Divine order means Christ is coming forth in every member of the Body of Christ. We function in His Lordship and under His Lordship. It is not that He is Lord in heaven but that He is the Lord in us.
How can you know if you are in subjection to the Lordship of Jesus Christ? Well, I would ask a few questions: Do you find yourself hungering after Him with all your heart? Can’t get enough of Him in your life? The concept that the Lord is up in the heavens somewhere, is that concept eluding you and evaporating because you are aware of His life and presence in you? Do you find yourself thinking thoughts that you never thought of before? Are you becoming more aware of His presence and His life in you? If these things are true, then you are entering the divine order of His Lordship.
He is the Lord of all Christians, but that does not mean all Christians are under His Lordship. All are not in submission to His will. How can you know whether you are in subjection to His will or not? Well, do you find the Lord crossing your will in almost everything that you think and do? That is what happens when His will begins to come forth in your life. You find Him crossing your will, the things that you would do. So, I think we can easily see that to be in the divine order of His Lordship, where He is Lord in us and through us, is very different from the common expression of Jesus being Lord. It is important to understand the will of the Lord, and you will begin to understand His will when you are under His Lordship.
We are not to be drunk with the wine of the world or the wine of worldliness that causes one to be numb to God’s presence. It is a shame but many Christians today are numb to the presence of the Lord. They do not realize that He is here, and there are many who are not yet filled with the Spirit. There are many who are not involved in Ephesians 5:19: Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord. I dare say many would ask, “How do you do that? How do you speak to yourselves in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs? What does that mean? How is it done?” Well, when you are there, you won’t have to ask. It is something that just happens when you have brought your life in submission to God. Let’s continue in Ephesians 5.
Ephesians 5:20 Giving thanks always for all things…
That is not a common thing for all Christians, but those who are really under the Lordship of Jesus Christ and are in submission to Him are realizing that everything they go through is for their own benefit, for their own blessing, for their own spiritual growth. Therefore, whatever it is they can give thanks for it. They are recognizing that the Lord is coming forth in their lives.
Ephesians 5:21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.
In Revelation 19:10 John heard the voice of the Lord and fell down to worship. The voice said, “Don’t worship me. I am one of your brethren.” But Christ was in him and though He probably did not sound anything like John remembered, he recognized His Spirit in the words spoken and he fell down to worship. Why did John do that? Because he was in submission to His Lordship wherever He is found – to the voice of the Lord within you or to the voice of the Lord in someone else. When you come under His Lordship, then you become one who can hear His voice. It is just something that happens through your submission to His Lordship.
Then Paul begins to explain the divine order of the family.
Ephesians 5:22 Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as to the Lord.
Your submission to your husband should be identical to your submission to the Lord.
Ephesians 5:23-25 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is
the head of the church: and He is the Savior of the body.
24 Therefore as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their husbands in everything.
25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it.
Back in the 70’s, there were a number of churches that had decided that they were going to experience this kind of divine order in their homes. So the husbands started demanding that the wives be subject to them in all things. But it nearly tore up the church! This only works in the realm of submission to Christ’s Lordship. It does not work on a soul level. People are ordinarily soulish. Christians are soulish until the self-centeredness and selfishness has been erased from their lives. So the divine order that we find here for the family in Ephesians chapter 5 can only be experienced and realized among those who are in subjection to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
First, Paul says that the wife must be in submission to the husband in everything. Then in verse 25 he says, “Husbands love your wives even as Christ also loved the church.” Saying first the wife must be in subjection to the husband does not mean that is the first thing that happens. The husband, being the head of the family in divine order, is responsible for the divine order in the family. The husband who would set about to make his wife subjected to him in this way without him first being in the same submission to the Lordship of Jesus Christ will find it just won’t work.
How can a husband bring his wife into divine order as Paul speaks here? It happens when the husband loves his wife in the same way that Christ loves the church. In other words, when Christ is Lord in the husband, the wife will not have a difficult time submitting to the Lordship of Jesus Christ in him. But if Christ is not the Lord in the husband, it just will not work. What I want to point out is that the husband, being the head of the family, has the responsibility to bring his whole family into divine order and it is not done with a heavy hand.
How is it done? By loving his family in the same way that Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it. Did you catch that last part? Christ gave Himself for the church. Therefore, the husband gives himself for the family. What happens when he does that? Let’s look at verse 26.
Ephesians 5:26 That He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word.
The responsibility is upon the husband, even for the cleansing and sanctifying. You may say, “But only the Lord can cleanse and sanctify.” Yes, the Lord in the husband. God sets up divine order because He is determined that is the way it is going to work and we have to be obedient to the way He sets it up. Here it is in black and white. So the family is sanctified and cleansed with the washing of the water by the Word – the word that is flowing through the husband.
