I often mention that reading God’s Word, the Bible, is essential to our spirits’ lives. But what makes all the difference is how we read. Most people read the Bible like they would another book; a text book, a historical book, or a guide for good living and miss the whole point.
God tells us He is our husband, so that is how we are supposed to relate to Him. He desires not that we know about Him, but that we intimately know Him. To talk to Him like a spouse, to spend time with Him one-on-one on a regular basis, to listen to His words, and to put our focus on Him. He created the Bible to foster this intimacy with us.
For years, I read the Bible like a book. I believed they were His words, but I didn’t understand what I want to share with you today – that it is about a fostering a relationship not reading a book. Because of my lack of understanding, I couldn’t stay focused or disciplined in my reading. It would often be dry, I wouldn’t get much out of it, most of it didn’t seem to relate to me and parts were boring and confusing. So, I rarely read, read in spurts, and preferred listening to someone else talk about Him instead of going to Him. I knew I should read, but just couldn’t seem to fly solo.
After hitting yet another low point in my life, I made a commitment to read a chapter a day regardless of how I felt (that was key to getting started). After that commitment, God showed me how I was approaching it wrong in three main ways; my motive, our relationship and His role. From then on everything changed; I mean everything – my entire existence because I started to abide in His presence.
My motive. Every time I sat down to read, it had always been about me; what I got out of it, if I felt encouraged, inspired, connected to God, if He answered my questions and prayers to be healed, restored, and feel His presence.
God told me – what if you treated your husband that way? What if it was always about you? What kind of intimacy would you have? Intimacy takes two. Your motive when you come to My Word should be to learn about Me, to get to know Me. That fosters intimacy. Stop making it about you. Make it about Me and I will take care of you.
He started to reveal Himself to me in ways I had never known despite the years I spent in church and Bible studies.
Our relationship. I use to approach reading the Bible like reading a book, after all it is a book, right?
God told me – You say you love Me, but you don’t spend time with me like you love Me. I am no longer a flesh man, the flesh is gone. I am Spirit and that is how you are to know Me. 2 Corin. 5: 16 My Spirit is in the Bible like it was in the flesh man, Jesus. The word became flesh and dwelt among us. John 1:14 If Jesus, the flesh body, was here what would you do? Would you spend time with Him? Would you want to talk to Him one-on-one? He is here.
I was no longer sitting down to read a guide for good living, I was sitting down with my God and talking with Him, listening to Him, hearing His heart, will, and desires. I was cultivating a relationship.
His role. I had depended on others to teach me about God. I thought I couldn’t glean what they could from the Word, so I didn’t. I figured it wasn’t my gift. It was easier listening to others’ words, ideas, and interpretations than weeding through all those chapters by myself. I thought it was one in the same.
God told me – What if you always went to your husband’s friends and family to learn about him? They may repeat things he said, talk about things he had done, but how well would you know him? What kind of intimacy would you have with him? This is how you are acting toward Me when you rely on others to teach you about Me. I gave you My Spirit so you can understand all I have to tell you. 1 John 2:27, Hebrews 5:12 Teachers are to teach others to teach themselves, not spoon-feed them. 2 Timothy 2:24 I want you to come directly to Me because that requires a seeking heart, trust and dependency on Me and those things foster the depth of intimacy I desire with you. I will teach you about Me, trust Me. If you continue to rely on others there is only so close we can be.
My mind being renewed in these three ways altered my time with God. My relationship with Him started to become what I always desired thus true life followed. I won’t mislead you, knowing Him takes time, years, just like it does in other relationships. It was years of spending time before I felt true intimacy with Him, where I felt I was abiding in His presence. But God gave us His Word and His Spirit so we could know Him, be one with Him in will, purpose, and desire and abide in true love and truth. If we draw near to Him, He will draw near to us.
The relationship between a woman and a man symbolizes the relationship between the church (true body of believers) and Christ. The first is designed to teach us about the second. It illustrates in a physical context the spiritual aspects of our relationship with Christ like unity and oneness, different yet complementary roles, respect, love, mercy, and so on. Ephesians 5:23
I have been seeking the underling truth of 1 Corinthians 11, specifically verse 10 for some time. I feel like I am finally getting somewhere, thanks to the Spirit of course. To understand any of that chapter, you have to replace women with church and men with Christ. So before I jump to the verse in question, vs 10, I am going to work through a couple of verses so you can see how I ended up where I did with that particular verse.
In verse 3 we learn the head of a woman is man and the head of a man is Christ – decoding it we learn the head or authority of the church is Christ.
In verse 4-7, a woman’s head being covered symbolizes the church being covered in Christ’s righteousness. A man’s head, which represents Christ, isn’t covered because Christ is righteousness.
In verse 7, you can now understand why women are the glory of man because they represent the church and why men are the glory of God because they represent Christ. See how this works? You have to use the symbolism to unlock the spiritual truths.
Then we come to verse 10. What confused me for years was the statement, because of the angels. It seemed to come out of nowhere and not make much sense. Why do women or the church need an authority (Christ) over her because of the angels who are God’s messengers and ministers in the spiritual realm?
1 Corinthians 11:10 For this cause ought the woman to have power (authority) on her head because of the angels.
Looking at other verses that talk about angels, we learn that their role is to carry out God’s work. They are the reapers, the ones who gather the elect, and carry out God’s plans of judgment and deliverance.
Matthew 13:39 The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.
Matthew 13:41 The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;
Matthew 24:31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
When the angels do their work like gather the elect, how do they know who to gather? They know by the authority on their heads, in other words, those who have Christ as their Lord. This idea of having an authority on the head is similar to being sealed that is talked about in The Revelation Chapter 7. Sealing is simply instilling the truth in someone’s mind determining what they believe. Sealing the tribes is showing them the truth so that they believe in Christ as their Lord and Savior. Once they are sealed they are covered in Christ’s righteousness they are saved from God’s wrath, which is administered by the angels. Sealing, marking, and having an authority on our heads all share a similar meaning.
The way the angels are going to know to gather you to Christ is if He is your Lord. Therefore the women (church) require an authority (Christ as Lord) on her head so that when the time comes the angels will gather them to Christ.
Now there are probably more layers of truth to this passage, but I think this is one.