The power of three
"Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken." -Ecclesiastes 4:12
I've only heard this verse referenced at weddings, so when one preacher began to talk about it during his sermon last Sunday, I was skeptical. By the end of his message though, the Holy Spirit had convicted my heart so much that I walked away with a whole new perspective on this threefold chord.
To overcome evil, and bring forth fruits of the Spirit, we must weave together three things into our lives every day:
- Do good.
It sounds so simple and looking at that list, most Christians can smile and nod, saying, "Why, yes, I do those things!" But, it's not about doing those things independently or even on a regular basis.
The key is equally weaving each one of those cords into the pattern of each day. The first half of Matthew chapter 6 outlines exactly how we're supposed to do each of these things, but they all have a common thread: "...and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly."
The point is... if you do one of these things, it won't be enough. Even a combination of the two won't withstand the temptations of this world.
I must do all three without ceasing, in the privacy of my heart, recognizing that all my Father requires of me is to walk before Him with a pure, humble and obedient heart.
Equally doesn't mean there is a formula though. Obviously I can't fast every day (a body can only go so many days without nutrition), but I can do it at least once a week... do it with so much love and humility as my daily prayers. Because I can fill each breathing moment with prayer and every hour with good deeds.
So, if you're finding yourself spiritually weak or confused today, weave this threefold cord. If you're petitioning God about a God-fearing husband, a job, your health or something else near your heart, then start each morning with a knot firmly bound in charitable deeds, prayer and fasting.
You don't need to seek prophets, self-help books or the advice of experts. You don't need to earn anything or do anything alone.
All you need is this threefold chord - braid and strengthen it in patience, love and humble obedience. Every. Single. Day. Open your heart and mind to simply wait and listen for an answer from above.
And it will come. He will grant the desires of your heart. It might not be what you expected or in the deadline you put before Him, but it will be magnificent in a way that exceeds all human expectations and dreams.