What is manifesting? Is it a sin? Is it biblical? These are questions many young Christians are grappling with.

Since the wake of the pandemic, manifesting has been all the buzz, especially on social. A quick search online and you’ll be greeted by a myriad of testimonies from people who’ve manifested all kinds of things.

From husbands, to dream jobs, to cars, to weight loss you name it. It became so popular that even Christians hopped on the bandwagon. 

So when my friend asked what is manifesting and whether it’s okay to manifest on her podcast, it inspired me to write on this topic from a Christian perspective.

Check out The Abundant Self podcast.

What Is Manifesting?

Manifesting is attracting what you want to feel and desire into your life using your emotions, thoughts, actions, and beliefs. It harnesses what is called the law of attraction.

The law of attraction is a philosophy that suggests that you attract what you focus your thoughts on.

Those who hold to this philosophy believe that positive thoughts and vibes attract positive things and vice versa. Simply put, like attracts like.

Some common manifesting practices include vision boards, visualization, positive thinking, and positive speaking.

What Religion Did Manifesting Come From?

Manifesting finds its roots in the 19th Century New Thought Spiritual movement. The movement was pioneered by a man named Phineas Parkhurst Quimby (1802-1866).

He was a mental healer and the father of the metaphysical cult dubbed the New Thought Movement. He was also a student of the occult, hypnosis, and parapsychology. 

The New Thought movement held to the belief that human thoughts can influence the real world. It emphasized harnessing the power of positive thinking for healing.

The belief that positive thinking could manifest physical healing in turn led to the false belief that positive thoughts can create positive results and vice versa.

However, what many don’t realize is that this practice borrows heavily from ancient Eastern spiritual teachings; Hinduism and Buddhism.

These religions teach that unity of the mind, body, and universe can be achieved. Thus, being in tune with the universe can cause it to give you what you wish to attract. That is why New Thought beliefs resemble the New Age Philosophies of today.

In recent times, the practice of manifesting has grown in popularity. Thanks to the 2006 book by Rhonda Byrne titled ‘The Secret’. Also, celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey who swear by it have made it all the more popular.

Why Does Manifesting Sound Christian?

You might wonder? If manifesting is not rooted in Christianity, why then does it sound Christianese? Well, there are two reasons. First, is the fact that the word manifest is used severally in the Bible.

The word translated as manifest means to make openly known or to appear. But this is different from the New Age definition.

For example, Jesus was the manifestation of God in the flesh (1 Tim 3:16). The tongues of fire in Acts 2:3 was a physical manifestation of the Holy Spirit.

Second, the practice of manifesting done today is similar to the false teachings of positive confession (the power of words), decreeing and declaring, name it and claim it, and so on.

These teachings have plagued the church today thanks to the Word of Faith movement, which is why it would be easy to assume manifesting is Biblical when it isn’t.

Unfortunately, Christians who manifest, name it and claim it, or decree and declare things over their life adopt the same unbiblical philosophy as that of the New Thought movement.

Unfortunately, Christians who manifest, name it and claim it or decree and declare things over their life adopt the same unbiblical philosophy as that of the New Thought movement.
In Truth She Delights

Why is Manifesting Considered a Sin?

More often than not, manifesting is associated with our egotistical goals. In most cases, people manifest things such as better jobs, ideal relationships, money, cars, houses, etc.

It’s almost always for selfish reasons. And let’s be honest isn’t that what makes it so enticing? The promise that you can make your desires come true whenever you want?

With that in mind here are some of the other reasons why manifesting is considered a sin.

Manifesting is An Attempt to Play God

In essence, manifesting is turning to yourself to make your desires come to life. It’s different from praying to God and believing in his capacity to meet your needs.

You run the risk of removing God from the picture all together and turning yourself into a god. And that is where the sin of manifestation lies; idolatry (Exodus 20:3).

Moreover, it’s contrary to scripture which encourages us to ask and petition God through prayer.

It also places your timing over God’s timing. As humans, we hate the idea of having to wait on God. I believe one of the reasons why people find manifesting so appealing is because they see it as a way to ‘speed up’ answers to prayer.

However, it’s important to remember God answers prayers according to His will and perfect timing. No amount of manifesting can manipulate Him.

Therefore, it’s important to rest in the fact He knows what’s best even when it hurts to wait (Psalm 27:14). Ultimately, He is faithful.

