There is such a thing as the power of positive thinking. It can work wonders in your life. It can change failure into success. Norman Vincent Peale wrote an entire book about it. Napoleon Hill, who was an advisor to Andrew Carnegie, as well as Presidents Woodrow Wilson and Franklin D. Roosevelt, wrote a book entitled, Think and Grow Rich, which was based on the use of positive thinking. These books from these two men have sold millions of copies. Many patterned their lives after them.
As good, and as popular, as these books have been, they have no place in the kingdom of God. Children of God are not of the world, as Jesus Himself spoke, “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world,” John 17:16. We have been born into the kingdom of God. We now walk by faith, not by sight; and our faith is not in our works, or our tenacity, or our drive for success; it is in the Son of God, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
There are many today who are peddling a doctrine based on positive thinking. Some use Scriptures such as Proverbs 18:20, 21, “With the fruit of a man’s mouth his stomach will be satisfied; he will be satisfied with the product of his lips. Death and life are in the power [lit. hand] of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”
Even though these verses are saying we will reap either good or evil by the words we speak, some take them out of context and say they mean we need to speak things we want, in order to make them come to pass. They say we can declare life, health, prosperity, a new car, and any other thing we want, and we will receive them. Needless to say, those with hearts full of greed, envy, and selfish desires flock to this heretical teaching. Another Scripture some use is Romans 10:9, “If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved,” even though it speaks of salvation, and not of obtaining things you want.
Please consider this:
Jesus said, “But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man,” Matthew 15:18.
So if my heart is fixed on myself I will speak of things that benefit me, I will declare anything and everything that makes my life easier.
But if I am a follower of Jesus I will deny myself, and take up my cross daily. My heart will be filled with the love of God and the Spirit of Christ, and I will speak of things beyond myself, for it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.
We Christians are not to think on things we want or need; we are to cast our cares on the Lord and trust Him, while setting our minds on things that are true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and of good repute, and any other thing that is excellent and worthy of praise.
It might be well to mention that when Jesus told the disciples they could ask whatever they wish, and it would be done for them, He said this would happen IF they abide in Him, and IF His words abided in them, John 15:7. This promise is to those who deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow Jesus. And to this we were called, to abide in Him, not use Him.
Grace and peace to all who walk in reverence before the Lord Jesus,
Rev. Jon Banks