I believe that both God the Father and Jesus Christ are laying down a VERY real and essential principle of this Creation to us here. It never ceases to amaze me that when God, the Creator, expounds upon one of the foundational principles of His Creation, mankind merely brushes it off as "Religion". Yet, let another "discover" this same principle and label it, "An amazing truth for prosperity and success", and he/she is hailed as a genius !!
Napoleon Hill wrote what has become one of the classic motivational or "success" books entitled, "Think and Grow Rich", in which he expounds the famous Andrew Carnegie formula for moneymaking based upon, "The Thirteen Proven Steps To Riches". The primary principle that he set forth in this book has been and is accepted as being true and valid by millions of successful individuals, and has represented the foundation stone of many multi-million dollar estates and fortunes. That single principle is simply this, "That which you set your mind upon continually, that which you desire above all else, that which you meditate upon day and night, that which you set before ALL else, that which you WORSHIP -- will surely manifest itself in your life and will transform you into itself". In other words, "As you think, so will you be !!"
As stated in the OT by God Himself, Jesus reiterates that the FIRST and PRIME commandment, if we are to TRULY love God and become godly ourselves, is that we are to love and to seek after Him with our ENTIRE being, holding nothing back !! This is in keeping with His Prime Law of Creation, "That which we think upon continually with ALL of our resources, we shall have and become".
Now one of the experts in the law came and heard them debating. When he saw that Jesus answered them well, he asked him, "Which commandment is the most important of all?" Jesus answered, "The most important is: .... Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength." The second is: "Love your neighbor as yourself." There is no other commandment greater than these." **** Mark 12:28-31
Death and life are in the power of the tongue **** Proverbs 18:21
"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Isn"t there more to life than food and more to the body than clothing? Look at the birds in the sky: They do not sow, or reap, or gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren"t you more valuable than they are? And which of you by worrying can add even one hour to his life? Why do you worry about clothing? Think about how the flowers of the field grow; they do not work or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his glory was clothed like one of these! And if this is how God clothes the wild grass, which is here today and tomorrow is tossed into the fire to heat the oven, won"t he clothe you even more, you people of little faith? So then, don"t worry saying, "What will we eat?" or "What will we drink?" or "What will we wear?" For the unconverted pursue these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But above all pursue His kingdom and righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. So then, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Today has enough trouble of its own. "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Is there anyone among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you then, although you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! In everything, treat others as you would want them to treat you, for this fulfills the law and the prophets. **** 6:25-7:12
Jesus answered them, “I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only will you do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ it will happen. And whatever you ask in prayer, if you believe, you will receive.” **** Matthew 21:21,22
I tell you, even though the man inside will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of the first man’s sheer persistence he will get up and give him whatever he needs. So I tell you: "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened." **** Luke 11:8-10
I tell you the solemn truth, the person who believes in me will perform the miraculous deeds that I am doing, and will perform greater deeds than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you want, and it will be done for you. At that time you will ask me nothing. I tell you the solemn truth, whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive it, so that your joy may be complete. **** John 14:12-16:24
My point is this: The person who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the person who sows generously will also reap generously. **** 2 Corinthians 9:6
Do not be deceived. God will not be made a fool (mocked). For a person will reap what he sows, So we must not grow weary in doing good, for in due time we will reap, if we do not give up. **** Galatians 6:7,9
Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I say, rejoice! Do not be anxious about anything. Instead, in every situation, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, tell your requests to God. And the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of respect, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if something is excellent or praiseworthy, think about these things. And what you learned and received and heard and saw in me, do these things,. And the God of peace will be with you. **** Philippians 4:4-9
If anyone is deficient in wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without reprimand, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed around by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord, since he is a double-minded individual, unstable in all his ways. You desire and you do not have ..... You do not have because you do not ask; you ask and do not receive because you ask wrongly **** James 1:5-8;-4:2,3
In his book, Napoleon Hill outlines what has come to be called, "THE Secret", "The Power of Creative Thinking", "Thinking and Speaking Into Existence", "The Law of Attraction, etc. Now whether or not you feel as I do (that this principle has been used, MISused, and OVERused, by greedy, self-seeking charlatans), I have come to realize that it is nonetheless a VALID, biblical principle that God Himself built into His creation. It DOES work as designed, by ANYONE who understands its usage and power, for Good OR for Evil !! It works just as gravity works upon the just as well as the Unjust, and rain falls upon the Wicked the same as upon the Righteous.
As a matter of fact, the writer of Psalms often complains that, "The wicked seem to prosper while the righteous go in want" and Luke 16:8,9 relates, "The master commended the dishonest manager because he acted shrewdly. For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their contemporaries than the people of light. And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by how you use worldly wealth, so that when it runs out you will be welcomed into the eternal homes".
As Jesus states, "evil coming from within will defile a person", so I believe that likewise, "good (righteousness) coming from within will bless a person".
