Love is the Way to Victory
The Woman Who Said — ‘I Hate My Mother-in-Law’
by: Kenneth E. Hagin
My wife and I once held a meeting in the western part of the United States. A young couple who were in the ministry went out to eat with us after the service.
The woman said to me, “Brother Hagin, tonight you quoted the Scripture from First John 3:15: Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.'”
I said, “I sure did. I plead guilty.” When I quoted that verse, the Spirit of God inspired me to add, “That means mother-in-law too.”
She said, “But I hate my mother-in-law.” Here she was an ordained minister, and she said that she hated her mother-in-law!
I said, “If you do, the Bible says you’re a murderer, and you don’t have eternal life abiding in you. God wouldn’t tell you to love your brother — that means mother-in-law too — if it were impossible to do so.”
I knew she didn’t really hate her mother-in-law, but I wanted to get her located so she could see herself in the light of God’s Word. You see, just because 7 realized that she didn’t really hate her mother-in-law, that wouldn’t help her; I had to get her to see it.
Just because you see a spiritual truth, that won’t help the other fellow; he’s got to see it. And just because someone else sees a spiritual truth, that won’t help you; you have to see it.
I knew she was saved, filled with the Holy Ghost, and she loved God. But I knew she was letting her head get in the way, and she was letting her flesh dominate her.
So I said to her, “Look me in the eye and say, ‘I hate my mother-in-law,’ and at the same time check down in your spirit.”
The Bible didn’t say that the love of God is shed abroad in our head. It said God’s love is shed abroad in our heart or spirit. That’s why I told her to check down in her heart.
She looked across the table and said to me, “I hate my mother-in-law.”
I said, “When you said that, what happened in your spirit?”
She said, “There’s something in my spirit scratching me.
I said, “I know it. That’s the love of God in your spirit, trying to get your attention. The love of God is trying to constrain you so you’ll love like God loves.”
“What should I do?” she asked.
I said, “You’re going to have to act just like you would if you loved your mother-in-law because you really do love her! The way out of the situation is to walk in love even when your flesh doesn’t want to.
“Love is revealed in word and action, so you’re going to have to act like you love her because you really do.”
You see, walking in love means acting in love because the God-kind of love is not just a feeling, it’s a decision and an action. You’ve got to demonstrate that love. You can keep the love that is shed abroad in your heart captive and shut up in your heart by giving it no expression.
Well, how do you let the love of God out of your heart so you can express it? You let it out in action. You let it out in words. It’s the same way with faith because faith works by love. You can have a heart full of faith and die.
You can have a heart full of faith and never get an answer to prayer. You’ve got to get that faith out of your heart and into expression. You’ve got to get it working. How do you do that? Through actions and words. Love without expression or action will eventually dwindle and die.
It’s like the ole boy who wrote a love letter to his girlfriend, saying:
I’d climb the highest mountain for you! I’d wade the deepest river! I’d swim the largest ocean just for you. And if it doesn’t rain Saturday night, I’ll come to see you!
No, love is revealed in word and action!
I told this young minister’s wife, “If you really hate your mother-in-law, First John 3:15 says you are a murderer. I don’t believe you are a murderer because you are born again, and you have eternal life abiding in you. That means you have the love and the life of God abiding in you. But you have to act on that love and put it to work for you before it will become a reality in your life.”
This woman didn’t really hate her mother-in-law. But she made the mistake so many believers make. She was listening to her head rather than to her heart.
It absolutely astounds me the way some Christian people use the word “hate.” Many use the word “hate” too loosely. That word is not in my vocabulary. I don’t even like to say, “I hate spinach.” I may dislike some things, but I don’t even hate things, much less people.
But I’ve even heard Christians say, “I just hate ole So-and-so.” I thought to myself, Well, then, you ought to get saved!
I know they really don’t mean that; they’re just talking out of their head and letting their flesh dominate them. If they really did hate someone, then they’d be murderers in their heart, and they wouldn’t have eternal life.
Of course they were saved, but they kept the love that’s in their heart shut away in prison, so to speak. People who talk like that are carnal Christians who are allowing their natural mind and their flesh to dominate them. They’ll need to grow up and develop in love.
No, if people are born again, they don’t hate people. If they do, they don’t have the life and the love of God abiding in them. If they hate people, then in their heart, they are a murderer.
When believers say they hate someone, they just need to crucify the flesh and walk according to the love of God in their spirits. That isn’t always easy, and it doesn’t always feel good to the flesh. In fact, it’s hard on the flesh!
But that is why we need to get our minds renewed with the Word and let the love of God abide in us and be made manifest in us. We need to learn to respond to the love of God that already abides in us.
A few days later this woman invited my wife and me over to her house. She also invited her mother-in-law and her family. She came over to me and said, “You were right. I don’t hate my mother-in-law. These folks are Christians, and they love God.
“I was just operating in the natural, and I let my emotions get ahold of me. I let my natural reasoning and my flesh dominate me. The love of God is in my heart. I love them. They’re wonderful people and they love God.”
After talking to that young couple, we learned that they were trying to believe God for their little girl’s healing. Their youngest child had had epileptic seizures since she was two years old, and they had taken the child to a leading specialist.
The specialist had said, “This is the worst case of epilepsy I’ve seen in thirty-eight years of medical practice.”
Not only that, but the child seemed to be mentally retarded, and her coordination wasn’t right.
