my issue with manifestation

Happy New Year!

Can you believe we are officially 3 years out from 2020? I feel like 2020 is now my litmus test for how chaotic something was or is.

So I’m going to dive right in because this is a topic I’ve been thinking about since the spring of 2021.

I personally believe you cannot be Christian and believe in manifestation. I’ve met quite a few Christians who are keen to say that it is like prayer or a vision board; frankly, I disagree.

Manifestation first came across my radar when the movie The Secret was popular about 10 years ago. The secret is that the law of attraction will help you manifest your dreams. I remember watching it with a friend and basically brushing it off. Something about it just felt … off to me.

Now as an adult, and someone more dedicated to Christ, I understand why I was unsure about the movie.

‘I manifested this job.’

‘I manifested this new car.’

‘I manifested the man of my dreams.’

Notice how each sentence starts? I. Manifestation puts you at the source of what you have received and not God.

Do I believe that I can speak good and affirming things over myself? Absolutely! So long as it lines up with the Word. The Bible says that evidence of the Holy Spirit in me will show itself as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control as seen in Galatians 5:22-24. So I will speak patience over myself when I am feeling impatient. I will speak kindness over myself when I am feeling unkind.

These actions line up with the Word.

But doesn’t the Bible say to speak those things as though they were?

Actually, no. It doesn’t.

Romans 4:17 says ‘As it is written: “I have made you a father of many nations.” He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed — the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not.’

Growing up, I only heard this verse out of context and misquoted. If I wanted something, I was told to ‘speak those things as though they were because life and death are in the power of my tongue’. While this is true, my words have power, I cannot use them to create because I am myself a created being. To me, manifestation is a way for people to mimic being God. Only God has the power to create from nothing with just the sound of His voice.

Not only is this verse used wildly out of context, but it is the latter end of a full thought. When read as a complete thought, verses 13-25, it reads like this –

13 It was not through the law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith. 14 For if those who depend on the law are heirs, faith means nothing and the promise is worthless, 15 because the law brings wrath. And where there is no law there is no transgression. 16 Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring—not only to those who are of the law but also to those who have the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all. 17 As it is written: “I have made you a father of many nations.”[c] He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed—the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not. 18 Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”[d] 19 Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. 20 Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, 21 being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. 22 This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.” 23 The words “it was credited to him” were written not for him alone, 24 but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.

When read in context, we clearly see that the idea of ‘speaking those things as though they were’ is wrong. In context, the passage shows that God has the power to call anything into being regardless of that thing’s previous state. We, as His creation, do not have that same power.

The more I see believers claim manifestation I am increasingly uncomfortable. Revelation 3:15-16 Jesus says ‘I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So because you are lukewarm – neither hot nor cold – I am about to spit you out of my mouth.’

Y’all know I love Jonathan McReynolds and his song No Gray is ringing loud in my ears right now.

Y’all this is a scary and dangerous world. Believers cannot be gray right now. We have to be black or white. Hot or Cold.

If we are truly committed to serving God, we cannot put our will over His. God created literally everything and He knows literally everything. There is not a thought or a desire we have that God is not aware of. Instead of leaning into this dangerous world of manifestation, lean into the knowledge that God cares about what you care about.

Lean into the comforting thought that God will give us the desires of our hearts if we delight ourselves in Him, Psalm 37:4. We do not have to worry about anything because Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:32-33 that even pagans run after things they do not have and that God knows exactly what we need. But if we seek God and His kingdom before we try to get the things we want and need, God will provide for us and everything we need will be given to us.

Manifestation means that you become your own provider. You become your own source of joy and peace. I said earlier that manifestation, to me, gives people an opportunity to mimic the absolute power of God. If you are the reason you got a new Range Rover or a new house, what do you need God for?

I didn’t write this to change a heart. I can’t do that. I wrote this to express my discomfort with believers buying into the notion of manifestation. I wrote this because it hurts my heart to see so many gray believers right now.

But you don’t know my heart!

You’re right, I don’t. 1 Samuel 16:7 says that ‘The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.’

This means God knows He isn’t who you consider your sole provider. This means God knows you don’t trust Him with your secret desires.

Matthew 5:13 says that we are the salt of the earth. We are supposed to be different than the environment around us. We shouldn’t look like the world.

If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world.

John 5:18-19a

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