Have the Faith that God Gives, by A.A. Allen
In the preceding chapter we found that faith is an absolute requirement for healing. There are thousands of promises in God’s Word, and every one is conditioned upon faith. Faith that you can have! Faith that God gives!
Christ, on His way to Bethany one day, cursed a fig tree because it produced no fruit (see Mark 11:12). He declared that no man would eat fruit of that tree thereafter. A mighty miracle had been performed, although it was not immediately apparent. Faith had been exercised. The following morning, the disciples again saw the fig tree, but it was dried up at the roots. Peter expressed his amazement at finding that the tree was withered away. Jesus answered him, Have faith in God. 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…he shall have whatsoever he saith (Mark 11:22–23). It is clear that others can have the same faith Jesus exercised.
We can have the faith of God, literally, the faith that God gives!
The price of faith
God does give faith. God gives faith to every person who wants it badly enough to pay the price required. That price is obedience, godliness, and holiness, following in the footsteps of Jesus, living free from condemnation, and walking in the full light of the Scriptures.
The Apostle John declares, If our heart condemn us not, then [and then only] have we confidence toward God (1 John 3:21). Faith and confidence is the same thing. Webster’s dictionary defines faith as “complete confidence in a person.” Surely no one can merit our complete confidence more fully than God!
Faith is not a mysterious, thrilling feeling going up and down one’s spine. Faith is a common, everyday thing, which is evidenced in all the activities of daily life. You write a letter, go to the post office, buy a tiny stamp, place it on the comer of the envelope, and drop the letter into a mailbox slot – having complete confidence that the person to whom you addressed the letter will receive it within a few days. You do not have a sudden, overwhelming feeling that your friend will receive the letter. It just doesn’t enter your mind to doubt that he will receive the letter.
Some people have more faith in Uncle Sam than in Jesus. Yet there is no reason to doubt the promises of God, if we have carried out our part.
If the letter wasn’t placed in the post office, or if the stamp was left off, there might be reason to doubt that our friend will receive the letter. Likewise, if we refuse or neglect to do our part in getting our petitions to God, there is no reason to expect an answer from Him. But if we do our part, God absolutely guarantees to do His part – healing is ours!
Now that we know what we are trying to obtain, let us consider the scriptural methods of obtaining it. No matter how trustworthy an acquaintance may be, we can never feel entirely sure that he merits complete confidence until we are thoroughly acquainted with him. This is the reason many people fail to trust God. We become acquainted with God by walking with Him day by day, and by reading His Word. Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17). Read God’s Word. Read it as you would a letter from a trusted friend. Consider it the final authority. Turn resolutely away from books and conversations, which question the truth of God’s Word.
Jesus accused a religious group in His day of making the word of God of none effect through your traditions (Mark 7:13), and of teaching for doctrines the commandments of men (Mark 7:7). Many preachers today set at naught the promises of God, basing their teaching on the things they have observed around them, rather than on the Word of God. Faith can only be built upon the power and success of the Word of God, never upon our own or another’s weaknesses and failures.
Then faith, having been planted in the heart through the Word, must be watered and nourished through a genuine love for God. Perfect love casteth out fear (1 John 4:18). Fear is the direct opposite of faith. It is the murderer of faith. There is no fear in love. You cannot have faith if you do not love God. You can hope He will heal. You may say, “I know He is able.” But you cannot have faith.
Obey God’s Commandments
If you love God, you will keep His commandments (see John 14:15,21,23). Failure to keep His commandments is the reason many fail to have faith. Faith…worketh by love (Galatians 5:6). Love is manifested by obedience. Disobedience to the known will of God indicates a lack of faith and love. If we love God, we will be concerned about knowing and doing His will.
I believe the greatest hindrance to faith today is disobedience. John says, Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight (1 John 3:21–22).
Real faith—living, vital faith—is impossible to people who are not in harmony with the personality and the Spirit of God, because they are living in disobedience to God’s commandments.
Many people today who profess to be Christians are living under constant condemnation for sin and disobedience to the known will and Word of God. Such a person can never have real faith until he has first repented of his sins and turned his back upon them. For only then will that condemnation leave. Only then can he have a clear conscience toward God, which brings perfect confidence, or faith.