Some time later, this couple called me and asked me to come and pray for their child because she was having an epileptic attack. My wife and I got into the car to go to their house to pray, and just as real as though someone were sitting in the back seat, the Holy Spirit spoke to me.
Now I want you to listen very carefully to what I’m about to say because it can mean the difference between life and death. It can mean the difference between how long you live and whether or not you get healed.
The Holy Spirit said to me, “Don’t pray for the child. Don’t lay hands on the child. When you get there, say to the mother that I said, ‘Under the Old Covenant, I said to Israel, “Walk in My statutes and keep My commandments, do that which is right in My sight, and I’ll take sickness away from the midst of you, and the number of your days, you will fulfill.”‘”
Then the Holy Spirit said, “Paraphrasing that in New Testament language, I said, ‘A new commandment I give you that you love one another. By this shall all men know that you are My disciples, because you have love one toward another'” (John 13:34,35).
Of course, I knew what God said under the Old Covenant in Exodus chapter 23.
25 … ye shall serve the Lord your God, and he shall bless thy bread, and thy water; and I WILL
TAKE SICKNESS AWAY FROM THE MIDST OF THEE.
26 There shall nothing cast their young, nor be barren, in thy land: THE NUMBER OF THY DAYS I WILL FULFIL.
We could translate these verses in this way and do them no injustice: “Keep My commandment of love, and I will take sickness away from the midst of you, and the number of your days I will fulfill.”
Then the Holy Spirit said, “Say to the mother, ‘Tell Satan, “Satan, I’m walking in love now. Take your hands off of my child.” “‘
You see, there are times you shouldn’t lay hands on people for healing. In fact, if certain conditions are not met, you could lay hands on them until you wore every hair off their head, and they wouldn’t get a thing in the world out of it except a bald head.
Laying hands on people when they need to make an adjustment in their heart will only hinder their faith because nothing will happen.
We arrived at this couple’s house, and I told this mother exactly what God had instructed me to say. The mother pointed to her child who was having a seizure right then, and said, “Satan, I’m walking in love now. Take your hands off my child!” As fast as you could snap your fingers, the seizure stopped, and the child was normal. Every symptom instantly left that little girl!
You see, if you’re not walking in love, you won’t be able to do that. The devil will laugh at you the entire time you are rebuking him. Why? Because the Bible says to give the devil no place (Eph. 4:27). If you’re not walking in love, you’re giving the devil a place in your life. You’re opening the door to him.
But start walking in love and you will be walking in the Spirit. It doesn’t take long to get in the Spirit. Just repent and ask the Lord to forgive you for not walking in love. Then determine, “From this moment on, I’m going to walk in love.” Then you are in a position to put the devil in his place.
If Christians ever learned to really let the God-kind of love dominate them, you wouldn’t have to anoint them with oil to get them healed. You wouldn’t have to pray for them. They would get healed, and they could walk in divine health!
Where many Christians fail is that they allow unforgiveness to dominate them, and they fail to walk in love. Believers who are struggling with unforgiveness and lack of love are acting like carnal Christians.
One translation calls carnal Christians “body-ruled Christians.” Baby Christians are primarily body-ruled. If you are letting your body rule you, then your natural mind is ruling you. All your natural mind knows is what it has learned through the five physical senses.
When folks understand the biblical teachings on how to practice and develop the God-kind of love, they will grow and develop beyond the babyhood stage of Christianity.
When believers understand the benefits of walking in the God-kind of love, it will just change their lives.
Believers would have to go outside the church to find someone to pray for because everyone in the church would be healed!
Well, five years later these parents of this epileptic child visited one of our meetings in another state. By that time the child was eight years old. I asked them how their daughter was doing.
This couple told me, “She’s been in perfect health. In fact, she had the highest IQ of anyone in her school.”
I asked them, “In this five-year period, has she ever had any other symptoms?”
The mother said, “Twice there were some little symptoms that showed up.”
“What did you do?” I asked.
She said, “I just said, ‘Oh, no you don’t, Satan! I’m walking in love now.’ And our daughter was all right.”
That happened many years ago now, but then in 1991 these parents came to our annual Campmeeting. Of course, their daughter was a grown woman by then.
My wife and I talked to them and asked them how their daughter was doing. They said, “From that time to this, she’s never had another seizure.”
Someone said, “Oh, I wish I could get that to work for me.” You don’t get it to work by wishing. It works by walking in love — by acting on the God-kind of love. You’ve got to act on the Word of God and exercise the God-kind of love because faith works by love.
Someone said, “But I haven’t always walked in love.” That woman hadn’t either. But the minute she repented and began walking in love, she had a right to claim God’s promises.
The problem with most folks is that they dwell on the past. They focus on what they’ve done wrong, rather than on the mercy and forgiveness of God.
For example, they say, “But I did this and I did that. I just don’t deserve God’s forgiveness.” You can’t dwell on those areas where you’ve missed it. Just repent. Take God at His Word. God said, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). How much of our unrighteousness? All of it!
And if you know you are walking in love and Satan attacks you, your children, or your home, you can boldly say, “Satan, take your hands off my children because I’m walking in love. Satan, take your hands off me and off my home because I’m walking in love!”
And if you get out of the love walk, run as fast as you can and get back under the protective umbrella of love. The New Covenant belongs to you, so walk in love so you can prosper in every area of life. Walking in love will work for you just as much as it will for anyone. So learn to walk in love and reap the benefits that God’s love brings.