Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.Mark 11:24 NKJV
Hope says, “I’ll have it sometime.” Faith says, “I have it now.”Kenneth E. Hagin
Over the last 40 years, I have prayed for many, many sick folks. As we have seen in our previous lessons, God wants to heal every one of them. Many do get healed, some instantly, others over time. On the other hand, many others go away disappointed. Some haven’t overcome their sense of condemnation and unworthiness. Others haven’t yet known and believed the wonderful love of God as their Father. Many are yet to be convinced that it is the will of God to heal them personally. There is another group who struggle because they can’t get past what they see and feel.
Perhaps the most counter-intuitive aspect of faith is the idea that you must “believe you receive when you pray.” I know this can be difficult. I know because I’ve asked people and heard their responses. Those who have been taught this idea over and over still can’t answer the simple question, “What does Mark 11: 24 say you will have?” Most look mildly befuddled, then respond, “What I asked for.” I tell them to read it again. They often still can’t see it. The promise is that you will have what you believe you receive when you pray. Not what you hope to receive later, but what you believe is yours at the moment you say, “Amen.”
Here’s the problem: Many judge whether they received by how they feel or what they see after they say, “Amen.” “I prayed, but my symptoms are unchanged, therefore I did not receive.” Often, they begin to question the will of God, their own faith, or the truth of the teaching they have received. (Many don’t admit this because they don’t want to be seen as unspiritual.) The truth is, they got exactly what Mark 11:24 says. They got what they believed they received when they prayed. They got nothing. Got wants so much more for them!
The key to believing you have received something that you can’t see or feel, is understanding and becoming familiar with the realm of the spirit. Most of us live in the land of “Seeing is believing.” Our well-being is determined by our bank balance. Our love for others is conditioned on their behavior toward us. Our physical health is contingent on how we feel. Faith requires looking at a different realm. Hebrews says it this way:
NOW FAITH is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses].(Hebrews 11:1 AMP)
The physical senses are touch, taste, smell, sight, and hearing. These are God-given means by which we get information from the physical world around us. Faith is the perception or conviction of a reality outside the five physical senses, a spiritual sixth sense, so to speak. The spirit realm is perceived by faith, not the 5 senses. Unfortunately, most of us are infinitely more aware of the physical world than we are of the spirit realm. The physical world is loud, and bright, sometimes painful. Faith for healing must look past these noises and touch the quiet assurance of the spirit.
There is always a spirit world around us. It is populated by spiritual beings, angels, and demons. Things happen there that impact our lives, yet we are often totally unaware of them. Take the example of Elisha and the King of Syria in 2 Kings 6. The king wants to capture Elisha because he keeps fouling up his plans to attack Israel. The Syrian army surrounds the town during the night. Let’s pick up the story the next morning:
And when the servant of the man of God arose early and went out, there was an army, surrounding the city with horses and chariots. And his servant said to him, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” So he answered, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” And Elisha prayed, and said, “LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” Then the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.(2 Kings 6:15-17 NKJV)
Notice that the servant had perfectly good natural eyesight. He could see the Syrians quite clearly. What he saw inspired fear. His response was based entirely on the information he received through his physical senses. Elisha, on the other hand, was untroubled. Because he was aware that “The angel of the LORD encamps all around those who fear Him, And delivers them (Psalm 34:7),” he could see the reality in the spirit realm. We have them outnumbered! He prayed and the servant’s spiritual eyes were opened to see the heavenly army that had been there all along.
Becoming consciously aware of the spirit realm will make it much easier to use your faith. Getting “spirit-realm conscious” is not just for healing, it’s at the core of what the Bible calls “walking in the spirit.” It will help you in every area of Christian life. Being tuned to the reality of the sixth sense realm allows you to rise above the physical and live in tune with spiritual realities. Here are a few things you need to know:
- The spirit realm is real. It impacts every area of your life, whether you realize it or not. Take it into account in every thought and action. Include spiritual reality in your thought process for every decision. That includes financial, political, and inter-personal decisions.
- Faith is based on the realm of the spirit, not the physical senses. You can believe it before you see it. In fact, things happen in the spirit realm before we see them in the physical realm.
- God is the great I AM. He is not bound by time. He sees tomorrow and today simultaneously. We live in space and time. God is outside those constraints: He is eternal. When He hears your prayer, He answers it, placing the answer at another spot in time. It is done, but you will have to walk through time to get to it.
- You can know things in the spirit realm. The Word of God is spirit (John 6:63). If the Bible says it, it is a true depiction of what is happening in the spirit. Your spirit can also perceive things in the spirit. Paul called it the “witness” of your spirit (Romans 8:16) Solomon said, “The spirit of a man is the lamp of the Lord (Proverbs 20:27).”
Here’s the Point: The spirit realm is real. Though you can’t see it, the things that happen there and the beings that exist there have a profound impact on your life. When you pray according to His will, God hears and answers. Since He is eternal, He can answer your prayer today, but place the answer in tomorrow. It is done! You will have to walk in faith until you get to tomorrow and stumble over the answer that He provided when you prayed. Without a grasp of the eternal realm of the spirit, faith seems like a fantasy, or positive thinking, or even magic. Faith is none of these. It’s the current reality of things not seen, the sense that touches the eternal.
Next Steps: If this aspect of faith, believing without seeing, is difficult for you, admit it! I promise, you are not alone. Now take some on purpose steps to become more aware of the spirit realm:
- In everything you see, ask, “What is God doing here?” When you see the news of the day, ask yourself, “What’s the spiritual background of these events?” When confronted with difficult people, ask yourself, “Who is this person, really? What forces are moving him or blinding him.?” Make spiritual things a normal part of your thought processes. Deuteronomy 29:29; 31:8; Matthew 16:21-23
- Pray out loud. Speak to God as if you could see Him. Do this every time you get a chance all day long. If you wake up in the night, say “Hello” to the Lord. When you speak to Him, stop talking every now and then and give Him space to speak. Matthew 6:6; Psalm 34:15; 1 Kings 19:11-12
- Picture what you see in the Bible as real. For example, if the bible says there are angels in the room, assume they are there. Talk to them. Thank God for them. As you read, stop and thank God for things that bless you. 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Corinthians 1:20
- Pray in tongues. When I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, though my mind doesn’t understand. This builds up my spirit and makes me more consciously aware of the things going on there. 1 Corinthians 14: 2,4, 13-15; Jude 20
Open the eyes of our hearts, Lord!
Pastor Virgil Stokes