By Robin Swoverland
In the first two articles we discussed what faith is and where faith comes from. In this article we want to get a little more in-depth in what faith is in order to be able to discuss how to operate in it.
First of all, in quoting from Kenneth E. Hagin’s lessons on faith, we find “…faith is not something we have as much as something we do. …faith is not hoping that we will see the answer in the future; faith is believing that we have the answer now. The eyes of faith see the answer as having already happened.” We found in the last article that faith comes by hearing (and hearing!) the Word of God. The more we “hear” God’s Word on a subject, the more we will begin to believe it. To believe is to actually envision the results you are seeking. You will begin to have a mental image of yourself with the answer! For example, just imagine that a friend that you trust implicitly has informed you that they are bringing you $100.00 to spend on yourself. Because you trust this friend, by the time you actually receive this money, you will have most likely already planned what you will do with it! It may all be spent by the time you actually have it in hand! Well, there is no more trustworthy person than God! If He said it in His Word, you can count on it! The key for us then is to spend whatever time it takes in prayer, the study of the Word, praise and fellowship with Him to develop that kind of trust in Him. If we trust Him, then we will expect Him to do what He says He will do. That’s faith!
In order to be operative, faith must have a goal, a target. That’s where hope comes in. Many people spend their time “a hopin’ and a prayin’” and end up with nothing. Hope is not the action that causes things to change. Hoping for something creates a desire. That desire identifies our target. What we hope for is the target, the goal that we aim our faith at like an arrow! Once we identify our goal or target, then we need to search the Word of God to find out what the Word has to say about that hope. If we find it is something promised in the Word of God, then we find all of the Scriptures that pertain to that subject. Then begins the diligent meditation on that Word so that faith can develop. Joshua 1:8 says:
This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. (KJV)
The word meditate here is the Hebrew word: hagah (daw-gaw’); which means: to murmur (in pleasure or anger); by implication, to ponder: imagine, meditate, mourn, mutter, roar, speak, study, talk, utter. It involves speaking to yourself, pondering, which is thinking about all aspects of it, imagining, which is allowing the Holy Spirit to paint a picture inside of you so that you can “see” it, and talking to others about it. Doing this will cause faith (the confidence and assurance) to develop and grow.
The next step is to declare what the Word of God says about your particular situation. Jesus said, in John 15:7: If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. (KJV) If you abide in Him (if you are a born-again believer) and His Word abides in you (the meditation you have just done) then you speak and it will be done! That is faith in operation! Now don’t look back, don’t ever doubt, and you will see the manifestation of what you desired. What a blessed life we have!
In our next article we will discuss how to maintain a faith-filled life. How to stand strong in faith while we wait for the sure manifestation of what we are believing for.