“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, NLT). 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 straightforward. 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 that what Jesus is saying here relates to what he said just prior to this statement. In verses 15 through 18, he addresses 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 people, plus 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 to which we’re trying to hold on. When we stand back to back with our counterpart, we can conquer the thing, thought or spirit that is attacking our faith. The rest of Ecclesiastes 4:12 goes on to say, “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 upon to come to pass. Let’s endeavor to come into agreement now and see the things of heaven begin to manifest in our world today!