Ephesians 5:27 That He might present it to Himself a glorious church …
While all this responsibility is upon the husband, yet it is Christ who is doing the work. But He needs channels to flow through and that is what divine order is all about.
Ephesians 5:27 That He might present it to Himself a glorious church …that He might present the divine order among the many members of Christ to Himself a glorious church… not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
I remember in churches that I was involved in from the time that I became a Christian and didn’t know my right hand from my left or one foot from the other that we talked about this thing of becoming a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that it be holy and without blemish. How does that happen? It happens in the realm of divine order. It does not happen where everybody is doing their own thing. We have thousands upon thousands of churches that have set up the order or the system of their religious organization according to the dictates of what they want and things are not happening. Why is the church world today so impotent, not moving in the things that it should be? Because it is not in divine order!
Divine order is not something you can come into if you happen to like it. Divine order is a must, because Christ is not the Lord over you until you do. I would also add that this Bible, Old Testament and New Testament, is written for those who are under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. It is not written for just every Tom, Dick, and Harry. It is not written for just any Christian who feels like he can do things his way.
“I’ve got a right to do it just like I want to. I can be involved in any kind of religion. I can find one that I like and if I don’t find one I like I’ll begin another one.”
That is called rebellion – doing your own thing. It is sin! It is iniquity and it is an abomination to the Lord. What does the Lord like? He likes this divine order because this is the plan He set up. He loves the church and He wants to present it to Himself a glorious church! Not all spotted up and wrinkled or any such thing; He wants it to be holy and without blemish.
Ephesians 5:28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loves his wife loves himself.
What is happening in this divine order? The husband and the wife become one. I don’t know how many brothers I have met through the years that want a ministry but they do not have a oneness with their wives. It is impossible, because if the oneness between the husband and the wife is not there, then there is no ministry because true ministry operates only in divine order.
“Well, there are a lot of people out there involved in ministry.”
I am talking about ministry that works. I’m talking about ministry that God is pleased with. There is a difference. If the husband and wife are not one in this divine order, there will be no ministry. That is why I say over and over again ministry begins in the family. Your relationship with your wife, your wife’s relationship with you, the oneness that is created under His Lordship, the oneness that comes with the children is all very, very important. It is through this divine order and through this oneness that the church will be presented unto the Lord as a glorious church without spot, without wrinkle or any such thing but holy and without blemish. Therefore, men ought to love their wives as their own bodies.
Why does it say men ought to love their wives? Because it does not happen without that. The husband loves his wife. That creates her. I dare say that the majority of husbands have no more earthly idea what the wife is supposed to be in God than anything, and the wife has no revelation of what her husband is supposed to be in the Lord. Do you see what I am talking about?
“Well, how do we get this revelation?”
You get the revelation by setting aside selfishness, self-centeredness, and bring yourself under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, into this realm where divine order is working and the Lordship of Jesus Christ is present. That is how it happens.
So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loves his wife loves himself. Why? Because they have become one.
Ephesians 5:29-30 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourishes and
cherishes it, even as the Lord the church:
30 For we are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones.
Now here’s another thing. How many Christians when they think of the Lord Jesus Christ think of Jesus the Nazarene, the man, and He happens to be gone right now but one day He is coming back? That is not the revelation of His Lordship. That is not the realm of divine order or the realm of His Lordship. We are members of His body and His body is here on earth. Guess what? His head is attached to His body, His Lordship. You see, we are talking about a different realm, a different revelation, a different understanding of what it means for Christ to be Lord. For us to run around doing our own thing and calling Him “Lord” doesn’t work and you will never be successful in a walk with God like that.
Ephesians 5:30-33 For we are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His
31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they shall two shall be one flesh.
32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.
A revelation of the Lord will enable you to see your wife as the Lord says she is, and the reverence that the wife has for her husband will enable her to see her husband as the Lord says he is. This is what is created in divine order. Now, beginning with chapter 6 Paul continues on by talking about divine order for the whole family and how the children should obey their parents. They should honor their father and their mother. Do you think it would be anywhere close to accurate to say that the majority of Christians today are having trouble with their children, with their kids? Rebellious, out of order, bucking everything that their family says they should do? What is the answer? The answer is for the husband to enter into a submissive relationship to the Lord so the Lord can be the Lord in him and through him. The wife in her submission to the Lord and to the husband creates a oneness. Out of that you will begin to see God functioning in that family in such a way as to create the children into what they should be. It begins with the husband, the father.
Now, you husbands and fathers, if that don’t shake you up, it shakes me up. It makes me realize the responsibility I have, because if I’m not in submission to the Lordship of Jesus Christ how in the world can I expect my wife or my children to be? It begins with the husband.
Copyright © 2010 by Henry DuBose