Then the LORD answered me and said, "Record the vision and inscribe it on tablets, That the one who reads it may run. "For the vision is yet for the appointed time; It hastens toward the goal and it will not fail. Though it tarries, wait for it; For it will certainly come, it will not delay. (Hab. 2:2-3)
Last session we began looking at hope through the lens of vision. We realized that the vision we carry on the inside of ourselves about who we are affects what we have hope for. Mostly, we saw that the image we have of God affects the image we have of ourselves and the nature of our reality. Looking at Genesis, we saw that we are created in the image and likeness of God.
Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them; and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth."(Gen 1:26-28)
The key words here are “our image” and then “male and female” He created them. As we spoke about last time, this means to me that we are created in plurality. By that, I mean that our existence is created for completion through relationship. An anchor to this is the verse that states:
The LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him." (Gen 2:18)
Aloneness, which in Hebrew is the word “bod”, is the only declared “not goodness” by a God who is Himself the image of goodness. Our image created in God’s image that is good is described as male and female. Male and female represents the core vision of “echad”, or unity. We are created for unity and oneness. We only come into the hope and promise of our purpose in life through our relationship with others. This is called agreement in scripture.
The thing we need to remember is that agreement is a design issue. This means that even if we disagree, we are functioning according to our design, just out of alignment with that agreement. Look with me at Matthew 18:19-20
"Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven. "For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst."(Mat 18:19-20)
I know on the surface this sounds like a prayer guide because of the word “ask”. This is certainly true, but I want to look a little deeper into the nature of reality of this and the implications. If any 2 agree, it shall be done. In other words, agreement is a principle of spiritual and manifest reality.
The term, “it shall be done for them by my Father who is in heaven” is profound. Let’s unwrap that a bit. Agreement is such the image of God that it causes a heavenly alignment to that agreement. This is an image of God thing. Now that sounds powerful, doesn’t it? Well, I want you to consider that the principle has no morality involved. What do I mean? Well, I mean that whatever we agree upon is powerful in the heavenly realm. Why? Because it is the image of God.
Now, we might think this is about prayer meetings and gatherings. But I think it is more intimate than that. Let’s back up a few verses in Matthew 18:15-18
"If your brother sins, (breaks agreement) (isolates, and thus enters into “not good”) go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. (restored agreement) "But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that BY THE MOUTH OF TWO OR THREE WITNESSES EVERY FACT MAY BE CONFIRMED. "If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. "Truly I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven. (Mat 18:15-18)
Can you hear the plea for agreement? Yeshua is telling us how to handle disagreement which He is calling sin. The key element is how we listen to one another. If “he listens to you… you have won your brother”. Another way to say this is that if agreement is restored then all is as it should be. The binding and loosening in heaven are also all about the effect of agreement. Binding is the way of describing the restoration of agreement. Loosening is about the impact of lost agreement. I believe this is why sinners are called the “lost”.
Now we can take a step back and see how this relates to hope and vision. What determines our agreement is that we speak and hear the same things. Israel as a prototype group declared their prayers in unison:
"Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one! (Deu 6:4)
Notice the order. First, come into unity in your listening. Next, connect with heavenly authority. Finally, recognize that it works through “echad” or oneness. Israel was receiving this activation of hope as they were positioning themselves to come into their promised destiny:
"Now this is the commandment, the statutes and the judgments which the LORD your God has commanded me to teach you, that you might do them in the land where you are going over to possess it, so that you and your son and your grandson might fear the LORD your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments, which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged. "O Israel, you should listen and be careful to do it, that it may be well with you and that you may multiply greatly, just as the LORD, the God of your fathers, has promised you, in a land flowing with milk and honey. (Deu. 6:1-3)
This is the promise, the hope and 6:4 is the activation of unity through relationship, the power of agreement. In Jesus-speak, this is the binding process, the covenant oneness.
What I want to emphasize is that this reality of the Kingdom is at work whether it works positively towards our true destiny or negatively to “loosen us”, or keep us lost and wandering.
You see Israel wandered for 40 years also because of unity. It was the unity of unbelief from the 10 spies. (numbers 13, 14). God actually confirmed their unity in their unbelief:
'I, the LORD, have spoken, surely this I will do to all this evil congregation who are gathered together against Me. In this wilderness they shall be destroyed, and there they shall die.'"(Num 14:35).
This is also a binding.
I have noticed over the years that the design for agreement is built into people. It is the power behind the fear of rejection. We are created to be in relationship and we crave agreement. Whenever someone has a grievance with someone, they look for someone else to agree with them. This is the source of denominations and other divisions among the children of God.
What should be a power for good becomes a weapon against good. This is spelled out Proverbs 6:
There are six things which the LORD hates, Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, And hands that shed innocent blood, A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that run rapidly to evil, A false witness who utters lies, And one who spreads strife among brothers. (Pro 6:16-19)
You see it isn’t the strife that is the problem but the spreading of the strife, the misuse of agreement.
The apostle John explains it this way:
If someone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also. (1Jn 4:20-21)
This isn’t just a nice thought but actually a spiritual exercise and activation. We cannot claim to love God and cause division. Love is expressed in oneness. Satan is called the adversary because his primary strategy is to break unity and recreate a lesser unity through pain and deceit. We are vulnerable to this because we are designed for agreement!
He knows this and so all he needs to cause us to wander in the wilderness in our lives is to cause us to draw away from accountability and become a law unto ourselves. Then those we attract in our rebellion will give us a sense of comfort because they add agreement. One key symptom is when we begin to speak in lowered voices and keep things secret. This is the isolation that is the breeding ground for the deceiver and deception.
Where this becomes most evident in our attitudes towards authority. When we are secretive towards authority we are probably hiding our rebellion. What we don’t realize is that this steals our hope and our destiny. Now we will wander with those who are in agreement with us but we will lose our promised land.
Ask the Lord to show you when you have broken unity by your unwillingness to listen with an open heart. Maybe like Israel, you saw huge giants in the way and it seemed safer to stay put in the wilderness. Remember the key is what you listened to. Then, go and repent.
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