Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Alignment of Heaven and Earth

Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. (Matthew 18:18)
God’s plan is for everything on earth to be brought into perfect alignment with heaven. In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth, He made man in His own image and according to His likeness. Then He blessed man — male and female — to be fruitful and multiply, to fill the earth and subdue it, to have dominion (Genesis 1:28).

The Hebrew word for “subdue” means to bring into subjection. The word for “have dominion” means to rule over, to bring under control. Both words speak of bringing the earth into alignment. Alignment with what? With heaven. Man was created to be like God and given dominion over the earth to bring it into line with the domain of heaven.

Of course, there was a major kink along the way, and that was when Adam decided to rebel and disconnect from the life of God. Jesus, eternal Son of God become flesh, came to restore us back to the Father and His purpose for us on earth — to bring it into line with heaven. Indeed, everything in heaven and earth is brought together in Jesus, the God-Man (Ephesians 1:10).

In Him, the kingdom of heaven comes near to us, and He has authorized us to live and act according to it. He teaches us to pray, in what is commonly known as the Lord’s Prayer, “Kingdom of God, come! Will of God, be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10, my paraphrase). He promises us, “Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven” (Matthew 18:18).

To “bind” something, in the Hebrew understanding of Jesus, means to forbid it. To “loose” something means to allow it. In the Greek text, “will be bound” is in the future perfect tense and literally means, “will have already been bound.” Likewise for “will be loosed.” Jesus gives us the authority to forbid on earth what has been forbidden in heaven and allow on earth what is allowed in heaven. In other words, we again have the power to bring earth into alignment with heaven.

We see this same authority reiterated a bit differently in the next verse: “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven” (Matthew 18:19). The Greek word for “agree” is symphoneo, which is where we get our English word, “symphony.” It is about accord, not discord. It is being in harmony. When we are in harmony with each other about anything on earth, it will be done for us by our Father in heaven. Notice again the connection between heaven and earth: When we agree on earth about anything, our Father in heaven will do it for us.

How can this be? Jesus tells us in the next verse: “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them” (Matthew 18:20). This is what qualifies us to walk in the promise of verses 18 and 19. It is all about Him. We do not have this authority of ourselves. It comes from Jesus. To gather in His name means that everything we do is about Him. We come together for His agenda, not our own. We act as He would act and ask as He would ask. Jesus is always in alignment with the Father, and when we fellowship with Him, we come to know the Father. Our hearts begin to beat with the rhythms of His heart, and in that is the power to change the world.

Faithpoint: As we fellowship together with the Lord Jesus Christ, in harmony with each other and our hearts beating with the passions of God, we are positioned and empowered to receive the promises of God, to change the world and bring earth into alignment with heaven.