I believe God is pouring out His precious Spirit upon all flesh and this out pouring will bring more and more souls into His kingdom. More lives will be transformed by just one moment in His presence. But there is a longing in my spirit for even more. You see, unlike our natural hunger that is satisfied after we eat, our spiritual hunger becomes more intense after we eat and partake from God. The more you spend time in God’s presence, the more you want to stay there. You want more and more of Him. He is so beautiful and loving. His joy will fill your very being. You will know that He has everything under His control.
It is a precious place to be in the everlasting arms of God. This is the beginning of an open heaven into more of God.
Open heaven happens in the natural as well as the spiritual and God’s glory is revealed…
OPEN HEAVEN IN THE NATURAL:
Deut. 28:12 NKJV
“The LORD will open to you His good treasure, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season, and to bless all the work of your hand. You shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow.”
His good treasure, the heavens! Wow, The heavens are God’s treasure waiting to be
poured out to you and I as we obey His Word! How awesome is that? In this case it was in the natural. God was telling the Israelites that if they obeyed His commands, and followed His ways, He would open up the Heavens, where His great treasure was, and pour out a blessing they couldn’t even contain.
How many want the Lord to bless the work of your hands? The Message states that verse this way:
Deut. 28:12 Message
“GOD will throw open the doors of his sky vaults and pour rain on your land on schedule and bless the work you take in hand. You will lend to many nations but you yourself won’t have to take out a loan.”
Here God is speaking to the Israelites concerning the many blessings God will give to them as long as they obey His commandments and stay close to Him. These blessings are available in the natural as well as the spiritual.
Too often people see the blessings part and ignore the condition of the blessing.
The conditions for the blessings promised:
1. They diligently hearken to the voice of God
Deut. 28:1 – 2 NKJV
“Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the LORD your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the LORD your God will set your high above all nations of the earth.”
God was speaking to them and they were to do their utmost in obeying what He was telling them.
“And the LORD will make you the head and not the tail; you shall be above only, and not be beneath, if you heed the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you today, and are careful to observe them.”
We are the head and not the tail. God has raised us up above our enemies and we will be eating at a table prepared for us in front of our enemies all because we love the Lord enough to obey His Word and walk in His ways.
2. They observe and do all his commandments
Not only do them for once, but keep them for ever; To set out in His ways and walk in them forever. God wants to see faithful people. Faithfulness is doing the right thing over and over and over and over again.
3. They should not go aside either to the right hand or to the left
Deut. 28:14 NKJV
“So you shall not turn aside from any of the words which I command you this day, to the right or he left, to go after other gods to serve them.”
It is so easy to be swayed by the things of this world, even false teachings. We must be diligent in our relationship with God and following His word. The United States use to be a nations under God, but today, there are so many critics of the Gospel. Be strong and stand up for what you believe in. Don’t be swayed by becoming “Politically Correct.”
People get offended by the truth, yet the Truth will set you free! ~ “And you will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free.” (John 8:32 AMP)
Jesus offended many by speaking truth. He was the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one can go to the Father except through Christ. Let’s be a people who make a stand for the Truth. We will be honored and blessed because of it.
“…they should not go after other gods (Deu_28:14), which was the sin that of all others they were most prone to, and God would be most displeased with.
What is an idol in your life? People? Things? Position? Past hurts? If we focus on them more then God, they are “other gods” in our life. Don’t give power to your past hurts by playing and replaying them over and over again.
Blessings follow obedience!
When we obey we are blessed
First, and foremost, we make good decisions when we choose to follow God’s Word. It is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path.
Psalms 119:105 (NKJV)
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
Obeying God’s word will help shine light on the next step you should take. We can look to God’s Word for any situation we may be facing in life. God has the answers for us. Are you willing to look?
Second, when we obey God, our life has less trials then one who disobeys and continues to make poor decisions for their life.
Proverbs 4:18 – 19 (The Message)
“The ways of right-living people glow with light; the longer they live, the brighter they shine. But the road of the wrongdoing gets darker and darker – travelers can’t see a thing; they fall flat on their faces.”
“Right living = Right Results!” If we choose to live right, and follow God’s word, we will achieve right results in our life. Isn’t it awesome that God gave us His word to help bring right results and success in our lives? This makes me want to obey God even more. It shows His love for us.
Proverbs 3:35 (The Message)
“Wise living gets rewarded with honor; stupid living gets the booby prize.”
I don’t want anything except the very best from God. If my choices of obeying God brings good results, I will all the more obey Him.
Third, When we obey God’s word we choose life!
