If you grew up in church like I did, words like manifesting, vibration and energy might seem unfamiliar at best and forbidden territory at worst. But if, like me, you’re also a mom working from home, figuring out how to help support your family with a lot of hope but limited resources – you might be wondering if this manifesting thing can help you accomplish your goals, maybe without compromising your faith.
Our generation is stuck in this middle ground between the church tradition we inherited and the results that we see others getting, seemingly far outside the bounds of what is for us familiar territory.
I’m right there with you. I grew up in church, memorizing scripture as a Bible quizzer. I went to a mainstream charismatic university, and even got a masters degree in Biblical Literature.
Growing up in church I read the scripture and then looked at the way everyone in church lived their lives and in my spirit for a long time sat pressing questions, “Where is the power and presence? Where are the miracles and answers to prayer?” It seemed to me that none of the adults truly lived as if God’s word was true. Church had become habit and tradition, lacking an abiding power and presence of God in a real, material way.
After 20+ years of searching and wondering, I’ve begun to find the answer. The simple version is that the real substance of power and change lies with our own thoughts and emotions. The long answer would explore two things I think. The first is how we as collective believers lost the heritage of an experiential practice, a way of living and perceiving our daily lives that was holistic and embraced the personal power of the individual.
The second is that in some ways we are simply seeing the next stage in our spiritual and physical evolution. As civilization has progressed, the role of fear in our daily lives has changed, opening the way for a new experience of love and fulfillment, that can expand much greater in our minds and experiences now that we are not in a daily battle simply for survival.
I have come to believe that there is indeed one God, one divine presence, who is in all of creation, whose presence sustains us, and who has been graciously revealing himself to us throughout history and across cultures, in ways that humanity in each time and place could understand. He has continually met us at who we are, where we are.
Thousands of years ago men and women looked at the cosmic elements of the sun and stars, and at the expansive and sometimes merciless elements of the weather and imagined a pantheon of gods immersed in their own story.
Then God revealed himself as one God, a good, loving God. All of the ancient religions had a multitude of gods, and all of the modern religions, in their essence, come down to one divine presence. Part of the Abraham story was a revelation to men that God did not desire human sacrifice, a practice early men adopted out of fear of the natural elements.
In the Hebrew scriptures of the Jewish people we see a progressive revelation, as over time greater truth is revealed to them. In exile they learn from other nations and add spirits to their understanding. Then Jesus comes bringing an entirely new revelation of spiritual truth, ending the tradition of sacrifice and introducing the concept of a personal relationship with the divine, an experience aided by spirit and focused on teachings centered around love as the ultimate truth.
So what does this have to do with manifesting? I’m getting there, promise.
Christianity has a long history with a wide range of experience. Throughout much of church history, and in a multitude of ways, the ego of humanity has interfered with God’s divine purpose. We now have so much history of different ways of interpreting scripture that many have become disillusioned and the experience of Christianity has frequently fallen into a simple practice of religion.
Which is why I, and I’m sure many of you, have had this life-long question, and what I see now in our generation is a new revelation of God to his people, that is the same truth, but revealed in fresh language so that we can hear it anew, and receive the truth in our hearts, without it getting stuck in our minds because of the mental baggage associated with some words, terms or ideas.
The heart of authentic religion and true spirituality, the revelation from God to us is twofold 1) the relationship that we can individually have with the divine, and 2) the power and freedom that we are each meant to walk in as divine creations and daughters of the Most High.
As a young adult I knew scripture so well I couldn’t hear it anymore, and even knowing the original traditions and context, I struggled to apply it to the modern world I saw. But when I began to study the spiritual teachers God has given us today, people like Marianne Williamson, Wayne Dyer, Gabrielle Bernstein, and so many others, new terms like manifesting, vibration and energy opened my eyes to see what God was saying in the scriptures that I’ve known from my childhood.
We are each called to embrace our own journey of changing our minds from fear to love, and aligning our lives with the true self God created us to be, and our own intuitive knowledge of the divine that is in us and also in everything, all of creation.
As we embrace that journey and those truths, and we align our thoughts with truth and love, when we then set our intention to create the life we desire, the divine nature that is in everything aids us in bringing that to us which we ask for.
Manifesting is a new word for the ancient truth that God is good, and is in us and all things, and will assist us when we align ourselves with love.
When we set an intention to create a certain reality in our lives, and we have the true thoughts and emotions around it of faith and gratitude, and we are aligned with a mission of love and God’s purpose, that is a heartfelt prayer to God, and when that thing comes to fruition in our lives it is answered prayer and today we often hear people use the word manifesting to describe the experience, referring to the way their desire became real in its material form.
Jesus said “Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks the door will be opened.” (Matt 7:7-8)