life to show you the way. Focus on being the best Christian you can be in everything you do. Remember, you will NEVER see a hearse pulling a trailer because you cannot take anything with you once you breathe your last. So if you want to manifest something, manifest glory to God and increase your faith.