The idea of “name it and claim it” isn’t new. It existed many centuries ago. But the phenomenon made waves back in 2006 when the hit movie and then the book “The Secret” landed on the world stage. The basic theme was this: whatever you choose to think on, focus on, and manifest in your mind, mixed with some true belief, will come to you, like a magnet to steel. So whether it is health, wealth, happiness, or any other positive state you desire, it is within your reach if you can learn to tap into this ancient, hidden law of the universe.
It’s kinda ironic that within about a year of the publication of the Secret, the financial world went into a major tailspin, where nations lost trillions of their wealth within the span of a few months.
I guess someone was manifesting the wrong stuff.
But seriously. People still really believe in this. And many run their lives by it.
What I am about to say may surprise you: I BELIEVE IN IT AS WELL. Yes, you can manifest realities in life. But not quite the way it’s portrayed in The Secret. Let me explain.
You Speak with Your Life
One of Jesus most famous sayings is recorded in Mark 11:24 “Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you.” In this passage, which we can take literally, Jesus was affirming “name it and claim it” theology. (In other passages similar to this one, Jesus clarifies the meaning of “all things” – we will cover this in another post).
For now, we can assert the Bible tells us we can ask things of God and He will give those things to us. Looking at humanity and the world at large, we can see the same basic idea applies to the world system. Just as believers have a Master who can give them anything they ask for, so does the world.
Just look at human life. Do you not see it? When someone is driven for money, what do they typically get? Money. Lots of money.
When someone demands pleasure, what do they get? Pleasure. And conflict? And popularity? And stress? And war? And hate? Essentially, anything they demand of their world… they get if they want it bad enough.
The world has a master, and his name is Satan. He rules over the earth for this time, and he has his way with it. And he’s in the business of giving people exactly what they want (so long as it’s not God).
The key to grasping this reality and how it affects our lives is understanding the way we acquire our desires. No, it’s not speaking them into existence, as some would say. Much more simply, it’s WHAT WE DO.
You see, the way we acquire anything is by our actions. For example, if I want fame, saying words about being popular or well-liked or highly spoken of are not going to help me much. But what about the things I do? If I want to be well known, won’t I go places where I will be seen? Won’t I talk in circles where I’ll be heard? Won’t I write in publications where I’ll be read?
It’s all about our actions. This is the way people get the things they want. Now granted, it’s way cooler to tell them they just need to think positive thoughts real hard and repeat lines over and over again and all wonderful things will show up at the front door. That kinda talk sells books and movies, for sure. But the truth is, actions generate the results, both for the worldly person who desires all his idols or the godly person who desires what glorifies God.
When I ask something of God, it’s not so much the words I speak. Of far greater importance are the actions I do. Let me illustrate. I might say I want God to bring peace into my home. I might tell Him I want people to abide and get along. But if, while saying that, I criticize and aggravate others, aren’t I saying something quite different with my deeds? In this case, yes, I would be acting a hypocrite – demanding the opposite of what I am generating with my life.
What we do conveys what we truly want. So, if our words say one thing, and our actions another, the actions trump the words, 100% of the time. The manner of our lives is our constant request stream, made to God.
People don’t like to face this reality. We’d rather go the easy route and make nice requests while living the way we want. But it doesn’t work that way in life.
What we request of God and the world with our actions, we will get. This is true in this life, and it is true in the next life. And here is an important side note:
The Goods of the World and God Are Opposed
The things which are granted from God, the world will necessarily deny us. The reverse is also true: what people demand of the world, God will deny them. In this well known passage in Luke, Jesus states: “No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.”
God and worldly wealth – they are worlds apart. Opposed, top to bottom. Therefore, if a person desires God, the world will give him nothing. NOTHING. People might tell you, no, you can have God and the world too. This is completely false. You cannot have both the Lord and the world system He died to save you from.
Conversely, if you make demands of the world, it will inundate you with its sinful goods, but you will get nothing from God. A big zero. God is not in the business of coordinating with the devil to provide sinners with what they idolize.
Now, to be clear, this does not mean God takes away from His people the goods of the world, but the point is, if the goods come from the world, they don’t come from God. And there’s a massive difference.
You will notice many believers don’t have a lot of the worlds goods, especially in less industrialized nations. Even though they might not have an abundance, God always provides what they need. This is very simply explained: these people do not demand of God that He give them what the world gives (money, pleasure, power, entertainment, etc.) but they ask Him for the goods that come only from Him: peace, joy, meaning, purpose, hope, etc. So the world will give these people nothing, but they are provided for by the provident hand of their heavenly Father while He also gives them the goods which last for ever.
Most people of the world have far more of life’s goods than God’s people. There are very few believers, if any, in the highest income earners groups of the world. Is this because God’s people don’t work as hard, or are less intelligent or industrious? Of course not. The reason is these godless people serve their master, who is a god of wealth and pleasure, and he give them their idols. God’s people serve their Master, who is a God of righteousness and in the business of saving souls, not bank accounts.
The conclusion: ask what you will, and you will surely get it. Only remember, you ask with your life, and not so much your tongue. If you live for the world, the world will provide its goods to you, but you will find them transient and ultimately unsatisfying. Live your life in honor to God, and He will provide everything you could ever hope for, and more. Your actions tell God what you long for and value, and He is a giver of many good gifts to His people.