In what areas can you exercise faith? What can you believe for?
First, you can believe for everything the Word of God promises you or provides for you. But you can’t believe beyond the Word. Why not? Because “…faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17). Faith is based on what God’s Word says, and you cannot believe beyond your knowledge of God’s Word. If people try to do this, they will get in trouble.
For example, years ago I met a denominational pastor who received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, spoke in tongues and was kicked out of his denomination.
With no church to pastor, he had gone into business for himself in a large city, and he started attending the largest Full Gospel church in that city. This man was unmarried and was probably between 35 and 40.
He told me that a beautiful woman sang in the church choir, and because “you can have what you say” and “whatever you desire, just pray and believe you receive,” he was going to pray and believe he was going to get her for a wife.
However, I can’t find where the Bible says, “I promise John that he can have Mary for a wife.” Mary may not want to be his wife—and John may be just as well off without her anyway!
So I asked the man, “Have you ever talked to this woman? Have you ever had a date with her?”
“No,” he replied.
Sitting out there in the congregation while the choir sang on Sunday mornings, this man had seen the woman, was attracted to her, and thought because “you can have what you say,” he could just say they would be married and it would come to pass.
But under what conditions will it come to pass?
“Well, if I believe it strongly enough,” some will argue.
No, faith must be based on God’s Word. As we have seen, faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word. And the Word of God says, “Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord” (Proverbs 18:22).
“Whoso findeth a wife” implies that you have a part to play, all right, but you must be open to the Lord’s direction, and you must realize that you cannot go against another person’s free will.
The Lord will lead and guide you. You have a right to claim His guidance because He has promised to guide you. But just to pick somebody out and say, “I’m going to believe God and she’s going to be my wife,” won’t work.
Another’s Will Is Involved
The woman you want to marry may not want to be your wife. That would work the other way around for women: The man you want to marry may not want be your husband.
Friends, you’re not going to be able to override another person’s will in the matter, so you may as well settle that once and for all.
God Himself does not exercise authority over human spirits. If He did, He’d make everybody in the world get saved today, and then we could enter into the Millennium.
We only have authority over evil spirits; not over human spirits. God has granted mankind free will to choose for themselves.
In the first meeting I held after leaving my last pastorate, an unmarried woman in her thirties asked me, “Brother Hagin, do I have the right to believe for a husband?”
“I believe you do,” I replied, “because the Bible says, ‘Whoso findeth a WIFE findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord’—and it would be a poor rule that wouldn’t work both ways.”
Will faith work here?
I told the young woman, “You can’t just pick out somebody and say, ‘That one’s mine.’ But you can ask God to lead you. You can claim a mate by faith and let God work out the details because you believe Him.”
Standing in Faith
For many months, it didn’t look like things were going to work for this young woman: No young man came into her life. Every time I saw her, I encouraged her to stand in faith. She would say, “I’m standing in faith. It’s going to work. I know it is!” She had certain ideals in mind. She said, “I’m not a minister myself, but I have been in the work of the Lord for many years, and I want to marry a minister.”
In the process of time, I saw her, and she had married a fine man—a minister. Her faith had worked.
I also remember two beautiful young women who attended a revival meeting I once conducted in Oklahoma. They had just graduated from high school with the highest grades in their class. Both were saved and baptized in the Holy Spirit in my meeting. Some months later, when I returned to that church for another meeting, the Lord led me to minister a word of wisdom to one of the girls.
Afterwards, the pastor said, “Brother Hagin, I’m so glad you did that. You didn’t know this, I’m sure, but that young woman is engaged to be married, and we’re concerned about it. The young man has attended church here, but I’ll just be honest with you—I’m sure he pretended he got saved so he could marry her.”
I hadn’t known these details the night the Lord had me minister to the young woman. She was sitting on the front row that night. I asked the congregation to sing because I didn’t want everyone to hear what I told her. I said to her, “The Lord told me to tell you this: ‘I’ve got something better for you. Don’t marry right now. I’ve got something better for you.’”
Two years later I was out in California in a campmeeting when a fine-looking young couple came up to me. The woman said, “Brother Hagin, do you remember me?”
“No,” I said, “but your face looks familiar.”
She told me her name, but I still couldn’t remember who she was.
“Well,” she said, “you’ll remember this: You called me up while the congregation was singing and you told me the Lord said not to marry then because He had something better for me.”
“Oh,” I said. “I remember that.”
“Well,” she said happily, “here he is!”
Then, she told me she and her husband were in Bible college preparing for the ministry. “Oh, I’m so glad the Lord arrested me and ministered to me,” she said. “I would have made a fatal mistake. We’re so happy. And we’re working for God.”
God did have something better for her. God can lead and guide us. We need to be open to the leading of God.
You see, we can believe God and exercise faith for anything that is promised in the Bible. But we must base our faith upon what God’s Word says. If we get into areas beyond the Word, we will get into gray areas—into dark areas. As long as we’re in the Word, we’re in the light. Then we’re on safe ground—sure ground.
Some may say, “I don’t know just what direction to take in life, so what shall I believe for?”
Well, trust God for guidance, because He has promised to guide you. Claim His guidance by faith. Say, “The Lord is guiding me. He is leading me. I may not see it this moment. I may not even know what to do at the moment; but, He is my Guide and I trust Him.”
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God” (Romans 8:14). God will guide you. But remember that He leads you just one step at a time.
Reprinted from the book, Ministering to Your Family (Chapter 1, © 1986), by Kenneth E. Hagin and Kenneth Hagin Jr. Reprinted by permission of Kenneth Hagin Ministries, Inc.