In one of his books, Kenneth E Hagin narrated the story of how God taught him prosperity.
The account gives deeper insight into the secret of biblical prosperity, how to achieve it and the basic requirements for qualification.
After leaving the last church he pastored, Kenneth Hagin went into the field ministry in 1949. He went from church to church holding revival meetings. After about a year on the mission field, he got hold of the verse that said, “If you are willing and obedience, you shall eat the good of the land” (Isa. 1:19).
At that point in time, he was in dire financial need. He had to sell off his worn-out car to settle his banknotes and buy his kids a few clothes. That year, his total income was 1200 dollars lesser than that of the previous year when he was still a pastor. I know 1200 dollars may not sound big now but in 1949, it was a good deal of money.
His financial situation was quite disturbing that he had to take the matter to God in prayer. He was away from home and was fasting. Every day, he talked to the Lord about his situation.
He said, “Lord, you see that I obeyed you when you told me to leave that church I was pastoring and to go out on the field. I did what you said to do. And you said, “If you be willing and obedient you shall eat the good of the land.”
“Now, Lord, here’s what that church paid me, plus they furnished the parsonage – the best parsonage we ever lived in. All the utilities were paid and probably half of what we ate was paid for because people just constantly brought food to the parsonage for us. They also sent us to every convention we need to attend. The church paid our way there and back, and a lot of times, they would buy me a new suit and my wife a new dress.”
Besides that, now he had to pay for his traveling expenses, rent and utilities just from the money he received when holding meetings in the field. He had to pay his way to the conventions that were necessary to attend. All that took a big chunk out of his income, probably half of it.
He added, “Lord, see how much better off I would have been if I had stayed where I was? And they wanted me to stay. The church board said, ‘Brother Hagin, if you’ll stay with us, we’ll just vote you in as pastor indefinitely. Just stay here till Jesus comes.'”
I said, “Now, Lord, I obeyed You. If You hadn’t spoken to me, I was perfectly satisfied from the natural standpoint to stay where I was.” I told the Lord, “I obeyed You. But now we’re living in a three-room apartment. My children are not adequately housed. They’re not adequately clothed. They’re not adequately fed. We’re sure not eating the good of the land.”
On the third day, God spoke to him in a still small voice. He said, “The reason you are not eating of the good of the land is because you don’t qualify”.
He replied, “What do you mean I don’t qualify, Lord. I obey you.”
Then, God said, ” You qualify on the obedience side but not on the willing side. So you don’t qualify. You obeyed me all right in leaving that church but you are not willing.”
After hearing this, the man of God made some adjustments in his spirits and became willing. Well, part of being willing and obedient means that one’s motives must be pure. If not, there is no way God can make one prosperous. It also involves getting one’s thinking straightened out.
His motives were pure but God still has to change his thinking. His thinking has to be stretched in line with the word of God.
As he continued to seek God concerning his finances, spending time in the Word with prayer and fasting, the Lord asked him to go back to the Book of beginnings. By that, God meant the Book of Genesis.
The Lord went on to tell him that He made the world and the fullness thereof. He created it. He said, “Then I created My man, Adam.” And the Lord saw that it was not good for man to be alone, so He created Eve.
The Lord said to them, “I give you dominion over all the works of My hands” (Gen. 1:26, 28). Over how much? Over all the works of His hands!
After the Lord showed him these scriptures in Psalm 50:10-12 and Genesis 1, He said, “There’s another scripture that says, ‘The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the Lord of hosts'” (Hag.2:8). He then said, “They’re all Mine, not because they’re in My possession, but because I created them.
“But who do you think I created the cattle upon a thousand hills for? Who do you think I created the silver and the gold for?
“Who do you think I created the world and the fullness thereof for? For the devil and his crowd? No. I made them for My man, Adam.
“But,” the Lord continued, “My people have wrong thinking.”
You see, the devil can run a nightclub, and he and his crowd don’t mind spending thousands of dollars to put up an electric sign to let everyone know what it is. But if someone puts up a nice sign for the church, there are people who will object to that.
How come the devil and his crowd have most of the silver and gold since the Lord made it for Adam? Did you ever wonder about that?
The Lord said, “The silver and gold are not all here for the devil and his crowd. I made it all for My man, Adam, but then he committed high treason against Me.
He surrendered it all to Satan.
When the Adam was created, He was in a sense the god of this world because God created the world and the fullness thereof and gave him dominion over it all (Gen. 1:26,28).
But we read Second Corinthians 4:4 that Satan is the god of this world. Well, Satan wasn’t the god of this world to begin with. So how did he become the god of this world? Adam committed treason and sold out to him.
From Luke 4:6 and 7, we know Adam turned his dominion over to Satan because Satan said to Jesus, “.
All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine.
Some people say, “Well, that wasn’t Satan’s to give.” But if it wasn’t Satan’s to give, then it wouldn’t be a temptation to Jesus. And if it wasn’t a temptation, then why does the Bible say he was tempted (Luke 4:2)?
It’s silly to think that Jesus wasn’t really tempted by the devil. We know that Jesus is deity, but we must also realize that in his humanity, he was tempted (Heb. 4:15). Satan showed Jesus the kingdoms of the world and their glory. He promised to deliver it to Jesus if he would worship him. The question is who gave it to Satan.
Well, Adam did!
The Lord told Kenneth Hagin all this and related it to faith for finances.
As he continued praying and waiting before God, The Lord told him, “The money you need is down there. It isn’t up here in Heaven. I don’t have any American dollars up here. I’m not going to rain any money down from Heaven because if I did, it would be counterfeit. And I’m not a counterfeiter.”
After the Lord had shown him this, He said, “Whatever you need, you just claim it.”
The reason we have the right to claim our needs met is because Jesus defeated the devil. So we must use our Christ-given authority to enforce Satan’s defeat and enjoy God’s blessing that we have in Christ, including financial prosperity.
When the Lord told him to claim the money he needed, he was telling me to believe and exercise spiritual authority in the area of finances.
The Lord had told him that the money he needed was not in heaven but on earth. God told him it was Satan who kept it from coming, not him. So God told him not to pray about money the way he had been praying. He told him to claim whatever he needed in Jesus name and then say, “Satan, get your hand off my money.” And then say, “Go ministering spirits and cause it to come”. This was way back in 1950. According to him, from that day, he had not prayed about money.