The Trinity of God is our perfect example of a threefold cord at work with supernatural power. He has created and prepared us for this kind of unity with others. Together, our strength and faith is multiplied with the same power that binds us to Him.
Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken. (Ecclesiastes 4:12)
I am always awed by the simple but powerful wisdom of our God. He has not only covered all the bases when it comes to every single possible human need, but He does it in an immensely practical way. Today’s verse highlights a wonderful truth that reveals an intrinsic human need and His perfect solution. The wisdom contained in the threefold cord is practical and covers both spiritual and emotional human need. It’s a vital truth that is outworked through different dynamics, each of which is a vital part of our lives as Christians. This truth manifests in relationships. It beautifully explains the necessity of our relationships with God and with others. He has created us to seek out the sure foundation of this truth. Within us all is a basic hunger for the security of the threefold cord in our lives.
The threefold cord in God.
Before we look at how the principle of the threefold cord operates in our lives, we need to look at God Himself for our perfect example. The dynamic interaction between Father, Son, and Spirit provides us with rich insight. From the very beginning, we see this in action in the process of creation – from the Father, through the Son, and by the Spirit. It’s a powerful truth that God does nothing ‘alone’ but always follows this dynamic. This is the very essence of ‘let us make’ revealed in Genesis. Even His ‘let there be’ was manifest through His spoken Word (the Son) and effected by the Spirit. At no point do we ever see Him or Jesus working independently from each other or the Spirit. It’s always a triune activity which manifests the Trinity. Father, Son, and Spirit are always and have always acted together.
This dynamic of a threefold cord still operates today. Of course, as God, today’s verse doesn’t apply in that nothing and no one can overpower Him. What’s important is that the Godhead provides us with a vital, living example of the perfect unity that exists in God’s threefold cord. A powerful supernatural energy is released when the three ‘cords’ work together in perfect unity to effect the divine will. It’s our ‘prototype’ and explanation of the vital relationship that enables us for victory and meets our need for unity. The key factor is unity. In the Trinity, Father, Son, and Spirit work together in perfect harmony. There is no competition and no separation. Their combined purpose results in combined commitment to the desired outcome. This is our pattern. Each has a role, and together, they manifest the supernatural purposes of God.
God and man in a threefold cord.
Our greatest privilege and blessing is that we are able to enter into relationship with God. While Father, Son, and Spirit technically operate in different ‘roles’ in our lives, they really are inseparable. Because they are one, when we commune with one, we commune with all. If we pray to Jesus, Father and Son are both present to effect their part. What this means is that we effectively become part of the threefold cord that binds the Godhead together. In Christ, we are joined in this divine trinity and the outworking of it is available in our lives. It’s an incredible thought that Jesus prayed that we could be ‘one’ as He and the Father are one. We perhaps underestimate the powerful truth of this. It’s far more than a warm and fuzzy sense of belonging and knowing God and His love and seeing the Trinity work together in our lives.
The dynamic truth we need to take hold of is that the power inherent in the divine threefold cord is now present in us. Not merely available to us but present in us. The perfect unity of Father, Son, and Spirit is operating within us to release the same supernatural power that resulted in creation. It’s perfect, it’s unbreakable, and it’s eternal. If we could only take hold of this truth, we’d discover that it’s transformational. Everything we do ‘in Christ’ is part of this perfect unity. It’s no longer about us but about who and what God is and what He purposes. At the cross, we exchange our weakness and frailty for the unified purpose and power of Father, Son, and Spirit. This is what it truly means to never stand alone if we stand in Christ. We are ‘bound’ to God through His own threefold supernatural cord.
A threefold cord among believers.
God never provides us with spiritual examples without practical relevance. While our relationship with Him always comes first, He knows that we are human and need tangible evidence. That evidence is provided through our relationships with others. His divine example is so that we learn to build unity with other believers. He reveals His love and care in tangible ways through others. Weaving a threefold cord with other believers is the natural outworking of relationships that release spiritual power through unity. This is the principle behind the vital truth that He releases a blessing when unity is present. It’s because unity is the mirror of His perfect Trinity relationship. A true threefold cord relationship is one in which each strand works together for divine purpose. There is no separation and no self-agenda. It’s a unity modelled on the Trinity and will always bring forth His blessings.