Deuteronomy 30:19 – 20 (NKJV)
“I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may life; that you may love the LORD your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.”
We choose good health when we choose to obey God and His word. He is for us and His word has life. God will not lead us astray. No! God’s direction is always the right direction to take. We can trust God with our life. He created us in the first place. Surely the Creator knows what is best for His creation. He has given us a blueprint, a roadmap for our lives with His word if we choose to follow and obey it. We will live a prosperous, productive, successful life when we do.
What are some blessings when the heavens are open?
READ Deut. 28:1 – 11
1. The Lord will Make your businesses and your farms successful.
2. You will have many children.
3. You will harvest large crops
4. Your herds of cattle, flocks of sheep and goats will produce many young.
5. You will have plenty of bread to eat.
6. The Lord will make you successful in your daily work.
7. The Lord will help you defeat your enemies and make them scatter in all directions.
8. The Lord your God is giving you the land (territory)
9. God will make sure you are successful in everything you do.
10. Your harvest will be so large that your storehouse (bank accounts) will be full.
11. God will make you His own special people.
12. Everyone on earth will know you belong to the Lord, and they will be afraid of you.
These are the promises of an open heaven!!!
God opens the Heavens spiritually too. God’s rain is more than just stuff but also revival and the bread of His presence. he is the true hidden manna of heaven.
OPEN HEAVEN IN THE SPIRITUAL
One of the most common manifestations of living under an open heaven is constant revelation.
Here are a few examples:
“Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the river of Chebar, that the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God.”
2. John the Revelator
Rev. 4:1 – 2
“After this I looked, and behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will show thee things which must be hereafter. And immediately I was in the Spirit:”
“And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and true, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.”
“And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.”
Acts 10:9 – 11
“Peter went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour: And he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance, And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending unto him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners.”
5. Paul wrote…
Eph. 1:15 – 23 (Amplified Bible)
“…[For I always pray to] the God of our Lord jesus Christ, the Father of glory, that He may grant you a spirit of wisdom and revelation [of insight into mysteries and secrets] in the [deep and intimate] knowledge of Him. By having the eyes of your heart flooded with light, (Heaven opened) so that you can know and understand the hope to which He has called you, and how rich is His glorious inheritance in the saints (His set-apart ones), And [so that you can know and understand] what is the immeasurable and unlimited and surpassing greatness of His power in and for us who believe, as demonstrated in the working of His mighty strength…”
…of insight into mysteries and secrets in the deep and intimate knowledge of Him… This comes as we gaze into Christ’s beautiful face.
“Looking unto jesus the author and finisher of our faith,” the word “looking” is translated to Gaze or stargazer.”
Gaze: to turn the eyes away from other things and fix them on something, properly, to stare at, to see with the eyes, to see with the mind, to perceive to know, to become acquainted with by experience, to experience, to see, to look to or study intently. (Brown Driver Briggs Hebrew Lexicon).
As we gaze into Christ’s face, we begin to see how beautiful He is. The more we seek Him, the more He will reveal Himself to us.
6. Isaiah 6:1 – 5 (I saw the Lord sitting at the throne…)
Isaiah was given a vision through an open heaven of God on His throne. It was a powerful vision. After he saw the vision he couldn’t help but say, “Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: For my eyes have seen the King, The LORD of hosts.”
We become “undone” when we experience an Open Heaven of God’s glory. Yet, we long for and crave for more.
“If only You would split open the heavens and come down! The mountains would quake at Your presence.”
God is here today and wants to His glory to be revealed in all of us. We are precious to Him.
WHAT IS AN OPEN HEAVEN?
Definition: When the heavens are open we have free access to everything in heavenly realms, a free flowing of Gods abundant graces and ministry power. Ministering under an open heaven is like toiling the soil without labor or sweat on the brow. When heaven is open for you God will be near and heaven will be manifest in the natural “on earth as it is in Heaven.”
OPEN: to be let loose, be thrown open, to loosen, to open oneself
Strongs Concordance states: pâthach, paw-thakh’, A primitive root; to open wide (literally or figuratively); specifically to loosen, break forth, let go free,
HEAVEN: BDB (Brown Driver Briggs Hebrew Definitions) – H8064, shâmayim / shâmeh, heaven, heavens, sky, abode of the stars, as the visible universe, atmosphere, heaven as the abode of God.
We can safely state that “Open Heaven” literally means: To open wide, throw open or loosen oneself, let go free the sky or atmosphere where God dwells!
How do we receive an open heaven?
What opens the Heavens?
What stirs the Heart Of God?
Intimacy is the key to unlock an open heaven.
