// Kenneth W. Hagin
REAL FAITH IN GOD—Bible faith—does not insulate Christians from encountering life's problems. But it does ensure that we come out of every situation as the victor, not the victim! What does real faith look like?
We know that God wants us to have His kind of faith. The God-kind of faith believes and speaks. That's how God created the universe. (See Genesis chapter 1; Mark 11:22–24; and Hebrews 11:1.)
Faith is a spiritual force. In other words, faith is a spiritual issue, not a natural issue. Faith is of man's spirit, not of his mind or body.
When we are dealing with faith in God, faith from God, and the faith of God, we must realize that God is a Spirit (John 4:24). Therefore, faith in Him is a spiritual issue to be discerned and operated spiritually.
The Spirit of Faith
The Bible says we are spirit beings and talks about the "hidden man of the heart" (1 Peter 3:4). Man is a spirit, he has a soul, and lives in a body (1 Thess. 5:23). Bible faith is of a man's recreated spirit, not of his mind or flesh. It is a spiritual force! The Bible calls it "the spirit of faith."
2 Corinthians 4:13
13 We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak.
What is the spirit of faith? It's believing with the heart or spirit and speaking with the mouth (Rom. 10:9–10). Biblical faith is not mental assent or intellectual agreement. Faith is a spiritual force that grows and develops in the heart or spirit of man.
The Rhema Spiritual Force
Jesus said that His Word is spirit and life (John 6:63). Therefore, Bible faith comes from God's Word: "Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Rom. 10:17). God's Word has the ability to produce a spiritual force within our hearts called "faith."
As we hear the "logos" or the written Word of God, it develops faith inside of us. We believe the logos—the written Word of God. Then as we speak the logos Word of God, in a sense it becomes a rhema Word of God to us.
The word "rhema" is a Greek word. In its literal sense, it simply means "speaking" or "the spoken word." The Word of God that is spoken in faith becomes the "rhema" Word.
Therefore, the rhema Word of God—the Word of God spoken—is a spiritual force. It must be dealt with spiritually. Unless you understand it spiritually, there is no way to explain the rhema Word of God. The Bible says that spiritual things are spiritually discerned.
Faith Is Not an Isolated Spiritual Force
Faith is a spiritual force, but it is not an isolated spiritual force. That means faith was never meant to work by itself. It must work in conjunction with other spiritual forces.
For example, scriptural prayer is a spiritual force that releases the power of God. But it takes faith to activate prayer. The love of God is also a spiritual force, but it takes love to make faith operate. Galatians 5:6 says that "faith works by love."
The natural and the spiritual must also function together. Man's threefold nature—spirit, soul, and body—must work together.
In the human body, all of the bodily systems must function properly and work together. Even though the systems—respiratory, digestive, and so on—are different and operate separately, they must also operate together in harmony to allow the body to function properly.
That's the way faith is. It's not an isolated force that operates alone. Faith functions in harmony with the other spiritual forces that God has set into motion, such as love, hope, patience, and prayer.
Add to Your Faith
The Bible says we are to add other spiritual qualities to our faith. By doing so, our faith is strengthened.
According to Second Peter 1:5–9, we need diligence, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love. This scripture also says that if we add these qualities to our faith, our faith won't be barren or unfruitful. It will produce for us!
Many believers have studied the Word and increased their faith, but they don't seem to be receiving all they should from believing God. Many times, they have not added these qualities to their faith and try to operate their faith in an isolated spiritual cocoon.
My dad would always say the first place he told people to look when they don't seem to be receiving from God is their love walk.
Sometimes it seems that people who talk the most about how much faith they have and what strong "faith people" they are don't seem to have much love. But since faith works together with love to be effective, strong faith is impossible without love.
First Corinthians 13:13 shows us that love is more important than faith. It says that of faith, hope, and love, the greatest of these is love. If we don't have love, our faith is not going to work!
When our faith is tested and tried as we continue to stand on the Word, it works patience in our lives (James 1:2–4). And we cannot inherit the promises of God without faith and patience (Heb. 6:12).
Patience is something most people don't like because it requires endurance!
When you do everything you know to stand in faith, and then you keep on standing (Eph. 6:13–14)—patience is perfecting your faith and making it strong. You may have to endure some tests to keep on standing, but if you patiently stand steadfast on God's Word, you will see your answer.
Faith is rooted in God's Word. Real faith does not deny circumstances, nor does it deny facts. But it overcomes them with the spiritual force of faith. Armed with the truths of God's Word, the believer who is in faith can have victory in any circumstance because God's Word never fails!
Faith in Action
To understand what faith is, it's helpful to look at what faith is not. How do you know if you're not in faith? Use this checklist and see if you could use a "faith tune-up."
Faith is not . . .
- A Formula
- Limited to Specific Results
- Ordering God Around
- A Ticket to Utopia
- A Panic Button
- A Magic Wand
- Overriding someone's free will
- Absence of Feeling