On a practical level, it releases in us a spiritual strength that would be impossible for us alone. God’s principle of multiplication underlies many other spiritual principles, and this is one of them. Unity at this level releases a multiplied, exponential power. This is because it’s divinely orchestrated and manifested. We can never weave a threefold cord in our own ability because it’s founded on sacrifice. True unity will always involve believer laying down self for a common purpose – the purpose of God. It’s about servant hearts who are willing to commit to one another so that they form a single cord, weaving their individual strengths into something that cannot be separated or broken. This is identification with Jesus to the point where we ‘lose’ ourselves and live united in Christ. Together, we manifest the nature of God and the power of the Trinity to achieve His purposes.
The practical outworking of a threefold cord.
A quick look at the animal kingdom provides us with a powerful example that highlights the necessity of unity. A predator always looks for the weakest prey. Those lame, ill, or isolated will always be brought down first. The lion works to separate the target from the collective strength of the herd. This is what Peter means when he writes of the enemy prowling around like a hungry lion. Alone, we really don’t stand a chance. We’re vulnerable, and our weaknesses make defeat inevitable. A single strand snaps easily under pressure, but a threefold strand contains exponential strength that enables far greater resistance. When we see that unity manifests the spiritual principle of multiplication, we understand how vital it is that we form these relationships with fellow believers. Together, we can supernaturally achieve what is not humanly possible.
There are promises contained in today’s verse that provide powerful assurance. Firstly, even a unity of two will enable us to stand. When we are united in faith and purpose, we need not fear being overpowered. Our individual strengths unite to exponentially counteract our weaknesses. But a threefold cord, He assures us, cannot be broken. This isn’t simply being able to withstand. It promises victory, the ability to overcome. The other side of the coin is that this isn’t possible alone. This is a truth to take hold of, because it’s the first step in our willingness to allow Him to bind us together with other believers. Unity is God-given. It’s not something we can create or build. It’s a supernatural relationship shaped by God Himself. We are simply the strands. He is the master weaver who shapes the threefold cords in our lives.
Created for a threefold cord.
Within each one of us is a hunger for this kind of relationship. It’s part of the hunger that stirs up a longing to be part of something greater than ourselves. The desire for love, friendship, and belonging is a very human manifestation of a deep-seated need to be part of a threefold cord. It leads us to God and to a hunger and thirst for real intimacy with Him. We are created to enter into this kind of commitment. Our spirits long for God and for others who are like-minded. This instinct is wired into us. The world interprets it as a need for belonging and leads those who don’t know God to choose acceptance, even if it means compromise. When we live in Jesus, however, it becomes a supernatural bond that lifts us beyond the world and into the realm of the purposes of God.
Self resists the weaving of a threefold cord, mainly because it demands surrender. This is a common source of conflict. Before salvation, we subscribed to the view of the world which places self and independence at a premium. The ‘all about me’ philosophy that drives the world defies the unity God has in mind. Servanthood is seen a sign of weakness. As a result, many believers struggle on alone when they could enjoy the supernatural victory readily available. We have a misconception that ‘my faith’ should be strong enough. The real truth is that alone, we simply cannot do it. Unity is about ‘our faith,’ a collective, multiplied faith that God uses to empower us when we stand together in Christ. The supernatural power of the threefold cord of God Himself comes into play when we allow Him to weave us together with others in His purposes.
Living as a threefold cord.
The beauty of the principle of a threefold cord is that God is the master-weaver. He already knows who we need and has raised them up. Our part is simply to be willing, to ask Him to weave us together with those He has prepared. As individuals, we all have strengths and weaknesses and our cord needs to provide a balance. Only He knows who has the right strengths to balance our frailties, and who also need our strengths to balance theirs. I know with absolute certainty that our God leaves nothing to chance. He knows what we need and has put everything in place since the beginning of time. It’s not so much seeking out our fellow strands as simply being willing to allow Him to weave. When we set self aside and desire His will, His perfect unity is outworked in us.
Lord, we surrender today to Your plan and purposes, secure in the knowledge that You desire that we stand strong and overcome. Thank You that You are the master-weaver and have handpicked the strands, ready to weave us together in perfect unity. Thank You for the awesome privilege of being part of Your divine threefold cord, forever bound in relationship with You, and for the supernatural power released in our lives through the outworking of Your unity us.