There is an intimacy that God longs for but, it will cost us something. The cost is dying to our flesh. We have to decrease so that God can increase in our lives. I know you have heard that saying before but let’s look at it more closely.
How do we receive an open heaven?
1. We must decrease so God can increase
From the beginning of when we were born we have centered on ourselves. We are a selfish people. It is unfortunately natural to think about ourselves and look out for #1. That is why we have to teach our children to share and be nice to others. We have to teach them to think about the other person’s feelings. We never have to teach a toddler to think about themselves. One of the first words they learn, besides “no, is “mine.”
So it takes some deprogramming to change our thinking and to look beyond ourselves and focus onto God and what He may want. The first step in decreasing is brokenness.
In our brokenness His love pours into our hearts and flows out to those around us like never before. Weeping and even wailing come forth in the pure presence of His sweet life giving sustenance of love. When we think that He has abandoned us and life has turned dark, the light of His pure love reaches us and flows like a river into our lives changing us forever. In brokenness our values and priorities are greatly changed. The things of building and doing become of little value and the reality of being in His presence becomes preeminent.
“We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.”
It seems through brokenness and trials and tribulations God prepares the soil of our hearts to receive from Him. They awakened us from our self-sufficiency and our spirit can respond in humility to the drawing and whooing of the presence of God.
Pride must go! Leaning on our self-sufficiency must go! We have to come to a place where we rely on God and God alone for our everyday needs. When pride is broken, God can move in our hearts in a real and powerful way.
Our self-sufficiency will destroy us and our pride will prevent God’s favor and blessing in our lives. The flesh is hard to tame. The only thing that will tame it is to lay it down at Christ’s feet and say, “Have your way in me.”
Christ said it well in Matthew 26:39b Amplified Bible,
“…My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will [not what I desire], but as You will and desire.”
Even Jesus gave up control to the Father when He literally laid down His life for His Father’s will.
“For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain,” Philippians 1:21 (NKJV).
Galatians 2:20 (NKJV)
“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
These passages of scripture show how we are to view our lives. It’s all about what He wants. When we give our hearts to Christ, we are not our own but His.
You need to deal with your flesh immediately. Your flesh doesn’t want to die. It will scream out at you to stop. It will scream out in self-pity to have its way. Be aware of it when the time comes for you to let go of your control to God.
If self-pity wins, sin has won.
Press through the pain of letting go of your will.
The world will tell you to look out for yourself, stand up for your rights, but God requires us to be broken and have a contrite heart, these sacrifices God will never despise (Psalm 51:17 NKJV).
It’s never fun to die. It costs us something. Our will has to die. Flesh wants to run when it is costly or painful.
We must die to our flesh, our pride, and self-sufficiency, because they can rob us of a close relationship with Christ, and prevent us from being what God created us to be.
Amy Wilson, with the Christian Literature Crusade, expresses this thought well;
God, harden me against myself,
The coward with pathetic voice
Who craves for ease and rest and joy.
Myself, arch-traitor to myself,
My hollowest friend,
My deadliest foe,
My clog, whatever road I go.
Our flesh will scream for us to have its way. We are only deceiving our self if we let it win. Part of our flesh is our pride. Pride comes in so many packages. One big package was my stubborn will.
I had to lay my dreams and goals at Christ’s feet. They were my crowns, or the precious things I had carried all my life, and really they amounted to nothing compared to God’s plans for me. Laying down my dreams and letting go of my self-sufficiency was making me decrease, and giving God back control and allowing Him to transform my life was allowing God to increase in my life.
When I decreased, it was no longer about me, but God. When God increased, He not only became the center of my life, but He increased Himself and His presence in me.
He increases areas of my life as I walk in obedience to His word.
It is a fail-safe plan to decrease and have God increase. It is a “win – win” situation.
B. Obedience – Is also needed to experience an open heaven. We must obey His commands and we must obey His promptings we sense in our hearts.
C. Submission – Submission and obedience go hand in hand. We have to submit under God’s and possibly other’s authorities that God has placed over us. This kills pride on the spot and creates a broken, humble heart.
All three: Brokenness, Obedience and submission bring decrease and allow God to increase.
How do we receive an open heaven? (Cont…)
2. Praise And Worship
As we praise and worship the Lord, it frees us to start focusing on Christ and not our problems or situations.
Worship is the atmosphere of Heaven
Brokenness is the currency of heaven.
When we worship, we bring Heaven’s atmosphere to earth, right where we are. Being broken and humble and coming and adoring God is the only place to be when wanting an open heaven. This creates an open heaven.
