Recently, the topic of manifestation has been coming up often on social media and among friends. I also just watched The Secret, a movie that strongly promotes manifestation. It’s based on the belief that one’s thoughts can directly change their life. While I thought this was a cute movie and I am all about thinking positively, I recognized that the concepts of manifestation and Law of Attraction promoted in the movie have many red flags.
A few of my Christian friends have mentioned manifestation and wonder what the big deal is. They ask if we get what we wanted from manifesting, wouldn’t that ultimately be from God since God wants to give us the desires of our heart? It is true that God gives us the desires of our hearts but that is after he changes our desires to reflect his desire. God doesn’t give us everything we desire because he often has better for us. Keep reading to learn more about manifestation, the Law of Attraction, and why Christians should avoid these practices.
What is Manifestation?
“Spiritual Manifestation is the theory that through regular meditation and positive, constructive thought, you can make your dreams and desires become reality.”
Included in Spiritual Manifestation is the thought that not only what you believe can happen will happen, but that if you dwell on what you don’t want to happen, then it can happen too. The Law of Attraction is very similar, it suggests that positive thoughts bring positive results to one’s life while negative thoughts bring negative results.
In both of these, the belief is that the more you think about something happening, the more likely it is to happen. My friend explained manifestation to me like this:
If you want something, you can just set your mind on it and say only positive affirmations like, “I will get that job, I will be with that person, or I will get that car.” If you think to yourself over and over that you want a certain job, you will get that job. If you think about the person you want to be with, then you can be with them. If you focus on something you want so badly, then you can have it.
It is appealing to think that you can manifest what you want with your thoughts. In a lot of ways, there is truth and science behind it and proof that it has worked for people. According to Psychology Today research shows that our expectations, positive or negative, tend to be confirmed, if we expect to bring our idea to life or reach our goal, we’re more likely to.
So, what is the problem with manifestation?
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.Proverbs 3:5-6 esv
Manifestation goes against what Proverbs 3:5-6 says. We end up leaning on ourselves and our own understanding, we do not acknowledge God or His path for us. More specifically, manifestation puts our timing over God’s timing, puts the things we want above God, and finally, it makes the “manifester” god.
Manifestation puts our timing over God’s timing
When we manifest something we are trying to make it happen for ourselves in our own timing. We think we know what is best for us and that we know better than God. But, God has a better plan for us and he has much better timing (Isaiah 55:8-9). We put our will above God’s will when we should be saying “thy will be done”. It is not wrong to want things or to make plans but we have to submit it all to God. God is still ultimately in control and we must trust Him (Proverbs 19:21). Have you ever looked back at the things that you wanted that you didn’t get and realized it worked out how it should? It actually might have worked out better than you would have imagined! That is because God’s ways are higher than our ways. Sometimes we have to wait because God is preparing us for something or someone better than we want now.
Related: Why is God Making Me Wait So Long?
Manifestation puts the things we want above God
Some of the steps of manifestation include focusing on what we want, asking the universe for it, working towards it, and trusting that we will get it. Everything we think and do in these steps is set on what we want. This means none of our focus and attention are on God. In the Bible, God commands us not to worship idols and to give glory to God alone. I don’t think we can be giving glory to God if we are giving glory to what we want. When we manifest something we pay attention to it more than we pay attention to our relationship with God. In this way, we are making it an idol. We are giving our desires the time, attention, and glory that we should be giving to God. Now, there is nothing wrong with wanting something and working for it. But again, God should always be at the center.
Manifestation makes the “manifester” god
As Christians, when we desire something, we pray to God for it. However, through manifestation, we don’t look to God, we look to ourselves. So, even if we do end up getting what we want, are we going to thank God? Probably not because we made it happen for ourselves.
When people manifest, they put their trust in the process and when they make their desires happen they don’t express gratefulness to God. Instead, their gratitude is turned towards themselves. They are trusting in themselves rather than trusting in God.
Manifestation could lead Christians to believe that there is no need for God, only themselves and their thoughts.
Beware lest you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.’ You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day.deuteronomy 8:17-18 esv
Manifestation is not from God
Manifestation does work. This is why millions are practicing it. However, manifestation is demonic. Our common enemy disguises himself as an angel of light and gives us the things we want. But, they will ultimately lead to our destruction.
If the things we’re receiving are not from God, then they are from the enemy. Manifestation is not a harmless thing to do. It pulls you far from God and opens you up to demonic influences.
What is the difference between manifestation and prayer?
At the beginning of this article, I alluded to the fact that friends thought prayer and manifestation were interchangeable. However, they are very different.
Prayer is about submission and dependence on God. Manifestation is about self-sufficiency. When we pray, we recognize God’s sovereignty. When we manifest, we make ourselves gods. When we pray, we humbly ask God for what we need but when we manifest, we put our desires above God’s will.
Prayer includes the possibility of not getting what we want or needing to wait for what we desire. However, in manifestation, we look to get things in our own timing.
Do this instead of manifesting
Pray and ask God for the desires of your heart and seek Him for help in receiving it. Pray for patience and understanding so that you can know God’s will. Submit to God and do not let your desires become more important to you than God’s will. Finally, trust that God wants what is best for you and he is in control. He can give you more than what you or the universe can because He created both.
If you’re a Christian and you have participated in manifestation…
- Repent (Acts 3:19)
- Renounce your actions (1 John 1:9, 1 Timothy 4:1-3)
- Turn to God (Psalm 55:22, Lamentations 3:40)
- Submit to him (James 4:7, Luke 22:42)