Manifestation is a trending topic nowadays. It is the concept of realizing your goals by claiming and believing it will happen. The internet is awash with examples of people who realized their dreams through several manifestation techniques. For the most part, manifesting seldom recognizes God in the equation and it is more of a new-age concept.
The Biblical concept of manifestation is a bit different from what the world views it to be. Unlike the world concept of manifestation, the Biblical concept of manifestation only happens by faith in God. In fact, a more appropriate term biblical term for manifesting would be faith or believing.
Manifestation vs Faith
The new-age concept of manifestation is based on sheer willpower. It focuses on the individual by showing that they have all it takes to get what they want in life. This is quite contrary to what the Bible teaches. Yes, the Bible teaches that you can attain success but this is not by “manifesting” so to speak. Here are some important differences between the world’s concept of manifesting and Faith (the Bible’s concept of manifesting).
Faith comes from the word of God
The Bible teaches that faith comes by hearing the word of God (Romans 10:17). This means that faith can only originate from God’s word. This is quite contrary to what manifesting teaches. In manifesting, you can claim whatever you want and then achieve it. However, in the Bible, you only believe for what the Bible says you can have. For instance, you cannot have faith to get married to another person’s spouse as that would contravene the teaching of Scripture. This is why Biblical faith must originate from God’s word. It starts with understanding God’s promise (e.g. good health, prosperity, etc) and then developing faith that you will get what God says in his word.
Faith relies on God’s power
In Mark 11:23, Jesus taught that through faith, one can do the impossible. When you walk by faith, it pleases God (Hebrews 11:6) and this causes God to release his miracle-working power. To put it simply, faith is not based on willpower or inner strength. It is not based on the providence of mother nature. On the contrary, it relies on God’s power. All the miracles that are recorded in the Bible started by faith. From the miracles of provision to miracles of healing and everything in between, the common denominator was how the faith released God’s power which then worked both to will and to do (Philippians 2:13). A good illustration of how God’s power works by faith is recorded in the following verse:
Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us. (Ephesians 3:20)
The scripture above illustrates how the miraculous happens because of God’s power – which is one of the main differences between manifesting and faith.
Faith seeks to glorify God
In manifestation, the self is exalted above God. When someone manifests something, they believe they attain it based on their manifesting prowess. This is not similar to how faith works in the Bible. When God releases his blessing, the blessed person knows it is God’s grace at work and therefore glorifies God for it. For the faith to continue working, the blessed person must continue to glorify God for his doing. This is why God cautioned Israel to always remember their God after stepping into the promised land. Check it out:
But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God; for it is He that giveth thee power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore unto thy fathers, as it is this day. Deuteronomy 8:18
Faith recognizes God’s sovereignty
Manifesting teaches putting faith in your own thoughts. It teaches claiming whatever you want in life. However, faith teaches the importance of seeking God’s will for your life. It is not about getting what you want but understanding what God wants for you. Faith realizes that God is sovereign and knows what is best for his children. As such, He can say no to some requests and he can also grant desires that one hasn’t even requested.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path. Proverbs 3:5
God is the one who manifests
The Bible teaches that God is the one who manifests – not us. Our role as human beings is to cooperate with God’s sovereignty and power. The word manifest literally means “cause to appear” and only the creator has such power. The Bible has several examples of God causing things to appear. In Genesis, he created heaven and earth and all the living things. We can say he caused creation to appear. Another example is when God caused rivers to appear in the wilderness or when he caused manna and quails to appear. All these examples of God manifested different things in the Bible. As Christians, we must remember that all power belongs to God (Psalms 62:10). This includes the power to manifest.
In summary, manifestation exists in the scriptures but it has a different meaning from what the world teaches about it. The main difference is that the Bible teaches that all manifesting power belongs to God. As such, Christians do not “manifest” so to speak. On the contrary, they develop faith in God to receive from Him. God, in his sovereign will, has some promises that he has given to his children through his word. These promises form the basis of faith through which they believe in God. Suffice to say that unlike manifesting, faith is finding out what God wants for you and then believing that it will come to pass.