The 3-7-12 Principle (Part 1 of 4)

(Blogger’s Note: This is the first in a series of four posts outlining the 3-7-12 Principle in my upcoming book: “Light Wins! …and the darkness is defeated forever…”)

John Maxwell has his 21 Irrefutable Laws; Rick Warren has his 40 Days of Purpose; and Stephen Covey has his 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

So, as we say down here in Arkansas … we’re already walking in some pretty tall cotton.

From the first printing of God‘s Word there’s been an interesting and ongoing dialogue about the significance, or lack thereof, of  the symbolism of biblical numbers. Could it be pure coincidence that we see the repeating theme of numbers throughout both the Old and New Testaments? I’m a believer that there’s not a single coincidental word in the Bible and so as a reader and a writer, I must conclude God desires that we delve into the meaning of these numbers for a greater understanding of his Holy Spirit as it lives in each and every Believer.

I’m no Robert Langston (the symbologist portrayed in Dan Brown‘s “The DaVinci Code“) … oh, but to be as suave and debonair as the character Tom Hanks portrayed in that series … but it seems the significance of certain numbers in the Bible, simply cannot be denied.

The writing process is one that comes with great learning. As we seek to learn about other things, we, in the process, also learn much about ourselves. And so the fascination of a writer’s journey is compounded with certain revelations.

I’ve noticed (with the help of others) that my own particular writing style is relatively metaphorical in nature, and that I subconsciously use numbers as an expression of those metaphors … particularly the numbers 3, 7 and 12. Those who write with a metaphorical tone are in good company, I’d say. The parables Jesus related throughout the New Testament were the ultimate, and most profound metaphors.

For now, let’s take a look at the Biblical significance of the number “3,” mentioned exactly 523 times in Scripture Some quick facts and observations:

  • Three attributes of God: omniscience, omnipresence, omnipotence.
  • Three crosses at Christ’s crucifixion.
  • Jesus was resurrected on the third day.
  • Jesus ran with a group of 12, but His inner circle consisted of three.
  • At 120 years old, Moses’ life was divided into three distinct periods of 40 each.
  • Three is God’s numerical “signature.”
  • The Godhead consists of three. Add up the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and you get “three.” But multiply 1 exponentially by three, and you still get “one.” 
  • Our earthly lives consist of three phases: Birth, Life, Death.
  • The Ark of the Covenant contained three sacred objects.
  • Holy, Holy, Holy.
  • It was in Genesis 1:3 when God spoke Light into being, eliminating the darkness forevermore.
  • “And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A chord of three strands is not quickly torn apart.” Ecclesiastes 4:12

And the list could go on and on…

There is power in the perfection of three. There is holiness and grace in the promise of three.

And there are principles we can follow in the priority of three.

(Next Post: “The Promise of Seven.”)

Intentional Stress

My book editor, Bradley Harris - stretchmaster.

Without even knowing it, I’ve created intentional stress in my life … and those who are doing the pushing and pulling tell me it’s a good thing.

That’s easy for them to say.

I’m trying so hard these days to keep focused on what’s important: Study of the Word; using my gifts for a higher purpose; family; health; business; personal time; and investing financially in the future.

It’s time to forget the Harley Davidson, the dream of being a BBQ grillmaster and making a fortune …for now.

For now, it’s time to stay focused on what’s important, the theory being that all of the above may come later.

Earlier this week, I had my first meeting with my career/spiritual coach, Dick Savidge of Ministry Coaching International. His number-one job is to keep me focused on these things. Keep me disciplined. Keep me harnessed. Reign me in from the tasty distractions that satisfy my fleshly appetite. Oh, the mouth-watering hunger…

Then there’s my book editor, Bradley Harris, a Canadian born, expatriate, now living in the Deep South of Memphis, TN, who informs me now that his job is to stretch me, take me beyond what I might imagine and savor all the possibilities.

Then, there are my respected bosses and colleagues at my day job who envision a new product line, and want me on the front line of sales to make it happen. They don’t express it as sink or swim, but if you’re a guy like me, my self-imposed nature sure makes it feel that way.

So I pointed out to Brad yesterday “…you guys are pulling me in half a dozen different directions, when what I’m looking for is FOCUS.”

“So?” he responds.

He says it’s a good thing.

Have you ever bent an iron bar, or even a coat hanger back and forth. When bent back and forth, to and fro, the properties of certain metals have a tendency to heat up as the molecules become more and more active.

And you know what eventually happens as the bending and stretching continues? It breaks.

Lord, don’t let me break. I asked for the tension and the stress and you handed it to me on a silver platter.

You know what You’re doing. I sure hope I do.

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