Manifesting Disregards God’s Sovereignty

It’s natural for us to want to ‘take the wheel’. However, it’s important to note that regardless of how much you wish to have complete control over your life, you can’t.

No amount of positive thoughts and speech can twist God’s arm into doing things your way.  It’s a lie. God is Holy, omniscient, and does as He pleases (Psalm 115:3; Prov 19:21; 16:9).

God’s sovereign will is not at the whim and mercy of our person and individual responses to it.
R.C Sproul

Instead, you should rest in the fact that He is in control of every outcome and circumstance that you go through. And He can use any situation for your good (Rom 8:28).

Once you acknowledge this, the burden of control will be lifted.

It also helps you to acknowledge that any blessing you receive is based on God’s grace and sovereign will. Not your positive speech or thoughts (James 1:17).

To learn more about God’s sovereignty, check out our blog post on Understanding the Sovereignty of God.

Manifesting Doesn’t work… or Maybe it Does

Manifesting, for many, fails to deliver on its promised results as people often prioritize the act of manifesting over the necessary effort required to achieve their desires. 

The danger, however, lies in the potential success of manifestation and the source from which the results emanate. From a spiritual standpoint, it boils down to two sources: God or the devil. And you can be certain it’s not God.

An often overlooked aspect is how much manifesting borders on sorcery and witchcraft. In these practices, individuals invoke supernatural entities through mystical rituals, believing that uttering specific incantations or mantras will bring about the desired outcome. 

This is the same principle that’s applied in manifesting if you examine it keenly.

Thus, the unsettling reality is that, when manifesting, individuals may unwittingly be calling upon malevolent spirits to actualize their desires. Despite the misconception that they are appealing to the universe or God, it’s no different from dabbling in divination practices that are explicitly prohibited in the Bible (Deuteronomy 18:10–12).

Final Thoughts on Manifesting

Now more than ever we need to beware of worldly philosophies that are creeping into the church. Manifesting is one such philosophy that should be rejected wholesale.

Unfortunately, baptized versions of New Age and New Thought teachings are being taught from the pulpit. Yet based on the pagan roots of both movements, they should have no place in the Body of Christ.

It’s important to remember the devil’s first temptation that led to the fall of man. It was the lie that we could be like God (Gen 3:5). He is still using the same tactic today hoping to lead people astray and if possible the elect as well. 

If there lies any power in positive thinking and speech, you can be sure the source is not God. The Bible denounces idolatry, selfishness, and witchcraft.

Lastly, anything that is popular on social media and widely accepted in our culture is to be taken with a grain of salt. Since much of it stands in opposition to scripture. That’s why it’s important to be alert and rooted in God’s word (Rom 12:1-2).

Our calling as Christians is to deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Jesus Christ (Matt 16:24). The Bible places emphasis on finding joy and fulfillment in Christ.

We are to find joy in what he did for us on the cross and the hope for eternal glory which we eagerly await.


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  1. avatar
    Chebaibai says:

    “No amount of positive thoughts and speech can twist God’s arm into doing things your way”

    My biggest takeaway from this impactful piece. May you continue to serve God with this platform and may more women and men be transformed with His truth.

    Thank you for supporting the pod as well. God bless you!

    1. avatar
      Wanjiru Ng'ang'a says:

      I’m happy that you found it impactful and a big Amen to your kind words.

      As always, you’re most welcome Chica.

  2. avatar

    Finally someone has shared the truth out in the light and great piece Shee

    1. avatar
      Wanjiru Ng'ang'a says:

      I’m glad you think so Mercy. Thank you for sharing your thoughts 🙂.

  3. avatar


    1. avatar
      Wanjiru Ng'ang'a says:

      I’m glad you think so.

  4. avatar

    This is well thought of and absolutely agree especially on “Anything that is popular on social media and widely accepted in our culture is to be taken with a grain of salt.”

    May this shed the blessed gospel light to the word and may our women be grounded with the truth and pass it on to their children

    Beautiful work

    1. avatar
      Wanjiru Ng'ang'a says:

      Amen!! Thank you Sam for your uplifting comment.

  5. avatar

    Great insights Wanjiru.

    1. avatar
      Wanjiru Ng'ang'a says:

      Thank you, Larry

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