THE PROPER FAITH
Do you see it now? Miss Lee has the genuine faith. She said, "Lord, I thank You that I am no longer nearsighted. For this reason I throw my glasses away." But Mr. Nee said, "When I throw away my glasses I shall be healed." She believed that God had accomplished her healing already. This is what real faith demands. It is a faith that believes that God has accomplished and has fulfilled all His will.
The same principle applies to our salvation and the living of a victorious life. We are not hoping that God will save us. I am afraid some will keep hoping even after they reach hell. Neither are we hoping that victory will come in another two days. What we should say is, "Lord, I thank You. My sins are forgiven. Thank You, Lord, that it is no longer I who live, but You live within me." We have to believe in what is and what has been. When we do this we will be saved.
RECEIVED THROUGH FAITH
There is another passage in the Bible concerning faith. Mark 11:24 should be read with care: "For this reason I say to you, All things that you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and you will have them."
The crucial word in this verse is "received." I have underlined this word in my Bible. "Believe that you have received them, and you will have them." The first clause gives the past tense, while the second is in the future. The Bible gives only this kind of faith. It is faith that believes in having received, not one that hopes to receive. Only the receiving that is through faith is the true receiving. Without the receiving in faith, there is no receiving in reality.
Sometimes my co-workers or I would anoint sick people with oil and pray for them. Often I ask a sick man, "Has God answered your prayers yet?" Those who have faith say, "Yes, God has answered prayers. My illness is gone." This kind of patient may still have a high fever and not look too positive, but he eventually gets well. There are others who say, "God will heal me," or "I will be healed." We have to pray again for these because we detect no faith in them. What they have is not faith, but mere hope. To hope to be healed and to believe that one is healed are very different. Those who believe that they have received will receive.
The same is true of victorious living. If you believe that you are victorious already, then you will experience victory after victory. But if you put your hope in the future, you can only experience victory in the future. The past tense occupies a vital position in our prayers. It is what I have and not what I want. Wanting something is a sign of unbelief. The word want often blocks our prayers from being answered. The word of the Lord is clear: he who believes that he has received shall receive.
(The Normal Christian Faith, Chapter 14, by Watchman Nee)