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Success By Positive Thinking Or Faith In God?

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Motivational speakers expound on the power of positive thinking, determination, and hard work as a winning formula for success in life. Christians expound on faith in God as the key for success. New Agers expound on belief in a universal mind, and neutral spirits and energies into which anyone may tap for success, whether for good or evil.

Believers in all three philosophies are experiencing success. What is the difference in them? The power of determination and the power of faith in God are indeed intertwined, but only to a certain crucial point, a line the Christian should never cross. Detection of where that crucial line begins requires a basic, but solid understanding of spiritual beings and universal laws.

Positive Thinking, Faith in God, and Universal Laws



All "energies" and spirit beings, are either good or evil. They are angels in the kingdom of God, the holy angels, or in the kingdom of Satan, the fallen angels that rebelled against God, including Satan, also known as the Serpent, the Dragon, and Beelzebub (Revelation. 12:7-9, 2 Peter. 2.4, Luke 15.10, Matthew. 12:24). Man also has a spiritual body that is either under the influence of evil or of good (1 Thessalonians 5:23). In summary, there's no neutral or middle ground. There's no gray or fuzzy areas when it comes to spiritual matters. The Bible, from cover to cover, always compares and contrasts only two sides. A person is either with Jesus or he is against him (Matthew 12.30). He drinks from the cup of the Lord or the cup of devils and partakes of the table of either the Lord or of the table of devils (1 Corinthians 10.21). His name is written in the book of life or it is not written (Revelation 20.15). Every spirit in existence is either holy, serving Christ, or unholy, being against Christ (1 John 4.1-3).

Armed with the truth that there are no neutral spirits or "energies," the question of the existence of a universal mind must now be examined due to what appears to be universal laws to which all life is subject.

Newton's third law states that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. A swimmer uses his arms and legs to push water behind him, backwards. The more force he exerts on the water, the more the water exerts force on him. This universal law cannot be changed or manipulated whether one has a positive mind or not, or has faith in God or believes in a universal mind.

The first law of thermodynamics states that matter can neither be created nor destroyed. If someone is given a cup of water and told to destroy it, he won't be able to obey. If he freezes the water, he'll have ice. If he boils it, he'll have steam, but a cup of water will still exist as vapor. These are the results that will be obtained whether the water is being handled by a pessimist, optimist, or Christian with faith in God.

Biology, teaches that animal life can't exist without blood. Consequently, if a person looses too much, his life will cease, no matter how much of an optimist he may be, no matter how much faith he has in God as all are subject to the laws of the universe. Lastly, there's the universal law that inevitably compels every life to eventually end. This truth doesn't mean that such laws can never be "broken," as this is the very definition of a miracle. However, unless the supernatural breaks the laws of the natural in the performance of a miracle, the universal laws remain in effect.

Indeed, there's a great "universal mind" whose thoughts are as high above those of mortals as the clouds in the sky. This universal mind is not a neutral force that can be harnessed for good or evil

Its recorded in the Bible that God said, "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts" (Isaiah 55:8-9). There is biblical proof that God is the author of all universal laws, including the aforementioned scientific ones.

King Solomon, the supposed author of the biblical book of Ecclesiastes, wrote in the fourteenth verse of the third chapter that, "Whatsoever God doeth, it shall be forever. Nothing can be put to it, nor anything taken from it; and God doeth it, that men should fear before him." This is the law of thermodynamics.

The universal law that allows no flesh to continue living without its blood has also been established by God. Leviticus 17:11 states that, "The life of the flesh is in the blood."

Finally, the most dreaded of all universal laws, the inevitable fate to die, is also revealed in scripture as the apostle Paul wrote in Hebrews 9:27 that, "It is appointed unto men once to die."

Since God is the universal law maker, surely his word should be the perfect guide to understanding the difference between reliance on positive thinking, determination, and faith in him. It should also show where the two belief systems blend, and where they split.

A Demonstration of Positive Thinking in Scripture



The scripture of Genesis 11:1-6 is one of the most compelling of all biblical passages that plainly speak of the power of positive thinking, determination, and hard work as a winning combination that works even for those who are in opposition to God. Man is reminded of when his ancestors set out to build a great tower reaching into the heavens to avoid being scattered in the earth, and to give glory to themselves instead of God. Its written that the Lord Himself said, "Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language, and this they begin to do, and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do." There is no reason to believe that had the Lord not directly intervened, they would have accomplished a feat that would have dwarfed even the greatest of the wonders of the world.

The Bible also instructs the righteous to have positive, strong minds. The scripture of 2 Timothy 1:7 says that God gave the believer a spirit of power. The Christian is also to stand on the scriptures of Philippians 4:13 which tells him that he can do all things through Christ who strengthens him, and that of Philippians 4:8, which states, "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."

The Law of Christ



But, how is the positive thinking of a Christian any different from that of someone who is not a believer? Concerning the working of the universal laws, there is no difference. However, the Christian is subject to another set of laws to which the non-Christian is not. This other law is the law of Christ. Essentially, the Christian must contend with the universal laws as well as submit to the law of Christ which exerts restrictions on him that are not exerted on those who have no faith in God, being carnally minded. The scripture of Romans 8:7 says that, "Because the carnal/fleshly mind is enmity against God, for it is not subject to the law of God..." The apostle Paul clearly stated that he thanked God through Christ, that with his mind he served the law of God, but that with the flesh, he served the law of sin, meaning that he was subject to the laws of the God of the universe as well as to the laws of the God of Israel (all believers), and the God of his personal life.

