Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. Matthew 18:19
Can God really mean something like this? The only way we can grasp the meaning of a promise like this or any other is if we have real wisdom. For this, we are given another promise in Scripture:
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. James l:5
We need God's wisdom. We need to know what He wants of us personally. We need to grasp the meaning of His promises. So, ask Him just now:
Dear God, You say in James 1:5 that if a person lacks wisdom and asks You for it, You'll give it. We need wisdom now to study Your promises. We thank You for promising it to anyone, including us. Amen.
The reaction to God's powerful promises in Bible times was interesting. The people chosen by God to do something special for Him were people who chose to believe Him when He made a promise.
ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD HAD POWER
Abraham was promised that he would have many descendants. The promise came at a time when he and his wife were "too old;" she was past the child-bearing years. But Abraham chose to believe, because God had promised. God knew Abraham would believe Him. Abraham didn't know how, but he believed God would keep that promise. His descendants numbered in the millions! What happened was recorded centuries later in Scripture:
Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be. And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara's womb: He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. Romans 4:18-21
MOSES BELIEVED GOD DOESN'T LIE
Moses, the man God chose to record the early history of the world in Scripture, was a man who believed what God said and what He promised. God gave Moses a tremendous experience in leadership. Moses believed God's promises. In one of the inspired volumes that he wrote, Moses recorded God's message given through Balaam to a heathen prince:
God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good? Numbers 23:19
WHAT GOD SAID ABOUT HIMSELF
The very last book in the Old Testament of the Bible describes God with His own words:
For I am the LORD, I change not . . . Malachi 3:6
POWERFUL PROMISES FOR TODAY
God is dependable. He has power to keep His promises. He doesn't lie. He doesn't change. People chosen by God who accomplished something for Him chose to believe His promises!
But what does this have to do with me? Can powerful promises God made thousands of years ago to someone else really apply to me?
Again in Scripture, as we accept the powerful promise for wisdom, we find that God, through Christ, united us all in one family. God tells us that as He chose Abraham, so He has chosen every human being to be one with Him in receiving His promises.
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise. Galatians 3:28, 29
WE ARE ALL PART OF ONE FAMILY
Because of Christ, we are all part of God's chosen family if we choose to accept Him. As a bonus, we receive His powerful promises. A loving earthly father treats all his children impartially. The same principles used to deal with older children in a family are used with the younger - even when circumstances change. When the father is a loving person, he will deal fairly with his children. How much more with our loving, changeless God, Whom we can call "our Father." We can expect Him to act on the principles behind His promises to us because we are all part of His family united by Christ.
Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. John 15:16
We know we can ask an honest earthly father for anything he has promised us. In this verse, Christ said we could speak to our heavenly Father in the same way, because of Him. But was Christ really talking about you and me today?
DOES IT MEAN ME?
Here is what Christ said in prayer to His Father, God, just after He had been praying for His followers who were with Him at the time:
Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. John 17:20, 21
He was talking about us when He said, "them also which shall believe on me through their word." We can learn to believe in Christ through the message written by His followers and recorded in Scripture. God was a Father to them, just as He will be to us. Whatever we ask the Father in Jesus' name He will do, if He has promised it.
What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Romans 8:31, 32
WHY DID HE DO IT?
If He would give us His Son, He would probably give us anything. But why did He give us His Son?
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16
That kind of God, with that kind of love, sounds like a God we can trust.
ASK HIM / THANK HIM
Look again at that powerful promise of Matthew 18:19, recorded at the beginning of this study. Then, if we agree together to ask God for something He has promised, we can know we are receiving an answer because:
1. God has power.
2. God does not lie.
3. God does not change.
4. God loves us.
Therefore, we can thank Him right now in Jesus' name. He will answer, not because we feel something, but because He promised.
Together we can ask Him to keep any promise He has made. For example:
To meet our needs - Phillipians 4:19
To give us energy - Isaiah 40:29, 31
To give us a willing spirit - Phillipians 2:13
To protect us - Psalm 34:7
To give us sleep - Psalm 3:5
To guide us - Psalm 32:8
To bless the marriage relationship - Hebrews 13:4
To forgive our sins and cleanse us - 1 John 1:9
To teach our children and give us peace - lsaiah 54:13
Since it is a "together" promise, find someone to share the promise of Matthew 18:19 with you. Then, together, you could say to God:
Dear God, Jesus' words in Matthew 18: 19 tell us that if two of us would agree on a request for something You have promised, it will be done. We are asking You to keep the special promise You made, found in (mention text of any promise you 're claiming for a particular need). We believe You are doing this, and we thank you. We need to know more about You, Father, and more about Your Son, Jesus. Help us. Thank You, again. Amen.
If you don't have anyone to share this promise with, ask God to send someone to you. Pray with them for their specific need. They'll pray for yours. You may count us your prayer partners, too. if you wish. His promises are powerful, because of His love.
References in lesson text