Note: This is the fifth in a series.
The Power of Agreement
You know that moment, after a tug-of-war between ideas or beliefs or lifestyles, when a point of agreement is discovered and you can feel a bit of pressure has been released from the room? It may only be one small detail, but a beam of light shines through that crack, a path forward is seen, and hope is restored. This is the power of agreement: It sets us in motion, in a specific direction.
Agreement in the natural things of life can seem elusive. We all come at situations from our own point of view, with our own experiences and biases. A passive, mental agreement isn’t so hard. We can agree how something should be. But to actually align to the point of change and perseverance — that’s not as easy. True agreement reduces the options and outcomes, so we often hesitate or avoid a real commitment without realizing.
It reminds me of the combination lock on my bike. I twist each gear until they all align and I’m able to remove the cable. If one number is slightly off, however, there’s not full agreement and the whole process is hampered. In the same way, progress in our daily life and our walk in the Kingdom of God is hampered when we come up against points of contention.
The Power of Purity in Agreement
As we’ve all experienced, not all agreement is good. Agreement with each other or with information can either be valuable, destructive, or benign. Only when we align with God is it pure.
It’s hard to comprehend what Adam and Eve experienced in the Garden. They lived in perfect agreement with God and each other, wholly enjoying each other’s presence and God’s provision. We don’t read of any contention, stress, or strife. Only after they questioned God and disobeyed His instructions did they find themselves wrestling with shame, guilt, and fear. Suddenly it made more sense to hide from God and blame each other.
When Adam and Eve agreed with Satan’s lie, they broke their alignment with their Creator and opened the door to death and darkness. In doubting God, they partnered with two lies that still stalk us today:
- “I have the right to _________.”
- “I’m right about _______, and I need to prove you wrong.”
Thus began the war for self — asserting, protecting, defending, promoting, and believing ourselves. Life became one big battle to defend our rights and prove our position. As we can see in the world around us, this leads only to spiritual, emotional, and physical death.
Not until Jesus was born would a human live in flawless agreement with God again. Not until His resurrection would the door be reopened for mankind to experience perfect intimacy and accord with our Father.
The Perfect Example
I’ve been reading the Gospels daily for the last six months. I’ve been asking Papa-God to show me more of what His Son was like and, honestly, I’m blown away. Jesus did not live by formulas in any sense. Every circumstance, every person was met with personal, specific, and usually unexpected actions that revealed His Father’s heart and character.
Sometimes Jesus would answer questions directly and other times indirectly. Sometimes He asked a question in response, and sometimes He gave no response at all. Every time He left those listening in awe as He unveiled the full and diverse wisdom of God.*
Over and over as I read, I pause and whisper, “How did You do it, Jesus? How could You do it so perfectly?” After listening to the Spirit, I see three distinct characteristics:
- Jesus knew His Father intimately.
- He trusted His Father exclusively.
- He surrendered His life fully.
Perfect Agreement Takes Full Surrender
We talked in an earlier post about how Jesus only did what He saw the Father doing, and only said what He heard the Father saying. It’s easy to gloss over these statements without taking in their fullness. Jesus’ level of surrender — in every thought, every action, and every moment of every day — is stunning. As a human, He was tempted in every way we are tempted and felt all of the emotions we feel.
- He interacted with rude and offensive people.
- He was surrounded by lies, deception, manipulation, and injustice.
- His true identity was not recognized or acknowledged
- He was constantly misunderstood and rejected.
- Shortcuts and outlets were offered for His flesh.
- Fame and position were promised for His taking.
Yet Jesus never wavered from the purity of agreement with His Father. Instead of declaring His rights and taking things into His own hands, Jesus took all of His thoughts, emotions, temptations, and battles to His Father. He chose to exchange them for His Father’s perspective. He chose the joy of partnering with His Father’s purposes over any temporary gain. This agreement is what made Jesus’ time on earth so powerful and effective.
A Choice of Agreement Every Day
Because of Jesus’ sacrifice and covenant, you can now walk again in that garden with your Creator. You can partner in His purposes and feast on His goodness. Ephesians 3:10 tells us that, as the Church, it is our destiny to unveil God’s wisdom, the same as Jesus. When I rest in that place of unity with God, I’m in awe, wondering how I could ever desire anything else. His love and grace flow freely and overwhelm me.
But staying in this place of agreement with God takes humility and honesty. Daily, I still have to fight back the lies of my old nature…
- “It’s ok to feel hurt when someone didn’t respond like I’d hoped.”
- “I have a right to get defensive if I’m misunderstood or misrepresented.”
- “It’s only natural to expect a person to fulfill my needs or desires.”
- “ After what they did, they don’t deserve my love.”
Every one of these conclusions points me back to death and darkness, and takes me out of agreement with God and my true identity in Christ. When I judge myself and others by my own measuring stick, I’m no longer releasing a pure flow of His wisdom and love. Instead, I’m agreeing with the stench of my old nature. Only when I take my thoughts, feelings, attitudes, and opinions to my Father and exchange them for His truth will I produce fruit that’s full of life.
Agreement with God sets us in motion to release His Kingdom. This alignment comes through surrender — exchanging self for truth. And like the gears in a lock, there are many areas in our lives to align. It’s a process and with each new alignment you’re able to receive and give the purity of God’s life in new degrees and measure.
If you find yourself frustrated or wrestling within, it may appear you’re just out of sorts with a particular person and their ideas. I’m learning more and more, however, my angst always reveals where I’m out of agreement with God. Growth and maturity is a constant exercise in realigning my beliefs and actions to a truer truth found in Jesus.
I’d love to hear your thoughts below. Please leave a comment and keep the conversation going!