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Headship and Responsibility (2 of 5)

Mike Connell

Now, Jesus became obedient or submitted Himself to the Father's plan; having a trust and confidence that God, the Father, had the very best plan for Him. When He did, when He co-operated, and laid His life down in service, loving service, God has lifted Him up and given Him a higher place. It was always part of the plan of God, that Jesus would be elevated to the highest place. He just called on Him, to submit to His way of getting there. Now He had two choices of how to get there. The devil offered Him the other choice: you fall down and worship me, I'll get You there right away. You can exalt Yourself. You can compromise. You can just go Your own way. You can either lift yourself up, or let God lift you up; but let God lift you up, it'll take you to the cross. You don't want that, that's painful. It doesn't sound very nice does it? It might be a bit of inconvenience and pain there, but if you just lift yourself up - that's the devil's talk. You lift yourself up. You get ahead, you go for it, you go for it, look after number one! No one else will look after your life. That's all the devil's talk.

God says: no, if you co-operate with Me, I'll lift you up. You can either lift yourself up, or let God lift you up. Jesus let God lift Him up. You can't get a higher place than He is now. So what did Jesus have in His heart? Well, He had in His heart, the church. He had in His heart, a body of people; and what was in His heart, was that He would lift the church up, and that by the church, to all the principalities or powers, we may know in the wisdom of God. His heart was to lift the church up, and bring it into a place where one day it would rule over all that He had. It would share in governing over all that He had. His plan for you and for me is that we be lifted up and exalted to a place of rulership, stewardship over everything He's created, to the point where even the angels are subject to us. How about that? How do we get there? That's the problem. You either lift yourself up, trying to get there; or you submit to God's way, and He'll lift you up. God's way always means that you recognise the headship of Jesus Christ, and you flow in harmony with His order in life, and you lay your life down to serve Him, and He lifts you up. That's how it works.

Now what did God have in mind for marriage? Well He had a marriage, and what He had in mind in marriage, and the way it would work, was this: exactly the same as the relationship between the Father and His Son, exactly the relationship between Jesus and the church. In fact the Bible says, that the way Jesus loved the church, husbands should love their wives. In fact it says: marriage is like Jesus and the church, in what way? Well this is the way; Jesus had in mind that the church, He would lift it up, elevated it up. He would love the church. He would serve. He would pour out His life. He would fulfil the will of the Father. He would accomplish all the purpose of the Father, and lift the church right up beside Him, into a place of great honour, great esteem, great glory, great value. The church, in turn, submits to Him; and allows Him to lift us up.

Now what He had in marriage in mind was this: that the husband, being the head of his wife, would love her, and would invest his life in her sacrificially as Jesus did for the church; that he would have in mind she would be lifted up, she would be esteemed, she would be valuable, she would come up right beside him in a place of great honour, alongside him, sharing all that he had, a partner that he had; brought up into that place because of his love, and his giving of himself to her. Her part, well she needs to recognise her role: that he is the leader, and co-operate, and not run an independent lifestyle; to flow with him in accepting God's purpose, a help made for him. That's how God's intended it. Of course you can understand, when you look at how God intended it, how much we've messed it up. It's been badly messed up, because people haven't understood. People have either - men have either neglected their leadership, or abused it; but Christ is the model and example. You follow Him, you see how to lead. Men are called to lead, look what the Bible tells us here. The man is the head of the woman. It makes it very, very clear.