A large number of individuals on social media and throughout the blogosphere (from celebrities to the younger generations) are promoting and practicing manifestation. Manifesting (as it is being called today) is defined as “a self-help exercise that aligns a person’s thoughts, feelings, and actions in order to bring into reality their vision or desired outcome.” The process generally goes something like this:

  • Step 1 – Visualize something that you really want to have or something that you really want to have happen, making sure to be as specific and as detailed as possible.
  • Step 2 – Think, say, and or write positive affirmations over and over again making sure to use statements that are in the present tense (“I have ___,” “I am ___,” “___ is happening.”).
  • Step 3 – Stay focused on the desired outcome and trust that the process will bring your passion into reality.

What we need to understand is that the practice of manifesting is not new. It is simply a new age label on an age-old practice (also known as the law of attraction). It can be found in the religious practices of the ancient Greeks, the Buddhists, the Hindus, and many others that is now being packaged as way to live life without God.  

The resurgence and the wide-spread acceptance of this age-old philosophy should create two feelings within us:

1)  It should create GREAT CONCERN

While I understand that the practice is partly being pushed as a means by which a person can clear their head and focus their attention and energy on achieving certain goals, it also places a high emphasis on SELF-WANT and on SELF-WILL, to the degree that an individual becomes the center of the universe and the universe essentially becomes a god that must serve them.

Now let me be very clear – while there is absolutely nothing wrong with PLANNING for things, with PURSUING excellence and improvement, or with being POSITIVE, we must be very careful not to let them become a prideful passion that prevents our God-given potential from becoming a reality and our God-given purpose from being accomplished.   

Romans 12:3 says, “For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.” 

Our great concern should be on the fact that this generation is living lives that are so ABSORBED on and with themself and so ABSENT of a need or a desire for God. It is what Satan has been pushing this world more and more towards – a godless culture. It is a culture that is known by this saying, “Yes, I can, and Yes, I will.” It sounds a lot like “…every man did that which was right in his own eyes” (Judges 17:6) and it most often results in “…every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5). That’s what happens when we take God out of the equation and essentially make ourselves the god of our own life. Our life is meant to be lived to the Lord’s delight which will ultimately bring about our greatest delight.

Psalm 37:23 says, “The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.
Proverbs 16:9 says, “A man's heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.” 

2)  It should create even GREATER SHAME

When it comes to a topic like this one, we easily see how there should be great concern, but we never seem to get to the point of great shame. Why? Because while we don’t like the PROBLEM, we really don’t like the PART that we might have played in things getting to where they are.

1 Corinthians 15:34 says, “Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.”

In the Old Testament, not knowing the Lord meant not knowing Who God is, not knowing what God has done, and not knowing what God could do.

Judges 2:10 says, “And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the LORD, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel.”

Each generation has the distinct responsibility to teach the next generation about God and to train the next generation to take their plans, their problems, and their passions to the Lord trusting that God will bring His perfect will into our reality and then surrender to what that reality is knowing that it is both good and right. That is true spiritual maturity which should be the path that we are pursuing.

There is a big difference between manifesting and prayer. Manifesting primarily puts the emphasis on what we want while prayer primarily puts the emphasis on what God wants. While manifesting might make you feel better about the desires and direction of your heart, it’s no guarantee that what you want will happen nor does it mean that what you really want is what you really need. Prayer, however, produces true strength and stability that is conducive to positivity and to longevity because it brings out in us the right potential and it brings into our life the right experiences and the right elements that we actually need.  

James 5:16 says, “…The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”

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Jay Overbay

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Jay Overbay


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