We receive from the Lord in the same way that people in the Bible received from the Lord—whether it is salvation, healing, the baptism in the Holy Spirit, or some other gift God has provided. We receive by faith.
This fact is emphasized in James 1:5–7, which tells us what to do if we are lacking something in our life. The Apostle James said that we are to ask of God, but instructs us to ask in faith in order to receive.
5 If any of you lack wisdom, LET HIM ASK OF GOD, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
6 But LET HIM ASK IN FAITH, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
7 For let not that man think that he shall receive ANY THING of the Lord.
James begins this passage talking about receiving wisdom, but he ends the passage talking about receiving anything. Well, healing, or anything else the Word promises, is certainly included in “anything,” because “anything” includes all things!
Does “anything” also include the baptism in the Holy Spirit? Certainly, it does. And a person receives the baptism in the Holy Spirit the same way he or she receives anything else from God—by faith.
5 He [Paul] therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
The Bible tells us how the Apostle Paul was able to minister the baptism in the Holy Spirit and to work miracles among the people. It was “…by the hearing of faith.” But if we’re not careful, we’ll think, Well, yes, but Paul was an apostle, and God endowed the apostles with special power. If we had their same power and anointing, we could do the things they did. But Galatians 3:5 just told us exactly how Paul ministered! He did it by the hearing of faith! In other words, those people received from God through Paul’s ministry by their hearing faith preached to them.
The Word of God makes it clear that faith, or believing God’s Word, brings results and that we receive from the Lord by faith. Let’s look at several more scriptures that prove this important point.
22 And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.
23 Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.
23 For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.
24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.
We are studying how to receive from God. We know from these verses that we receive by faith, or by believing. We also know from these verses that “all things” are possible to those who believe. Well, “all things” means anything, doesn’t it?
We know we must believe, but where does this believing take place? The verses we’ve studied so far show us that believing takes place in our heart, not in our head. Let’s look at another passage that further proves this fact.
8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and SHALT BELIEVE IN THINE HEART that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For WITH THE HEART MAN BELIEVETH unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Did you notice that the word “heart” and some form of the word “believe” or “faith” are used in each one of these verses? Verse 10 says, “. . . with the HEART man BELIEVETH unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” But it’s also true that whatever we receive from God comes the same say—by faith, or by believing. And it’s with our heart, not our head—our intellect or our physical senses—that we believe.
I want us to study something further that the Word of God has to say about the heart. We’re told to believe with our heart, but what is the heart? First Peter 3:4 says, “But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.” Here Peter uses the terms “hidden man of the heart” and “spirit” interchangeably. Our heart is our inward man, or our spirit.
We know from Scripture that man is a three-part being: spirit, soul, and body (1 Thess. 5:23; Heb. 4:12). We don’t believe God with our soul (which involves our intellect and emotions) or with our body. We believe God with our spirit, or heart.
When the Bible talks about believing with our heart, it isn’t talking about believing with the physical organ that pumps blood throughout our body. It’s talking about believing with the inward man, or our spirit.
Faith is of the heart, the spirit, of man. In other words, you believe on the inside. And what you believe on the inside is manifested on the outside. God starts working on the inside of a person and works to the outside. For example, healing doesn’t start on the outside—it starts with your believing in your heart (on the inside). When you pray, you believe that you receive, and then you shall have the healing you desire (on the outside).
We saw in Romans 10:17 that faith comes by hearing the Word of God. And we saw in Galatians 3:5 that Paul was able to minister the baptism in the Holy Spirit, healing, and other miracles “by the hearing of faith,” or by the people hearing faith preached. But it’s important to note that they had to accept and receive for themselves—into their own hearts—the Word that Paul preached.
Many times, Christians just accept what someone else says instead of studying the Bible for themselves. I’ve always encouraged people not just to take my word for something but to study the Bible for themselves. In other words, don’t take this teaching and say, “Brother Hagin said such–and–such.” Find out for yourself what the Bible says and say, “The Bible says such–and–such.” What I say, or what anyone else says, is unimportant unless it’s scriptural.
Find out for yourself what the Bible says and repeat that, not just what you heard someone else say. If the Bible says it, repeat it. But if the Bible doesn’t say it, don’t repeat it! Don’t accept what any preacher says unless you can read it for yourself in the Word. We’re not to follow any man; we’re to follow God.
Faith for healing won’t come just by hearing me preach about healing, unless you see it in the Word and accept the Word for yourself. And faith won’t come just by listening to teaching tapes or to messages you hear on the radio or on television. Faith comes when you hear God’s Word, accept the Word for yourself, and believe it in your own heart.
Christians ought to look up every scripture that’s given in a sermon and feed on those scriptures on their own time. Instead, many of them just take the preacher’s word for it and try to live off what the preacher knows and believes. I know good people who are saved and filled with the Holy Ghost who spend their time listening to all sorts of teaching tapes—they’ve been listening for years—yet they don’t have an ounce of faith. Bless their darling hearts, they think they have faith. But they’re big talkers and little doers. In other words, they’re talking big, but they’re actually living very little of what they’ve heard.
I can’t emphasize enough the importance of hearing in connection with faith. But you must also study the Word of God for yourself for faith to come. You must believe God’s Word for yourself—in your own heart—to receive from Him. Yes, God will work miracles and initiate some miraculous things on His own at times, but that is not the ordinary way to receive from Him. So don’t sit around and wait for something to turn up. Get in the Word for yourself, believe it in your heart, and then do what the Word says!
Credit: Kenneth E. Hagin