Tony Evans - What If?
God has declared that every man has a crown on him. Every man has been dubbed and deemed by God as the stabilizer and the foundation for history and for the culture. The Bible says, "In Adam, all die," not, "Adam and Eve," because Adam was responsible. The reason why Adam was created first was because God held him responsible. So the definition of a "man", or what I call a "kingdom man" is "a male who has learned to accept and live out responsibility under God". God gave Adam a divine identity. God gave him his name. God gave him a divine nature. God gave him a divine assignment. God gave him a divine calling. God gave him his divine presence in the garden. God have him his divine Word. He didn't give it to Eve. He gave it to Adam. And God gave him his divine authority.
God did all of that before there was an Eve. Because in God's economy, before he would dare bring a woman into the sphere of Adam's life, he had to make sure Adam was responsible to him. Because the definition of a "man" is "responsibility under God". When God created the human race, he created the human race to act in history from his vantage point in eternity. It's called in theology the dominion covenant, the agreement that he made with mankind. To understand that the male's role is, juxtaposition the female's role, you have to understand the dominion covenant because that's key to understanding what you are about individually, what marriage is about, and what purpose is about, all lined up in this one agreement that God made with history through mankind.
In Genesis chapter 1, verse 26 we read: "Then God said, 'Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness. And let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle of the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.' God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them; and God said to them, 'Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.'"
Three words establish the covenant: "Let them rule". That means "dominion". That's why God breathed into man the breath of life, so that would man would have the Spirit of God operating in his physical body so that he could manage the physical world from the spiritual reality of God. That is the human assignment. That is why God made you, me, and us. That is the job of the human race. But because God turned it over to man and gave man freedom, he allows us to mess it up if we choose to. Because within the creation process, God granted freedom. That's why he gave Adam the option of choosing. So, we have freedom to mess up God's purposes. We also have the freedom to get back in it so that we get things aligned correctly.
So, even though that was the mandate, the dominion mandate to rule on God's behalf in history, God did not create man and woman at the same time. He created the man first and he put him in the garden. The garden was the place of God's abiding presence. In other words, the man was to establish his identity in God's presence. By man, I'm talkin' about male. The male was to establish his identity in God's presence, the garden. That's why it says, "The Lord God," "The Lord God," because that's God's presence. Everywhere he went, boom, like a pinball machine, in the garden, he's bumping into God. We have a generation of men who wanna visit God. So they'll visit him on Sunday as long as he leaves them alone Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, but they'll give him a visit, okay? It's an important concept. Adam was to live in the garden, that is, living in God's presence.
Now, now it gets good. God says in verse 18: "Then the Lord God said, 'It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.'" All right, so let's get this straight. Adam is not lookin' for a woman 'cause God said, "It's not good for Adam to be alone". Adam didn't say that. Adam didn't say, "Where she at"? Before Adam realized he was alone, God determined he was alone and said, "I'm gonna get him a helper, a helper suitable for him". Now, watch this. God has already given him a job. He not gonna give him a helper till he got a job. So, ladies, if you single, make it known, "No finance, no romance," okay?
So, he gave him a job. He gave him his presence. And then he decided, "Okay, now I'm gonna give you a helper who is suitable because you are alone. Now, Adam, the job I want you to produce is so big, so substantive, so gargantuous that you can't do it all by yourself alone. So I'm going to bring somebody alongside of you who corresponds to you whose going to enable you to expand your dominion further than you could ever do it on your own". So, while a woman does have a priority role in the home, and yes, that is a priority responsibility, it's all tied into a bigger agenda. And the bigger agenda is her gifts and her skills and her calling to expand the rule.
So, a man who is not maximizing what God has given to the woman has limited what God can do through him because he's not using the help that God provided, that the job of the help is to expand the rule in the context of companionship. Adam didn't need Eve to become complete. Because we mix up being single and being alone. Those are not the same thing. It's assumed if I'm single, I'm alone. No, if you are single, the word "single," if you look it up in Webster's Dictionary, means "unique or whole". That's what it means. But we have stitched it in to being "alone".
Uh-uh, if you are a single like Adam is right now and like Eve will be before she's introduced to Adam, you are supposed to be a complete single. Marriage should be a bonus, not a necessity, okay? You are to be complete. I am saying that happiness is not God's primary goal for marriage. Once you make happiness the primary goal, when you're not happy anymore, you don't wanna stay married 'cause happiness was the goal. I'mma show you in a minute, happiness is the fruit, not the root. The root of the goal was, "Let them rule. And if I could ever get them to rule underneath me, in relationship to me, under the authority of me, properly relating to one another, happy won't be a problem because happy will be the result of fulfilling the purpose for the arrangement I set up in the first place".
So, so he's now establishing what they are to be about. They are to be about operating under his rule. So, now, God brings out all the animals and he brings them out to see what the man would call them. And the man names all the cattle, verse 20. I'm sure many of us as men has missed out on a lot of stuff God brought right in front of our eyes, but we didn't see it 'cause we just visited him. We're not operating in Eden, that is, in his ongoing presence in relationship. It says, "God brought it, and he named what God brought". Dominion is seeing God bring things before you and seeing that that is being brought before you by God and you giving it an identity.
