Derek Prince - Marriage As A Prophetic Act To The World
Then I want to point out two exciting applications of what I’ve been teaching. I trust they’ll excite you. First of all, let’s go back to God’s original purpose in creating man and woman. We go back to Genesis 1:27–28. Genesis 1:27–28: So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. First it’s him, singular. Then it’s them, plural. Male and female he created them. And then God spoke to them and He spoke to both of them together, not to the man on his own. And He says: Then God blessed them, and God said to them, Be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and subdue it: have dominion...
Let’s not go any further. God’s purpose was not that the man on his own should rule the earth but that the man and the woman together as a unity should exercise God’s authority and rule the earth on His behalf. I want to suggest to you that the strongest single element in spiritual warfare and in exercise of authority is a married couple who are in harmony and in unity. It’s still God’s way to exercise dominion. Not the man on his own, it’s not the woman on her own, but it’s man and woman united according to God’s pattern in marriage. They are the ones to exercise dominion. Let me show you just some simple spiritual principles that apply to this.
In Matthew chapter eighteen, Matthew 18:18 and following. Jesus is speaking: "Assuredly I say to you, Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name", the Greek says into my name, the focus of meeting is the name of Jesus, "where two or three are gathered together into my name I am there in the midst". The basic minimum is two or three. And to that basic minimum, Jesus says: "whatever you bind on earth", the Greek says, "will be having been bound in heaven. Whatever you loose or release on earth will be having been loosed or released in heaven".
This is very vivid because it means what we say on earth determines what happens in heaven. See, we often think we’re waiting for God to move. Often that’s true but there are times when God is waiting for us to move. I had a friend who’s a pastor in Denmark. He’s with the Lord now. He was greatly exercised about the problem of divorce which, of course, is a very difficult, sensitive problem. There were different views in the congregation and he wasn’t quite sure, so he decided to take a day to seek God on his own. He shared this with Ruth and me personally. He said to God: God, whatever you say, I’ll do it. And to his amazement, the Lord said: On the contrary. Whatever you say, I’ll do it.
In other words, you have to make the decision. I really think that’s true in the difficult issues of divorce. I think the church leadership has to make the decision. On the basis of Scripture, not arbitrarily. If that decision is made with prayer, sensitivity, God says: I’ll go along with it. See, in a sense, the initiative is with us. Whatever we bind on earth shall be having been bound in heaven. Whatever we loose on earth shall be having been loosed in heaven. It’s like this: We meet the conditions and we say: We bind you in the name of Jesus. We look around, it’s already bound in heaven. The moment we pronounced it on earth, it was established in heaven. But what are the requirements? Verse 19: "Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth, concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven".
That’s an astonishing promise, isn’t it? If two people can agree. Now the Greek word is 'symphoni' from which we get the English word symphony. It’s not just intellectual agreement, it’s harmony. If two people on earth can be in perfect harmony, whatever they pray will happen. You might say how can that be? Let me offer you my understanding. The only way we can have harmony is if we harmonize with the Holy Spirit. And if two of us harmonize with the Holy Spirit, then that’s the will of God. Do you understand? But the key to it, the key to the exercising of this authority is harmonizing.
Now some of you married couples will understand why you have so much opposition to establishing real harmony. You know, I’m no musician and I realize we have musicians here. But hardly anything is worse than music that's almost in harmony. Isn’t that right? It’s painful. How about marriages that are almost in harmony? How do they sound to God? Do they accomplish God’s purpose? No! God is a musician. He says: I’m very sensitive. If I can get two people really harmonizing, whatever they pray will come to pass. And so we see there, in my understanding, the absolute core of spiritual authority. And it’s really in married couples.
Now it’s perfectly true that others can harmonize besides married couples. Two men can harmonize together, two women can harmonize together. Thank God for wherever that happens. But the most natural obvious people to harmonize in prayer are a believing couple. If one party to the marriage is not a believer, then it’s not possible in the same way. But where both are believers, committed Christians, the greatest authority that we can ever exercise is by harmonizing. It’s worth a lot, brothers and sisters, a lot of sacrifice, a lot of self denial, to achieve harmony. It’s not easy because the old nature doesn’t harmonize, you understand? He’s always out of harmony with everything, including himself.
Let me give you one other Scripture, Amos 3:3: Can two walk together unless they are agreed? So what’s the key to walking together? Being agreed or being in harmony. But there’s another side to this, and this is very simple. Just forgive me for being simplistic. But people sometimes smile at Ruth and me because they say: You behave like teenagers. Everywhere you go, you walk hand in hand. Well, we like walking hand in hand. But there’s more to it than that, because the Bible says: Can two walk together unless they be agreed?
And believe me, if you’re not agreed, you won’t walk together for long. But walking together helps you to agree. We are careful always to walk... well, not in step but out of step, if you understand what I mean. Because if you hold hands, you have to do what stretcher-bearers do, the opposite leg goes forward. We’ve walked all over many nations like that, and we are jealous of our harmony. Because it’s the key to everything in our ministry. A very dear, senior brother, a very mature servant of God who is just one year younger than I am, when we were going through this tremendous pressure of Ruth’s sickness, he said: I am convinced the key to the success of your ministry is your harmony. Don’t let anything spoil it.
And believe me, we had to fight for harmony at that point. Not fight one another but fight all sorts of dark pressures and forces that were coming against us to discourage us. Let me give you one other thought in closing. How many of you would like to be prophetic? Well, you can be as married couples. Let me go back to Ephesians 5 once more. Ephesians 5:22–23: "Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church: and he is the savior of the body".
If you go through that whole passage, you’ll see what Paul is saying is: why marriage is such a mystery and why it’s so sacred is because it’s a pattern of the relationship between Christ and His church. And you see, many times God asked prophets in the Old Testament not just to deliver a verbal message, but to demonstrate it. He told Jeremiah to put yokes on his neck. He told Hosea to marry a prostitute. He told Ezekiel to dig through a wall and act like somebody escaping from a besieged city.
So one of the ways that we can be prophetic is not speaking, but visualizing. Embodying in our lives. And here, I believe, is where we have the greatest opportunity to be prophetic to the world. As husband and wife we demonstrate to the world the relationship between Christ and His church. If we’re successful, we will create an appetite in men and women to know what makes us successful. You’d be surprised (I don’t want to boast) how many people have said to Ruth and me: We’d like to be like you.