Derek Prince - Is Jesus Your Head?
This is an excerpt from: The Headship of Jesus - Part 1
On the other hand, look for a moment in Philippians 2:16. I'm only going to read the latter part of the verse. Paul says: that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain or labored in vain. Dearly beloved, I want to suggest to you if you are doing your own thing and working on your own plans and your own projects, in that day I'm very sorry to tell you you'll discover that you've labored in vain and run in vain. I'm probably nearer to eternity than most of you here. And for me this is a very serious matter. I've devoted nearly 50 years of my life to serving the Lord, and I don't want to end up with a zero when I stand in front of God. Paul warned us you can pile up material: wood, hay, stubble; but there's coming a fire that will consume it in an instant. You'll be saved.
I think the New International Version says 'like a soul escaping through the flames.' But all your works will be burned up. It is my personal conviction everything that God has not initiated will be burned up because it's contrary to the principles that He's laid down, the principle of headship. In my loving and gracious way let me ask you a few probing questions to round this off. Let's make some personal application. I think I mentioned before for five years I trained teachers in Africa for African primary and intermediate schools. They had to make a lesson plan on certain stages. But the end was application. Check that the children have really learned the lesson. I can remember so many of them. My poor student teachers, they failed on the application. Just forgive me for a moment, it's so vivid to me.
I remember a young man, he was teaching a lesson on sanitation to give it a very respectable title. Or, as they call it, the Kenya long drop. And he had a beautiful lesson plan, and wonderful diagrams on the board! When he finished he stood there with his arms folded waiting for me to approve. I tiptoed around the class and I looked at what the children had got in their exercise books, it didn't have any relationship to what he had on the board. So I had to deflate him and say: you taught all right but they learned nothing. So, let's have the application, shall we, for a little while. I'm going to ask you a series of questions. How much has God really initiated in your individual life? Just mentally run over the things you're involved in right now, the things you're giving your time, and strength and ability to. And say has God initiated those?
Let me give you a thought from Psalm 1. Many of you are familiar with the beautiful words of Psalm 1. Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stand in the way of sinners, not sit in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth his fruit in season; his leaf will not wither, and [listen] whatever he does will prosper. That's a unconditional promise of success. You've got to measure success by Bible standards, not contemporary American culture.
Success is not necessarily driving a Cadillac or a Mercedes. There's a much higher level of success than that. Rightly understood, God promises success to a person who meets certain conditions which are stated. There are three negative conditions and two positive. The negative conditions are not walk in the counsel of the ungodly, not stand in the way of sinners, and not sit in the seat of the scornful. The positive ones are delight in the law of the Lord, meditate in His law day and night. And God says the person who does that will succeed. In the deepest and truest sense, when he stands before Jesus in eternity he will not have a lot of wood, hay and straw to be burned up. I want to point out to you the key, the thing where it all begins is where do you get your counsel from? Because you cannot get your counsel from the wrong source and prosper.
So, where do you get your counsel, your advice, your direction from? You realize that you have right of access to your head who is called the wonderful counselor. Are you availing yourself? You know in the business world people pay very large sums of money for letters from, quote, experts telling you where to invest. Well, what about consulting the real expert? What about getting your counsel from the wonderful counselor? It's going to demand, for most of you, some pretty radical changes.
Some of you will have to stop doing some of the things you're doing. I don't mean you've got to go out and stop tomorrow but I mean that there will be a process of adjustment. And if you do it faithfully I want to tell you after about six months or a year, one day you'll lean back and sigh, say, 'Oh, thank God I'm free from a lot of pressures that never did me any good.' What is it that motivates us? Is it keeping up with the Joneses? Is it doing what everybody else does? You look at the people around you. Most of them are not happy, the people that don't know the Lord. In Israel, I'd have to say, you see very few happy people. When Ruth and I walk down the street in Jerusalem just looking ourselves, people turn around and look at us because they're not used to seeing happy people. Why do I say that? What I mean is their counsel isn't doing them much good. Don't follow them. You've got access to a much better source.