So it is to exercise, whatever you name you are now responsible for, okay? So if you wanna be a man that God can bring things to so that you can lay hold of it, lay claim to it, every time you come in on Sunday and you stand for Communion, particularly the men 'cause Eve has not been created yet, and you stand before God and you take Communion, you should be settin' up the week. You should be sayin', "God, for this week, I'm going to start my day with you. I'm going to bring you in on everything related to my day. I'm going to make time to make you the priority of my day so that you can flow to me so that I can see what you have for me so I can give name to it and ownership of it to increase your dominion in history". That's what a man calls for.
And then, every day, you're bringing God to bear in every aspect of your life. You're not visiting him on Sunday. You are living with him. And therefore, experiencing kingdom rule. So, "Adam is naming all the animals, but for Adam there was not suitable help," ah. "So the Lord God caused a deep sleep," verse 31, "to fall upon the man, and he slept". Because if God puts you to sleep, you gonna sleep. So God put him to sleep and he slept. "And God took out one of his ribs, closed up the flesh of that place. And then God fashioned into a woman the rib which he had taken from the man, and brought her to the man". So he sees her coming and he says, "She shall be called Woman". That's what it says, "She shall be called woman".
What did he just do? He named her. Woman, that's a man with a womb. A woman is a man with a womb. A woman is a man with a womb. Let me take you back to Genesis chapter 1. "We will make man in our image. Male and female he made man in his own image". So a woman was taken from a man, rib of a man, and she was made. She's called woman. She's a man with a womb because a woman was made to receive. A woman receives the man's name. Adam names her. Any man who has a woman who won't take your name is not the woman you should mary. She was to take his name. Why? Because whatever you name you're responsible for. Whatever you name you own. Whatever you name you govern. "She shall be called woman because she was taken out of man". So, "The man is to leave his father and mother," doesn't say anything about the woman leaving her father and mother until the man leaves his father and mother because he's responsible for setting up a new homestead.
So, the Bible calls this relationship, the couple now, a covenant. A covenant is a divinely created bond that does one thing, it covers. A covenant is a mechanism through which God favors, favor flows. If you are not covenanted, that is, operating under the guidelines and governance of God, if you're not doing that, you're uncovered. And if you're uncovered, that means the intervention, favor, blessing of God is not free to flow. The Bible says in Deuteronomy 29:9: "I give you this covenant that you might prosper, that I might be able to do my thing through you". So the reason that the devil wants to make you miserable if you're married is he wants to keep you uncovered. And once he keeps you uncovered, God can't flow. Once you keeps you divided, God won't flow.
God says, "If the husband is mistreatin' the wife," in 1 Peter 3, verse 7, "if the husband's mistreating the wife, not recognizing her, appreciating her, diminishing her, physical or emotionally abusing her, tell that man, 'Do not pray. I will not listen to his prayer.'" That's how important the woman is and how she's treated and valued. And in fact, you should, ladies, accept nothing less than that, okay? Because your ultimate responsibility is to God. So, Malachi chapter 2, verses 13 to 16, here it is. Here it is, and this is important for all the singles listening. He says: "She is your wife by covenant," but he goes on to say, "you are together," watch this, "in spirit".
Now, here's the way most people get together. They get together by attraction. That's the physical. You see somebody, they look good, she looks good, he looks good, and you're attracted. And that's fine, "Man looks on the outward appearance," so that's fine, but that's just phase one. Now we go to phase two. Phase two is soulmate. That means we like each other. In other words, we connect. So, you got the physical. You got the like, the soulmate. We connect, we connect with each other. But Malachi says there a whole deeper level, spirit. Spirit is your joint connection with God, that's spirit. With your joint connection with God under the covering of the covenant.
See, the Bible says, 1 Thessalonians 5:23: "We're not body, soul, and spirit. We're spirit, soul, and body". The spirit must be put up top because then it can manage the soul and the physical. If you want to see the covenant work, then a man must be relationship-driven with God underneath the ruling of God so that he can get a greater experience of God. Now, let's make it clear. Dominion is not domination. Let's show you how all this works together from 1 Corinthians chapter 11, it kinda puts the package together for us. It's a very important chapter that often doesn't get looked at intimately. Let me start with verse 7: "For a man ought not to have his head covered, since he is the image and glory of God". The word "glory" means to "advertise," okay? Stay with me here. The man is to advertise God, make God look good. "But the woman is the glory of man".
Now, I know some of you ladies don't like that. "The woman is the glory of the man". So, here it is. The man's job is to make God look good. The woman's job is to make the man look good while he's making God look good. So everybody's makin' somebody look good. The man's making God look good. The woman's making the man look good 'cause he's making God look good. Which means if the man is making God look bad, she can't make you look good. So a lot of men are gettin' mad at their wives for not supporting them while the men are not supporting God. So all you're getting from her is what God is getting from you. So God is sayin', "When I get what I'm supposed to get from you, then maybe you'll start getting what you wanna get from her," okay?
