Open Heaven

Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down,  that the mountains would tremble before you! Isaiah 64:1

“You heavens above, rain down my righteousness;  let the clouds shower it down. Let the earth open wide,  let salvation spring up, let righteousness flourish with it;  I, the LORD, have created it. Isaiah 45:7-9

In my thirtieth year, in the fourth month on the fifth day, while I was among the exiles by the Kebar River, the heavens were opened and I saw visions of God. Ezekiel 1:1-3

After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.” Revelation 4:1-3

Let it rain, let it rain, Open the floodgates of Heaven!

An open Heaven is quite a concept. It implies that all barriers between our temporal world and the eternal have been removed. We know that as believers, we are indwelled by the fullness of God. But this is something more. It’s corporate. As we each carry and bring Christ into our assembly, He inhabits our praise. When we concentrate the presence of God, something happens on a much grander scale.

It becomes regional.

It begins to affect our neighborhoods and our cities. Maybe even our state. Maybe even the world….

Isaiah, Ezekiel and John all prayed for, and received visions of an open Heaven. But there is a manifestation of Gods kingdom that is just waiting, as it were, for us to come together and usher it in.

As the body of Christ, we can experience more than a vision. We can experience an open Heaven over our homes, our cities and even our nation.

 

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Empty Bowls?

God is waiting. All Heaven is holding it’s breath, and all creation groans with anticipation.

And I continue to live my life, much as I did yesterday.

God won’t command us to do that which He is not going to enable us to do. I know it has to be in Him, His Holy Spirit enabling me to walk in His righteousness….

But I don’t always put my best foot forward in my ‘attempts’.

Jesus said that His house was to be a house of prayer for all nations.

But my ‘house’ is often anything but a house of prayer.

On the day of Pentecost they were all in one place and all praying in one accord, when God poured out His Holy Spirit. I’m given to believe they had been at this for some time. Pentecost was four weeks after the resurrection.

There was a single-minded purpose behind this marathon of prayer.

And the waiting was over.

In Revelation 5, the 24 elders are holding bowls of incense, representing our prayers rising up before God.

But given the state of my own ‘prayer-life’ and of the modern ‘church’ in general, I have to wonder just how much Incense is actually in those bowls right now.

Many churches are calling for revival, for a fresh move of the Holy Spirit in their cities and states. And many believers feel they are ready.

But are they?

Am I? Have I counted the cost? Am I ready to throw my schedule, my personal agendas, my preferences aside? Am I ready to place my entire life on the altar, a living sacrifice?

Is the local church I belong to ready to make these same sacrifices? If not, am I willing to lead the way, and be one of the first?

What so many of us want is for God to move, as long as it doesn’t rock our world too much.

I’m not pointing any fingers. change is scary. Big change is even scarier.

But we live in a world that IS changing, and not for the better. Despair, depression, drug abuse and sexual sins are all symptoms of a world of pain, And millions have given up hope. As world events unfold, it becomes ever more apparent that we all stand to lose much of what we cling to. Change is coming whether we like it or not, one way or another.

But we can be architects of change.

The only chance left for so many thousands of hurting people, is in fact revival. A last great outpouring.

I must not make the mistake of waiting for God to just bring revival to my city and ‘fix it’. I have a part to play.

God, you see, is waiting for me to be what He has called me to be. And He’s waiting for you too.

God is waiting for us to bring revival.

It’s time.

Paradigm

 

 

This has been rolling around in my mind lately, and I wasn’t sure how I wanted to convey it. I’ve heard it said ‘when in doubt, make a list.’ So, here it is, I think you’ll get the idea….

The things we honestly want:

Money and material possessions. Success and accomplishment. Fulfillment and satisfaction. Ease and convenience. Entertainment and diversion. Power and control. Popularity and fame. Honor and respect. Love and acceptance. Sensual pleasures and instant gratification.

No, it’s not ALL bad, but a lot of it is kinda scary. And what’s even scarier, is the millions of people who don’t realize it’s scary!

Here’s what we actually need, and why we need it:

Justice and mercy.

If you seek justice, you will receive mercy.

Love and judgement.

When you cultivate a willingness to love, you will not judge or be judged.

Obedience and freedom.

Only in true obedience to the will of God will you ever really be free.

Humility and confidence.

Through humility you will be sure of Gods purpose to accomplish His will through you.

Truth and kindness.

Truth can be harsh, but in the Holy Spirit, which is the Spirit of all truth, kindness dwells hand in hand with the truth.

Service and accomplishment.

Your purpose is not to be served. It is through serving others that you will come to your place of destiny.

Sacrifice and fulfillment.

Only through sacrifice can your calling come to fruition.

Worship and intimacy.

Whatever you worship, you will know. True worship of God, in spirit and truth, fills your heart with His desires.

Denial and desire.

When you deny yourself the shallow things of life, you will receive the true desires of your heart, and Gods heart as well.

 

Paradigm.