Receive the Holy Ghost
The confidence of some may be destroyed because of living in the condemnation that light—the light of the scriptures concerning the baptism of the Holy Ghost—has come into the world, and they have not walked in that light. They know that they should have this glorious experience, but they have not met the conditions to receive it.
Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? (Acts 19:2). Surely this cannot be termed an unfair question to Christians. Paul asked this question of a group of twelve believers at Ephesus. Every Christian should have this experience, not only because God commanded it (and that should be reason enough), but also because the Christian needs this power to work and witness for his Lord.
In the New Testament church, every member was filled with the Holy Ghost. All Christian individuals and groups spoken of in the New Testament were baptized with the Holy Ghost, as a separate and different experience from conversion, and coming after conversion. The disciples of Jesus were all saved, inasmuch as Christ had commissioned them to preach the gospel and to heal the sick, and had been given power and authority over devils (see Luke 9:1–2). Their names were written in heaven (see Luke 10:20), an evident sign that they were saved. Yet Jesus commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence (Acts 1:4–5).
And, behold, I send the promise of the Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, UNTIL ye be endued with power from on high (Luke 24:49). This is not just a commandment to a few people in days gone by, but it is for Christians everywhere today. While preaching his first Holy Ghost sermon after receiving the Holy Spirit, Peter said, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call (Acts 2:38–39).
Many consider the baptism of the Holy Ghost to be a mere privilege instead of a direct command. However, it is a command, for Paul said, Be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18). Since this is a command, one must be obedient to God’s command. Those who have come into the light of God’s truth are expected to walk in that light, and failure to do so brings condemnation. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil (John 3:19). Many people today are, more or less, living under condemnation because they have not made a consecration of full obedience that they might receive this glorious experience, the baptism of the Holy Ghost.
Acts 5:32 makes it clear that those who are obedient have received the Holy Ghost. And we are witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him. It is evident from this verse that, if you have not been filled with the Holy Ghost, you have not yet been fully obedient. And if you haven’t been obedient, then you have been disobedient. Disobedience is sin…sin brings condemnation…condemnation destroys faith.
Abide in Christ
If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you (John 15:7). One must abide in Christ to be in a position to exercise real faith before he can receive the faith that God gives. God does not give faith to people who do not abide in Him. If He did, anyone – even drunkards, harlots, thieves, murderers, and the enemies of the kingdom of God – would be able to have and exercise faith and receive from God anything they asked. But since the blessings of God are for those who serve Him and put Him first in their lives, one must abide in Christ before faith can actually be exercised.
Let’s look in God’s Word for the definition of abiding in Christ. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked (1 John 2:6). In this verse, it is quite clear that, if we profess to abide in Christ, we should be walking as He walked. Friend, if you are not walking as Christ walked, you are not abiding in Him, and it’s no wonder you have no faith! You can never be on real faith ground until you begin to abide in Christ and walk as He walked. This is not only possible, but it is God’s command.
Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that we should follow his steps: Who did no sin (1 Peter 2:21–22). Christ did not live in habitual sin. He did not make excuses for sin. He resisted the devil and temptation although He was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin (Hebrews 4:15). He is our example. And He stands ready to help us walk as He walked – in His steps. Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not (1 John 3:6).
I am aware that this teaching is contrary to much of today’s religious teaching. I’m also aware that multitudes who claim to be children of God and believe in divine healing have been prayed for again and again, without being able to exercise faith for healing. This matter is of sufficient importance to make it worthwhile to face facts, regardless of opinions. There is a reason why these people continue in their sicknesses, pains, and diseases, and cannot receive healing for their sick bodies. It is not because God is a respecter of persons. Often it is because the afflicted person has not paid the price of faith, which is obedience and holiness.
Live a holy life
Hope is available to people without holiness, but faith is not! If people without holiness could have faith, they could have anything they desire from God, for God’s guarantee to those who have faith is, Whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive (Matthew 21:22). And God also said, Follow peace … and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14).
It is a common teaching today that everyone sins all the time, that it is impossible to live above sin, and that, as long as we are is in this world, we must partake of a certain number of the sins of this life. Those who teach this doctrine quote numerous scriptures that pertain only to the unregenerate man who has never had a salvation experience. But God says, Be ye holy; for I am holy (1 Peter 1:16).
Paul says, Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame (1 Corinthians 15:34).
According to this verse, those who find excuses for their habitual sin do not have the knowledge of God. What a shame! It is evident that such professed Christians do not read their Bibles.