The believer is subject to a lot more than the one who does not believe. As a consequence, his journey to success may take a very different path, a much longer period of time, and expose him to very unpleasant circumstances. He is already told that, "All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution" (2 Timothy 3:12). The one who places his faith in God is restricted from mixing with his positive thinking, the telling of lies, even "little white" lies, any form of theft, making alliances with the ungodly, and many other sins in which non-Christians participate to their advantage in the pursuit of success. It’s not without reason that they say one can't make it in this world being totally honest. Although God wants His servants to achieve success (III John 2), he does not permit them to help themselves through the commission of sin, but rather to rest their positive mindset in faith in him. Whenever the believer engages in activities that are prohibited by the law of Christ, even when they would work in harmony with his positive thinking, he has overstepped the crucial line that divides the unbelieving optimists from Christian belivers.

Are happiness, health, and riches obtained purely by positive thinking, determination, and hard work by the non-Christian, and by these same things, plus faith in God by the Christian? Scripture holds the account of both wicked and righteous men who enjoyed wealth. The situation is no different in modern times. There are ample biblical passages that speak of the ungodly ways in which many of the wicked obtain riches, and also of the fate that awaits them. However, there's also the account of godly men who obtained riches through God's blessing. Among such men were Abraham, Job, and Solomon (Genesis 13:11, Job 42:12, I Chronicles 1:12). It can't be disputed that the lack of riches in the believer’s life may be the consequence of many things, including but not limited to, failure to work diligently, mismanagement of finances, and bad decisions, all of which the Bible speaks.

There's even the consideration of the scriptures that speak of how difficult it can be for a rich man to be saved, because he tends to trust in his riches instead of in God. Therefore, his failure to achieve fortune may actually be his protection. Nevertheless, there are scriptures stating that God gives the power to obtain wealth (Deuteronomy 8:18, 1 Samuel 2:7), and sensible, decent people know that such wealth is not obtained in the wicked fashion of greed and oppression of others (Proverbs 22:16). Knowing also that God rains on the just and the unjust (Matthew 5:45), one might conclude that both the righteous and the unrighteous, with the power of positive thinking, determination, and hard work, can expect God's blessing of riches. Again, the Christian who is concerned about not sinning against God in his actions resulting from positive thinking, must remember that the Bible informs that wealth can also come through direct Satanic power that may appear perfectly harmless. To illustrate the danger of such pit falls before revealing scripture, which warns of this, the sharing of a real life example is in order.

Mistaken Faith in God



A young, Christian, single mother once came into possession of a printed prayer for guaranteed wealth. The written instructions were authored by a secretive group of people whose "organization" maintains international chapters and whose name will not be revealed. The instructions required all participants to say the prayer at a specific time of the day, for a specific number of days. Real life, verifiable, and long-lasting testimonies of blessings of wealth accompanied the prayer and its instructions, along with biblical scripture. The young woman phoned her brother-in-law, a young minister with above average Bible knowledge. She was excited to share her new found biblical knowledge, her plan to pray the prayer, and an invitation to him to participate. Immediately upon hearing what organized group of people was behind the prayer, he realized that his sister-in-law was on the verge of participating in prayer directed not to God, but to unholy entities, constituting a form of demonic worship.

Among those who instruct that the power of the positive mind leads to the power of positive speech are non-Christian motivational speakers and followers of the New Age, who are often one and the same. Their audiences are told that tangible things can literally be spoken into and out of existence as one taps into the universal mind which may be Christ, Buddha, God, or what or whomever it is in which a person believes. Christians are falling into the trap of believing such twisted and calculated misuse of biblical passages. Among the chief scriptures used include the following words of Jesus:

"...Verily, I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place, and it shall remove, and nothing shall be impossible unto you" (Matthew 17:20).

Satanic "Blessing"



New Age philosophy and strange religions often believe in the messages captured from what are said to be extra-terrestrial beings. These beings claim that Jesus was no different than anyone else, except that he possessed a higher consciousness. They also point out that Christ did not specifically call for faith in him. Trusting in the fact that hardly anyone takes the time to verify scriptural references for himself, deception can carry out its plan. Had the young woman been truly instructed in the vast wisdom of the scriptures, she would have at least realized that prayer and worship can be directed to Satan's kingdom, specifically in exchange for power, riches, and practically anything else that can be desired.

In the scripture of Matthew 4:8-9, its recorded that, "Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them, and saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me."

The "glory" of the kingdoms of the world is riches, which in turns carries power. The Bible does not go into detail of the many forms of satanic worship that exists. Many seem innocent, others are bloody and gruesome, but are nevertheless very literal diabolical contracts. Such dark, abominable, and often secret deeds are to be mentioned only with discretion (Ephesian 5:12).

In this day of great deception, its wise to examine every philosophy regarding things that are not seen to analyze if they are in agreement with God's word. Otherwise, what might appear to be positive speech may actually be a chant in disguise or a prayer to an entity. The universal laws of the Lord may be mistakenly attributed to a so-called universal mind. And lastly, one's faith in God may be mistaken for nothing more than the power of positive thinking.

Related Articles


Is Faith In God Of Any Value?

The Limited Power of Positive Thinking: Law of Attraction Versus the Law of God

How the Teachings of the Bible Are Related to the Law of Attraction and Positive Thinking

The Power of Words for Blessing and Cursing: It Is Limited


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Comments/Comentarios:

Thank you for this article. Very enlightening. I would like to read more about this topic. I believe many Christians, like me, are sometimes misinterpreting the distinction between positive thinking and faith in God.
by: aka vana
Posted on 2011-12-20 18:59:44


To: aka vana

Thank you for taking the time to let us know that you found the information valuable. The article, Is Faith in God of Any Value? would be considered further reading on this topic. It was written to address legitimate questions about faith, success, failure, positive thinking, and the Christian life.
by: Heavenly Manna
Posted on 2011-12-20 19:41:22


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