Everyone from the Bible scholar and pastor to the motivational speaker and the new-age/self-help guru teaches that one must have “faith.” However what are we being taught to place this “faith” in exactly? So many of us (myself included) have loved to share inspirational quotes that reflect our desire to have faith in our dreams and goals and a brighter future for ourself. How many of these have you heard?:
“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
“Whatever the mind can conceive and believe it can achieve.” – Napoleon Hill
“Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy.” – Norman Vincent Peale
“The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams.” – Oprah Winfrey
I love quotes, I always have and I always will, I probably have 10,000 quotes saved on my computer or in my email! However I’ve come to realize that as great as many of these above quotes sound and even “feel” the reality is they are not biblically accurate.
The above quotes all point to the fact that one must have faith in themselves, in their dreams, goals and abilities to create their own proverbial “heaven on earth.” However they all leave out the most important part, they fail to mention the only place we should ever put our faith, and that is in God Himself.
“And Jesus answering saith unto them, ‘Have faith in God.‘ ” – Mark 11:22 (emphasis mine)
All the self-help gurus and law of attraction teachers want to tell you to have “faith” and to just believe, however they do their best to remove God from the equation. They want to quote Mark 11:24 which says
” … What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive [them], and ye shall have [them].” However they leave out the previous verses and about where that belief should be directed.
“Your faith does not rest on a concept or idea. Faith must be centered on a Person – God Himself. Our generation promotes a dangerous concept that encourages people to “have faith.” In this abstract doctrine, faith itself is the pursuit. It matters little what the faith is based on – it is the act of believing that is important – but this teaching is unbiblical. Faith is only valid if it is focused on God and what He says He is purposing to do. Before you call yourself, your family, or your church to exercise faith, be sure you have heard a word from God.” – Henry Blackaby, excerpt from Experiencing God Ch. 16
Hebrews 11:6 tells us that ” … without faith [it is] impossible to please [him]: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and [that] he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”
Romans 10:17 says that ” … faith [cometh] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.“
It is undeniable that one must have faith in order to life the “abundant life” Jesus came to give us (John 10:10). However we must make sure we are putting that faith in God Himself and not in ourselves, our dreams, or a falsely-perceived ability to manifest our desires with our “mind-power.” The “universe,” or whatever trendy new term new-age/self-help teachers are using to attempt to explain the divine energy they say exists simply to assist you in manifesting your desires, is a fairy tale. They can try to rename God and counterfeit and distort some of His qualities and promises but it will never be the same. God is not our genie in a bottle, and last I checked making God into an image that fits your own agenda is idolatry. The Bible makes it crystal clear that the only way you are going to get what you ask for, is if it is according to God’s will. So you better put your faith in Him and not your self-centered dreams and goals.
“And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.” 1 John 5:14-15 (emphasis mine)
Our faith must always be on God Himself, when we learn to quit striving for SUCCESS and surrender to God’s will for our life instead of trying to use Him to accomplish our own goals, then we will find SIGNIFICANCE. When we are willing to lose our DREAM, then we will find ourselves living our DESTINY. God’s way is always better and more fulfilling; put your faith in Him.
Do you ever find yourself putting your faith in the wrong place? What dreams and goals are you holding on to that you might need to surrender to God so He can bring something better?