After Jesus had healed a man, He found him in the temple and said to him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon thee (John 5:14).
To the woman of Samaria, Christ said, Go, and sin no more (John 8:11).
My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not (1 John 2:1).
Paul settled the sin question in Romans 6:1–2 when he said, What shall we say then? Shall we continue, in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid!
When people again share the attitude of Christ concerning the sin question and begin to abide in God, multitudes will again be healed and books like this will be unnecessary. But until people are enlightened and learn the truth, books like this must be written.
Numerous people today are asking the question, “Why wasn’t I healed?” The answer is simple: because of no faith, or insufficient faith. There is more than one reason for lack of faith, but the main reason is lack of holiness. Another outstanding reason is the common neglect of Bible study. No wonder there is a lack of faith in the hearts of so many today.
God Himself has established the price of faith. Love God. Read His Word. Obey His commands. Believe His promises.
To some, this may seem like an impossible price, but God has enabled man to pay it. The same Christ who saves from sin will keep those who desire to be kept by His mighty power. The Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil (2 Thessalonians 3:3).
Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy (Jude 24).
God not only commands that we abide in Him, but He makes it possible by giving us power to resist the devil in temptation. There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: But God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it (1 Corinthians 10:13).
I have found that those who have a real desire to please God, those who read their Bibles and pray, are attaining holiness. It is these same people who are shouting the victory over sickness, disease, and the power of the enemy. God has given them faith.
Faith—a gift and fruit of the Spirit
Faith is listed as one of the nine gifts of the Spirit (see 1 Corinthians 12:9). Time and space will not permit us to dwell at length upon faith as one of the nine gifts. Suffice it to say that the faith mentioned here is a gift of the Spirit, given by the Spirit. The Church is admonished in verse 31 to covet earnestly the best gifts.
All Christians have a certain amount of faith. It is impossible even to be saved without it. At the moment of salvation, faith begins to grow like a fruit, for faith is a fruit of the Spirit as well as a spiritual gift (see Galatians 5:22). As some trees in an orchard produce very little fruit, or fruit of poor quality, so some Christians seem to produce very little fruit of the Spirit. Fruit must first bud, then grow and develop. For proper development of the fruit of faith, it must be properly nourished like the fruit in the orchard. Since faith cometh by hearing the Word of God, the Christian should read the Word of God often. Memorize many of the promises of God that pertain to healing and stand upon them. Quote them again and again. In this way, faith will grow.
Faith must be built upon the Word of God and only upon the Word of God. The experiences and testimonies of others merely bring hope, not faith. Faith cannot be built merely upon the experiences of others. It cannot be built upon one’s feelings or upon that which has been seen. Seeing the mighty power of God bring healing to others will cause hope to spring up in the heart, but this is not faith. It is helpful to faith, but cannot take the place of faith – Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17). Base your faith exclusively upon the Word of God. Don’t talk in terms of what you may or may not feel. People who gauge their healing by their feelings never credit anything to God’s Word. The person who accepts God’s Word for his own case, whether the results are visible and “feelable” or not, will soon see and feel the results, for this is the faith that God gives. Real faith is simply taking God at His Word. The more of God’s Word you have hidden in your heart, the easier it is to believe and exercise faith in that Word.
There are many hindrances to faith, and the next chapter deals with this subject. Read it carefully and prayerfully and follow the instructions, and the God who never fails will surely reward your obedience with a real, vital, and living faith—the faith that God gives! This kind of faith can claim God’s guarantee of healing which cannot fail.
Asa Alonso Allen (1911–1970), better known as A.A. Allen was a Pentecostal evangelist who was affiliated with the “Voice of Healing” movement. His ministry was marked with miraculous healing and deliverance from demonic possession. Doubtless, he has proven to be a controversial figure in church history, but his writings are still valuable to us today. The coroner initially reported that he died from acute alcohol poisoning, yet it has since been reported that the coroner falsified the report after receiving a $10,000 bribe.
Whether the accusations and alleged black marks on his character are true or not, it cannot be argued that many Pentecostals and Charismatics today still treasure his works and value the insights he provides. There is no question that many were blessed with healing under his ministry. Allow the book to stand on it’s own merits, and read his sermons carefully, and prayerfully. That’s good advice for any minister, living or dead.
For more about Allen, you can visit his author page.