I also tell you this: If two of you agree down here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you. For where two or three gather together because they are mine, I am there among them. (Matthew 18:19-20)
There is power in agreement. Genesis 11 tells of a group of people who decided together to build a tower that reached to the skies. God took notice of what these people had agreed to do together. His response? “If they can accomplish this when they have just begun to take advantage of their common language and political unity, just think of what they will do later. Nothing will be impossible for them!” (v. 6). According to God, agreement makes the impossible possible.
In Matthew 18, Jesus says to his followers, “I also tell you this: If two of you agree down here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you” (v. 19). This is such a bold statement that we should look at a few different translations of this scripture. The NIV says, “Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven.” The Amplified Bible puts it this way – “Again I tell you, if two of you on earth agree (harmonize together, make a symphony together) about whatever [anything and everything] they may ask, it will come to pass and be done for them by My Father in heaven.” Wow! No matter what version you look at, it seems pretty straight forward. If you agree with another person here on earth concerning anything you’ve asked God for, he will do it for you.
The original Greek word used for “agree” in this scripture actually means to harmonize or to play the same tune. Agreement is about more than just the words we say. The hearts and desires of those agreeing must be aligned. Not only that, the context of the scripture leads us to believe there must be agreement with someone else. Do you see how the verse begins with “I also tell you this”? This indicates what Jesus is saying actually relates to what he said just prior to this statement. What was he talking about previously? In verses 15 through 18, he is addressing how to administratively handle matters of sin and disagreement within a body of believers. He’s getting to a core issue: God wants us to use agreement as a tool to cause the will of God to be manifest within his church. Whether the agreement is used to bring a sinning believer back to the truth of a matter or to bind certain behaviors or ways of thinking out of the community, Jesus is showing how agreement provides the power necessary to bring the order of heaven into the world. In this way, the statements Jesus makes tell us that power-filled agreement isn’t just about being in harmony with the other person, but is also contingent upon being in harmony with God and his will for the Kingdom and its manifestation here on earth. The power flowing out of agreement is, therefore, a three person event. Two persons and God agreeing for something to happen.
While the faith of one person can cause something to happen (see Matthew 9:29), there is something special about two people agreeing in faith. Ecclesiastes 4:12 says “A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer.” A person’s faith can be attacked and defeated. When our faith is attacked we can lose our faith and, with it, the very thing or outcome we were believing for. Coming into agreement with another person provides support for the faith point we’re trying to hold onto. We can stand back to back with our counterpart and we can conquer the thing, thought or spirit that is attacking our faith. The rest of Ecclesiastes 4:12 says, “Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.” When you bring God into the agreement you have in faith with another person, He can undergird the faith you have together. His Holy Spirit will testify to the truth you are standing on and he will provide the necessary power to persevere while you wait for the substance of the thing hoped for and agreed on to come to pass. Let’s endeavor to come into agreement today and see the things of heaven begin to manifest in our world today!
Today during your discussion time you’ll be crafting a Mission Statement – a statement that speaks to your purpose and your perspective on what God is calling you to do with your life. A Mission Statement will remind you of who you were made to be and it will help you to make decisions when priorities seem to be conflicting. It will dictate your direction going forward. During your activity time today, begin to journal about what you’ve learned about your purpose and calling over the last few days. What has God begun to highlight for you in terms of your strengths, weaknesses, giftings and desires? Write everything down. You’ll be vetting it out in the Discussion a little later.
The purpose of the discussion today is two-fold: (1) Finalize a Mission Statement of approximately 250 words that highlights what God made you to be and do, that will guide you in making decisions and give you direction going forward from today. If you are a couple, make a shared Mission Statement. (2) Think back to all the work you’ve done and discussions you’ve had over the past seven days. Is there anything you need to come into agreement about? Agreement is powerful! If there’s something you’re needing help on, get agreement on it. If there’s a faith point that’s faultering, get agreement on it. If there’s a procedural issue regarding budgeting or some other practical matter that needs to get worked out, get to agreement on it. Today is the day to talk things through until you are agreed. Make a note of the things you came into agreement on. Memorialize it!
The bible says if two people agree on earth on anything and ask the Lord, he will do it. Spend time today in prayer articulating to God the things you are agreeing on and asking him for. Apply your faith! Present your Mission Statement to God in agreement. Ask him if anything needs to be added, removed or changed in any way. If there are any points you couldn’t come to agreement on, ask God to mediate and bring you into agreement.