Then Jesus called the crowd again and said to them, "Listen to me, everyone, and understand. There is nothing outside of a person that can defile him by going into him. Rather, it is what comes out of a person that defiles him. For from within, out of the human heart, come evil ideas, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, evil, deceit, debauchery, envy, slander, pride, and folly. All these evils come from within and defile a person." **** Mark 7:14-23
I want to VERY clearly clarify that God has NOT called me to wealth nor has He placed ANY desire to be "rich" in my heart. I do, however, desire VERY much to "PROSPER" in spirit, soul AND body !! I believe VERY strongly that:
I tell you, make friends for yourselves by how you use worldly wealth, so that when it runs out you will be welcomed into the eternal homes. The one who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and the one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. If then you haven"t been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will entrust you with the true riches? And if you haven"t been trustworthy with someone else"s property, who will give you your own? No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and Mammon (the god of wealth). **** Luke 16:9-13
Those who long to be rich, however, stumble into temptation and a trap and many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is the root of all evils. Some people, in reaching for it, have strayed from the faith and stabbed themselves with many pains. Command those who are rich in this world"s goods not to be haughty or to set their hope on riches, which are uncertain, but on God who richly provides us with all things for our enjoyment. Tell them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, to be generous givers, sharing with others. In this way they will save up a treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the future and so lay hold of what is truly life. **** 1 Timothy 6:9,10;17-19
However, I also believe JUST as strongly that over the centuries, the so-called "church" has robbed God's people of the power and of the heritage that He has granted to ALL in Jesus Christ. It has substituted a mentality of want, guilt, deprivation, poverty and suffering for the glorious abundance of blessing that the Father wants us to have !! Instead, it has sold the People of God out to the "god of THIS world", Satan, in the name of DEAD RELIGION -- as opposed to the living reality of being filled with and walking in continual communion with the living spirit of God !!!
Let us draw near with a sincere heart in the assurance that faith brings And let us hold unwaveringly to the hope that we confess, for the one who made the promise is trustworthy. So do not throw away your confidence, because it has great reward. For you need endurance in order to do God"s will and so receive what is promised. But my righteous one will live by faith, and if he shrinks back, I take no pleasure in him. But we are not among those who shrink back and thus perish, but are among those who have faith and preserve their souls. Now faith is being sure of what we hope for, being convinced of what we do not see. Now without faith it is impossible to please him, for the one who approaches God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. **** Hebrews 10:22-11:6
When an unclean spirit goes out of a person, it passes through waterless places looking for rest but does not find it. Then it says, "I will return to the home I left." When it returns, it finds the house empty, swept clean, and put in order. Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they go in and live there, so the last state of that person is worse than the first. **** Matthew 12:43-45
For what benefit is it for a person to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his life (soul)? What can a person give in exchange for his life (soul)? **** Mark 8:36,37
Everyone who hears these words of mine and does them is like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain fell, the flood came, and the winds beat against that house, but it did not collapse because it had been founded on rock. Everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain fell, the flood came, and the winds beat against that house, and it collapsed; it was utterly destroyed! **** Matthew 7:24-27
Following are a number of links leading to MUCH more information on this subject. MANY of them are NOT "Christian" per se, and MANY of them emphasize applying the principle to the acquisition of wealth and power. However, as I stated above, what is said about the principle (THE Secret) is nonetheless TRUE, and will function equally well when applied to ALL areas of our life !!
I also do NOT necessarily endorse ALL of the doctrines an/or teaching espoused by the writings offered or the sites referred to.
From a "Christian Perspective", the GREATEST fallacy is, of course, that some of these writers change the Glory of the PERSONAL God - He who has will, purpose, intent, direction and plans - who lays down standards of ABSOLUTE Right and Wrong - who is described as a "Loving Father" with TOTAL involvment in and concern over our individual lives - who says that "HE governs ALL things according to the Counsel and Will of HIS Purpose" - into an IMPERSONAL, mindless "Universal Force or Mind" which WE can manipulate and USE according to the will and intent of OUR purpose !!!
There IS, however, a Biblical Truth that WILL INDEED "set you FREE"if believed and practiced -- namely, that God has revealed to us in His Word that it is in our MINDS that we are alienated from Him and that it is through our MINDS, BY His Holy Spirit, that we must again be reconciled and transformed!!
For my thoughts [are] not your thoughts, neither [are] your ways my ways, says 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
Do not be conformed to this present world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind ** Romans 12:2
For though we live as human beings, we do not wage war according to human standards, for the weapons of our warfare are not human weapons, but are made powerful by God for tearing down strongholds (in the MIND). We tear down arguments and every arrogant obstacle that is raised up against the knowledge of God, and we take every thought captive to make it obey Christ. ** 2 Corinthians 10:3-5
So I say this, and insist in the Lord, that you no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding (MIND), being alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them (their MIND) due to the hardness of their hearts. You were taught to be renewed in the spirit of your mind ** Ephesians 4:17-23
You were at one time strangers ( alienated ) and enemies in your minds as expressed through your evil deeds, but now he has reconciled you .... ** Colossians 1:21,22
My job is MERELY to put forth the information and truths revealed to me by God. It is YOUR job to use the Heart, Mind, Soul and Spirit that God has bestowed upon EACH one of us to seek Truth for YOURSELF under the guidance of "The Spirit of Truth" -- God's own Holy Spirit !!