All right, let's go on. "For man does not originate from woman, but woman from man". Remember the rib. "For indeed man was not created for the woman's sake, but the woman for the man's sake". Remember, "I'mma make a helper suitable for you". So he made the woman to come alongside the man. Now, watch this, ladies. "Therefore the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels". Let me pause. Let me push "Pause" right there. "The woman is to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels".
Well, let's talk about the theology of angels. Every Christian has been assigned an angel Hebrews 1:14 says. Their job, angels are like the post office. They deliver the mail. They are the executors of the program of God. So when you go to God and you say, "I need you to do this; I want you to do that," one of the ways he does it is by dispatching his message to your assigned angel to act in whatever way God wants to act in light of your prayer. He says, "But when a woman is not operating under authority," he calls "covering," if you're not operating under the legitimate, not illegitimate, but legitimate authority, if you step from under the umbrella that God has given you, if you're operating in rebellion against your mate illegitimately, then what you just stepped out of was the covering of God, and your angel will not be dispensed to your benefit because you're operating in rebellion.
So, if you're giving your husband a hard time illegitimately, if you're disrespecting him illegitimately, if you're rebelling against him illegitimately, you are blocking God doing anything for you, and it doesn't matter how much church you go to 'cause it's operating under God's covenant and under God's covering. So the man is to operate under the covering. The woman is to operate legitimately under the man under the covering. But he's not finished yet. He goes on and he says in verse 10: "However, in the Lord, neither is woman independent of man, nor is man independent of woman". So he says, "While there is a role that you play, it is an interdependent role, not an independent role. You need her. She needs you. You all need God," okay? "For as the woman," verse 12, "originates from the man, so also the man has his birth through the woman".
So the woman exists 'cause God took Adam's rib, but babies are born, men are born, boys are born 'cause they come out of the womb of the woman. What she received from the man produced something brand new inside of her that came from her that is beyond what the man could ever do without her. So what God is saying in physical birth he's saying through all the dominion covenant, "There's some things I will only do if you give her something to receive. But if you give her something to receive, she gonna let that thing grow. And when she produces what she produces out of what you gave her to received, all y'all gonna have more than what you started with because I am creating an expansion of my rule in history".
And that's why Genesis 1 says at the end of, "Let them rule," "He blessed them". That's where happy come in. That's where happy. Everybody lookin' for happy without being underneath God's covering properly. Happy, blessed, is the result. It's not where you start. It's the result. And when we get aligned properly under God with each other, then we will begin to see all that God can do. "For the woman," verse 12, "originates from the man, so also the man gains his birth through the woman; and all things originate from God".
Do you see how the whole package comes together? It is God, the man, the woman interdependent within their roles, and you see God moving through the scenario in a transformational way. You go to buy an appliance, they'll give you a warranty. Know what the warranty is sayin'? The warranty is sayin', "We manufactured this, and we stand behind it. We stand behind this product. If anything goes wrong as long as the warranty is in effect, we'll take care of it because we made it and we stand behind it".
Now, if you go take a hammer and start hittin' the toaster or hittin' the refrigerator or hittin' the stove or whatever appliance it is, abusing it, the warranty is no longer in effect because you have abused what it was created to do. You've given it something outside of its design. What a lot of people do are calling on God to warranty their lives, warranty their children, warranty their relationship, warranty their future, warranty their finances while they put a hammer to God's program. And if you put a hammer to God's program, if men are operating out of alignment, women are operating out of alignment, kids are operating out of alignment, and you puttin' a hammer to God's program while you prayin', "Oh, God, you can fix it. You can make a wheel," or, you know, "wheel in the middle of a wheel. You're balm in Gilead. You're bright morning star. You're the rose of Sharon. You're so wide you can't get over, so low you can't get under".
While you're hammering away at what God's plan is, you can forget being warrantied because he's not gonna warrant somethin' you're destroying. So, the question is, in football we ask it, "How bad do you want it? How bad do you want it"? That means we, as men, from startin' with me, but to all the men, we have to make a relationship with God our dominant theme underneath his rule. And when that happens, you'll see more of God than you can handle, and others will benefit from it. But if all we do is leave the church today and say, "Uh, good church, love the music, nice sermon," you won't get anything. You won't have no dominion, or you'll only have the dominion you make. You won't see God bringing anything. And that's what we need to see in our world today as men step up to the play it spiritualy.
Whenever you see football players gathering before the beginning of the game, you see them circling and making declarations of dominion, like: "This is our house". What they're saying is, "We run here. We run this show". When you hear a lion roar, it's a cry for dominion. Dominion can be a bad word, but in God's economy, it's a good word. It means "protecting the domain that God has placed under your authority, protecting it from evil, and protecting it for good".
God has called men to exercise dominion under him. When he created the first man, he created Adam to exercise this dominion when he told him to name the animals. That was exercising dominion or responsibility over the animals God brought him. That involved protecting a woman because God brought Eve to Adam, and Adam named her as well. Naming involves dominion, not dominating, dominion, which is caringly and lovingly, but seriously and with dedication, exercising responsibility over that which he has given you the privilege to name. So, men, claim your dominion. Claim your territory, and settle for nothing less.