3. Waiting and Soaking in the presence of God.
This quiets our spirits so we can hear God’s voice. Just taking the time to wait in God’s presence will create that atmosphere for receiving.
We get too busy and distracted. Soaking in God’s presence (laying down or humbly sitting) helps us to be still and to recognize who we are compared to God. He brings rest and peace. So many voices pressing to be heard from our jobs, family, responsibilities, and more will scream at you for attention. Soaking in God’s presence, with worshipful music on, will bring you right where God is. He is peace and rest. He is the lover of your soul.
4. Being like King David, “A Man After God’s Own Heart.” – We need to chase, hunger, and long for time with the Lord. Intimacy is the key to an open heaven! David wanted to please God’s heart. He not only wanted to please God’s heart but he was after God.
Don’t be afraid to be intimate with God. Do you know He longs for this? He created you for communion and companionship.
Something happens when we allow God deeper into our hearts. We see things differently and we approach our daily life differently because we have a Savior Who is so intimate and real and Who cares about our everyday life. It brings change in our thinking an reasoning. Intimacy with God is a beautiful thing.
I have always known that God longs to be with His people in close fellowship, but to experience an Open Heaven first hand has changed me forever.
I had an experience with God during prayer. My eyes were closed but saw vividly a vision and wrote it in my journal several years ago and wanted to share it with you today:
Atmosphere of Heaven
By Kris Belfils
Revelation 22:1 (Amplified)
Then He showed me the river whose waters give life, sparkling like crystal, flowing out from the throne of God and of the Lamb.”
I was praying this morning and sensed the Lord’s presence right away. I sensed a very sweet drawing in my spirit to come. As I was seeking the Lord, I saw a River and walked up to it. Soon I found myself swimming in the River and Jesus was with me. He looked at me and said, “Come with me and let me show you more!” He held me with one arm and we flew up in the air towards the clouds. Higher and higher He took me through the clouds until we came to an opening where a gate appeared. The gate was open. I looked into the field where the gate opened to and saw an immense structure. As we walked up to the structure I saw and heard a river flowing from the structure. Actually, the river was part of the structure. I looked at the River and followed it up with my eyes to see where the birthing of the River came from. It came from within the throne of God Almighty. It was the throne of God. It was so bright in appearance and glowing with beauty and strength. I found myself on the side of this great structure, listening and watching the River flowing from the throne, realizing the vastness and watching the water fall and flow downward to the earth. I could hear the strength in the water. As I watched where the River flowed I could see it flow down from Heaven, through the atmosphere of earth, into houses and places filling them with the River of God. People were drinking and swimming in their homes from this enormous River. Healing came from the River. Laughter came from the River. Peace and health came from the River. Any need the people had was met in the River. My eyes went back to the huge structure in Heaven and I longed to be in it. I heard Jesus say, “Jump in!” I don’t remember jumping, I just remember diving into this flowing, Mighty River. Jesus was with me and we flowed through the waterfall and floated to a calm and peaceful area of the River. Jesus splashed me and I splashed Him back. We laughed and played some more. As we laughed, Jesus took His tender loving arms and wrapped them around me and held me close. How did He know I wanted to be close to Him? I didn’t even realize my need for intimacy until He held me. As He held me He swayed from side to side. He placed His head on mine and just held me and swayed. He stopped and looked intently into my eyes and stroked my hair and said, “I love you, Kris.” “You are so precious to Me.” I wept and whispered, “I love you too Jesus.” Knowing my life and my imperfections, and knowing Who was holding me brought a sense of value into my soul. All my imperfections in my life washed away and I was perfect in the arms of Christ. I thought to myself, “The River was His love flowing from the throne of God.” Then I thought, “Shouldn’t Jesus be sitting on the right side of God?” As I thought those words I looked and beside the enormous structure was Jesus sitting on the right side of God. He was glowing with an orange yellow glow. He looked different to me then He looked when He was holding me in His arms just a few seconds earlier. He was a mighty warrior ready for battle. His eyes were surveying the land in front of Him. I knew He would win every battle. Defeat was never an option. I felt safe and secure gazing at this Strong Tower of strength. I looked and thought, “Where are the twenty-four elders and the creatures flying and crying, “Holy, Holy, Holy?” Before I could even finish asking that question I heard a screech and looked up above the throne and saw them flying, hovering over the Lord with grace and beauty. I looked down to the throne again and realized the twenty-four elders were a part of God’s throne. All were giving glory to God in constant worship. I too was compelled to worship and realized I was worshipping all along from the instant I walked through the gates. It wasn’t even a thought to think about. It came naturally from within me. It was the atmosphere of Heaven.