Love The way to Victory
We see immediately in the title Kenneth Hagin’s objective – victory; we find that this means victory over the world, the flesh and the devil. He says this:-
If we’ll just listen to the Bible and make the love of God our great quest and develop the love of God on the inside, we’ll prosper in every area of life.
He says this in the context of marriage but he applies it to faith in general; “faith which works by love”. If his faith is not working the first thing he would check up on is whether he is walking in love, so this is the background to this straightforward but strong book.
Kenneth Hagin is very sound and good within his sphere! As I look through the book to determine what to say about it I am struck with how simple but how deep and practical it is; if you were going to choose a book outside of the Bible for new believers perhaps this would be it! As is his practice, he talks about basic Biblical principles and illustrates with incidents from his life; everything he says, he does.
The first chapter concerns the ‘Characteristics of God’s Love’. Turning to 1 Cor 13, love is defined; then two very important points are made, firstly that love is a fruit of the Spirit, and therefore it grows, and it grows by exercise, and secondly, this love is within us, it has been shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit, and therefore we just have to learn to let it dominate us. What do you do if someone wrongs you; well you don’t retaliate but ‘contrariwise’ bless (the last chapter of the book is on loving your enemies). Very good examples are given. ‘Divine love is a peacemaker’. Turning back to the subject of faith, he says this:-
You’ll never be able to believe God fully until you understand and walk in the God-kind of love. Why? Because God is love and the God-kind of faith works by love.
Unfortunately this is something that can be rather pushed to the side in some versions of teaching about faith.
Chapter 2 is titled Divine Love: the evidence of the New Birth. ‘We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren…‘ 1 Jn 3.14. What a plea there is here to walk in love! Here is Hagin:-
..we’ve got to realize…the Holy Spirit can be in your heart in the new birth, but if you don’t allow the love of God to dominate you, you’ll just walk on in carnality and be defeated.
The next chapter is about love as the law of the new covenant. Hagin retells a wonderful story of a woman who was a fairly new Christian and very worried about her son, a lad who was running with the wrong crowd and wouldn’t do what his mother said. She wanted prayer, but Hagin said this was not action he would take, it would be fruitless; instead she had to do something. Quit worrying and start surrounding him with love. Don’t pester him about going to church, just leave him alone, but every time you think of him fill your thoughts with love and how God is going to transform him; commit him entirely to God…. A year later Hagin was back at the same church and a smiling, unrecognizable person approached him – the same lady. She said it was difficult at first to stop worrying, but she did and surrounded her son with love. One Sunday morning after a late night and 2 hours sleep, the son announced he was coming to church; she amazed herself by saying that he didn’t want to do that, he needed his rest, but he came anyway…….and was soon a transformed boy, on fire for God.
And so Hagin continues. He talks about the importance of forgiveness, benefits of walking in love, how not walking in love can affect your health, about judging yourself and loving your enemies. This a good foundational book!