Mystery is essential to our existence.
We are designed to live by revelation. Our God is too great and marvelous for us to understand, and this is part of what draws us to Him. Revelation necessarily includes an element of mystery so that we dare not trust our ability to know and handle ultimate truth. We are compelled to activate the heart-mind, which by its very nature requires that we commit to God in unreserved dependence. The reason people avoid the heart-led way is because the heart always and forever is about having to trust someone else. You cannot activate the heart-mind without that.
The fundamental nature of the Fall was rejecting that total dependence on God and seizing moral independence. It is the ultimate act of arrogance and rebellion to trust the mind. The intellect is inherently full of itself, loudly proclaiming that it is fully competent to handle everything that matters to our human existence. The brain will shut out the message of the heart at every opportunity, trying to ignore the enthralling moral character of God. So the mind works through the emotions to develop a store of sentiment to displace the wonder and joy of the heart, and simply calls the reservoir of sentiment “the heart.” It’s a pitiful replacement. Never forget that the intellect is part of the fallen flesh.
It is frankly impossible to describe — to delineate boundaries and explain the nature of — faith and the restoration of our divine destiny. We are forced to use characterizations and imagery that never quite capture the essence of the thing. That’s because faith can reside only in the heart. Whatever it is in your head, it’s not faith; it’s the results of faith in your heart bringing moral purpose to the mind. Faith remains beyond the grasp of our understanding. Your mind is awed, standing in silent wonder at things it cannot handle. Your conscious self-awareness isn’t supposed to be confined to your brain.
The man who serves God stands within this glorious truth. He is first in awe himself. Then he senses the command from God to participate in making that glory shine. He can never escape the truth that he is nothing without that glory, but cannot escape the demand to be a mirror for it. He absolutely cannot absorb the blessings of that glory without obeying the command to take that glory into his world. He represents that power and glory because God Himself says He cannot come into this world without destroying it. He has chosen us to bear His glory for Him. And God alone knows why He has given one glory to males and another to females.
When a man reflects God’s glory, he leads like a shepherd. When a woman reflects God’s glory, she follows her man. Aside from noting “her man” is her father-figure until marriage, we establish that upon climbing into bed with any man, she has made him “her man,” her shepherd. If she dilutes that shepherd relationship by having more than one man, chaos enters her life. As hinted in the previous lesson, a woman might seek to engage multiple shepherds in other ways using social conventions to apply leverage to her husband, using secular law as a counter-shepherd, and using any number of other things to pollute the purity of marriage.
Ladies, your only recourse when your man seems to go off path is within a covenant community of faith. All other leverage is from Satan. Encourage your man to be the kind who builds a covenant community of shalom. The temptations to use invalid leverage are burned into a woman’s nature, a peculiar weakness arising from the Curse of the Fall. A part of redemption is you ladies recognizing that the one and only authority above your father/husband is God. This is the teaching about “covering” from God’s wrath so popular in churches these days.
A critical means for a man establishing his authority in holiness is to create an aura mystery and wonder borrowed from God. It’s rather like a glorious mantle, a uniform issued by God alone. By this the man represents God’s authority within his domain that he rules on God’s behalf. Men are required by God to come across as awesome, but in their own humble and unique way in Kingdom service. They are nothing without the uniform that God issues, and all that God has placed in His life along with that uniform.
Don’t confuse mystery with keeping secrets. A man of God may appear to be hiding things, but it’s not his hand that hides them. It’s that what makes the man so special is above the mind; it’s in the realm only the heart can touch.
Now, a woman of God is also mysterious in her own right, so there’s nothing “unfair” about this. Women cultivate their own brand of mystery to keep men interested; so it is with men drawing women. Ladies, be not dismayed when other women are drawn to your man. If he’s worth having, he will be faithful to you based on his faithfulness to God.
All of this belongs in the heart-realm of moral reality. The obsession with controlling things you cannot control is widely recognized as a sign of sickness. Learn to delight in the things that God does to surprise and delight His children. That includes making both husbands and wives a little mysterious to their spouses.
Men, put on that armor of God.