"...Let Her Be Veiled."

Chapter 6

Covering Some Basic Issues

by Timothy Heaps

Permit me to speak subjectively of the things of God; spiritual authority, men and women relations, and head covering. You see, in my own simple way, God has more often revealed Himself, or something of His character, long before He gave me understanding of the how, what, and why; not always, just most of the time.

Before I met the Lord, like most, I had bought into the ways of the world. Foremost in this "package deal" was the distorted concept of the equality of the sexes. It is all around us, mostly exalting women and debasing men. This is not to say that we (men and women) didn't deserve it or have it coming to us. It's just that since the world does not know the Lord, this wasn't the true spiritual equality through grace spoken of in Gal.3:28, but instead, the denial of God's government; His order in the universe, if you will (Rom.1:25). I suppose it was my reaction in attempting to make two wrongs equal one right.

With this reaction, and without the blessing of God upon me, I was rather weak; spiritually impotent would be more honest. But then I had an unwritten agreement with my wife that I could pretend to be the head of the house while I relied on her feminine strengths in the area of intuition and "spiritual things". I didn't like it, but then I had to be honest—I definitely lacked God's power and she had a measure of it. And besides, as if in reaction to the male chauvinism of the past generation, this appeared much more honorable and "equal to both of us; and of course, it was applauded by most of our "liberated" peers.

This seemed to work well (?) for awhile; that is, until we had an encounter with Jesus Christ. Then gently, but suddenly, things began to change. Sensitivities and perceptions into spiritual things began to develop in me, and much to our surprise, this happened by a sovereign act of the Holy Spirit—not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit saith the Lord (Zech. 4:6). Now, as if this weren't enough, it clearly appeared to both of us that gifts, strengths, and spiritual receptivities were on the wane in my wife. It was as if the Lord was testifying to us both of His government, His ways, and His order of things, calling her to lay things down and me to pick them up. I might add that this arrangement did not decrease my wife's spirituality, but in fact, increased its usefulness.

Since that process began years ago, the Lord has continued to work in the same way. While it appears to happen as a sovereign, miraculous act of God, I know it is invited in by our obedience to His government and order. 1 Samuel 26:23 states the principle; "May the Lord repay every man for his righteousness and his faithfulness." His transformation of us begins with our submission to His ways, by our being not conformed to this world but by being transformed by the renewing of our minds (Rom. 12:2; 2 Cor. 3:16-18). This transformation begins on the day of our salvation and must continue as we die daily to "the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life." (1 John 2:16). I've heard it said that the Holy Spirit is a gentleman and that He'll never push His way into our lives, but must be invited in. Our lives, like the wine containers at the wedding feast, must be emptied before He can do a miracle in us. It really is quite simple—the more we die to self, the more He will live in us.

Moravian women at worship In the same way in which we view the relationship of Christ, man, and woman (1 Cor. 11), we will then bear one another's burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ. Once again, it is in the form of a life poured out for Him. As woman submits to man, and man loves his wife (Eph. 5), this is a testimony of obedience to God's government, and in that we are both able to honor God and be blessed. This is the order of creation established from the beginning (Gen. 2). Only when Eve was deceived (1 Tim. 2:14) and did not submit in this fashion was the serpent able to sneak in. She stepped outside of her covering and provision in God. Should we not all fear both God and Satan when we act in such a manner? Rather than resisting God's way, we must search diligently how we might submit to God and resist the devil (Jam. 4:7). Shouldn't we rush headlong into the ways in which we might lose our lives rather than be preoccupied with saving them (Mat. 10:39)?

One such way in which we have recently been convicted by the Holy Spirit relates to the woman's head covering. This speaks of obedience and dying to self, and not to a mere legal requirement; it is an issue of obedience to God, and not man. For the woman is not only covering her glory to reveal Christ's, and submitting to man, but is also testifying to the angels of her obedience (1 Cor. 11: 10). Considering our past history and relationships, this was a necessary testimony of commitment to God (and His angelic hosts) and of our understanding and obedience to this most basic aspect of His government.

While initially many questions and struggles arose (mostly from the flesh), it was rather simply and supernaturally a next step in the transformation into His image that we have been called to from the beginning. In a sense, it represented a completion for us, a graduation, thus freeing us to better humbly serve and obey so that the Lord might be able to use us and reveal even more to us (John 16:12). I shudder to think how long we tarried on this one principle, but thank God for His long-suffering for us. How often the Lord longs for our faithfulness in small things that He might say; "Well done good and faithful servant: you were faithful over a few things: I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the Joy of the Lord." (Matt.25:21). As Watchman Nee concluded when speaking on this subject; "Head covering in itself is a small matter, but it constitutes a very great testimony." So be it!

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