Pattern of Three

1 Corinthians 1.5
1 Thessalonians 1.5
James 4

God is the creator of order and whenever you find a pattern in Scripture, you may trust that He will use that pattern consistently. This is a tremendous help in the study of His word, leading to deeper understanding of His character and giving insights into His will.

The first and most fundamental pattern is what I call the 'pattern of three'. (I'm not being redundant here, it occurs first in Scripture and is fundamental to the way that He made the universe and is fundamental to our purpose in it.) Examples of this pattern abound: God, Spirit and Word; Body, Soul and Spirit; Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; the kingdom, the power and the glory; power, love and a sound mind; the wilderness, the promised land and the diaspora; to list just a few. Each member of each triplet fits consistently into the original pattern.

To start, let's consider the Messiah. His ministry began with a mikvah after which the Holy Spirit descended upon Him.(Matt 3:16) During that ministry, he professed to do only the will of the Father (John 5:19) and whatever miracles he did were by the power of the Holy Spirit (Luke 4, Rom 1:4). Finally, He assured us that, '...he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do...'(John 14:12)

So, pilgrim, how many blind eyes have you opened? How many lame now walk because of you? Raised anybody from the dead lately? If you're typical, your answers would be, 'None, none and no.' So what's the problem? The gospel is intended to be accompanied by physical demonstrations of power.(1 Thes 1:5, 1 Cor 4:19) Why is that not the case in most churches and synagogues?

I believe that the problem is that we've lost track of our place in the pattern of three. Let's look at the Messiah again. He did only the will of the Father by the power of the Holy Spirit. In engineering terms, He served as a connector and switch for the power of the Holy Spirit to bring the will of the Father into existence. We are supposed to do the same thing.

You are the only creature that is designed to operate both in the spiritual and in the physical. Your God given function is to give His will physical expression; you are to 'tend the garden'. Well, assuming that's what we're supposed to do, and assuming we want to do it, why are we not more successful?

There are three major reasons for our lack of success.

  • Ignorance: Most believers have no idea what the will of God is in any given situation. They have simply not spent the time in study and prayer required to get their wills aligned with the Father's. Prayer and speech contrary to the Father's will does not move the Holy Spirit.(Jas 4)
  • Sin: Sometimes we know God's will in a given situation, but we just don't want to do it.(1 Sam 15) Here we function as a switch for the power of God. The conductor is sound, but the switch is turned off. The power of God will not flow through you unless you allow it to.
  • Interference: The Adversary seeks to confuse and to hijack us to do his own will instead of the will of the Father. For example, the adversary has convinced a number of denominations that signs and wonders are not for today; he has convinced others that parts of His word are no longer valid and, to the extent that we are sinful, he gains access to and influence over us.

The Messiah had none of these problems. Hence, He was almost always able to show the power of God (the exceptions are a subject for another time). In His life we see what is possible for the man who is full of the Holy Spirit and perfectly aligned with the will of God. For us, His example and the list of problems shown above points the way to the solution. God wants us to proclaim His good news with accompanying demonstrations of power. To do that we must get our lives aligned with His word. Then our prayers and proclamations will have power.