In this final post for 2014, I will share my utmost desire as I get set for 2015. It is slightly heavier on Bible texts than the average post thus making it longer but I promise they are all relevant and you’ll be thankful you read it.
My local church in the Toronto area, House of Praise, hosts an annual event themed Open Heavens on the 31st of December which closes out the year and ushers in the New Year. It is an amazing event where over 5000 people congregate in the Greater Toronto Area to worship God and cross over into the New Year under a concentrated atmosphere of worship. Naturally, I detest herd behavior; something in me rebels against the belief that ‘everybody is doing it’ is a good enough reason to do something. As a result I generally prefer to catch a personal revelation for themed events in order to set my expectations and maximize the experience. This has been my practice for years and it has paid off.
As I meditated on the theme of this event, Open Heavens, I got to understand that indeed you and I cannot afford to proceed into a new year without open heavens. It has become my utmost desire as I prepare for 2015.
Open Heavens as a spiritual concept and in our context simply means a state in which there is no barrier between God and a person. From the Bible, I have discovered a few benefits of open heavens but I am specifically keying into three which have shaped my expectation as I attend this year’s Open Heavens event. They are highlighted below:
Now Jacob went out from Beersheba and went toward Haran. So he came to a certain place and stayed there all night, because the sun had set. And he took one of the stones of that place and put it at his head, and he lay down in that place to sleep. Then he dreamed, and behold, a ladder was set up on the earth, and its top reached to heaven; and there the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. Genesis 28:10-12 (NKJV)
The first benefit of open heavens is angelic support for the fulfillment of destiny. From the text, we deduce that the heavens were opened as evidenced by unobstructed movement in and out. Jacob was at the onset of a journey just as we are at the start of a journey into a new year. We can all relate with him; he was leaving something behind and taking on a new challenge. It is all brand new and we have never walked this road (2015) before. He would need God to make a success of this journey just as we would need God to make a success of 2015. He had not the foggiest idea how the journey would pan out having left home with nothing. However, at this crucial point in destiny he had an encounter which indicated that Jacob was now walking under open heavens. He saw angels ascending into heaven and descending.
Angels carry out God’s bidding in our favor and work in several ways for the benefit of a child of God. Though the natural eyes cannot see them, they are all around us. There are ministering spirits called to serve us in response to our prayers to God. We see the proof of angelic assistance at work for Jacob in Genesis 31:11. An angel from God gave him a divine, ground-breaking idea while he slept which made him into whom the Bible calls an exceedingly prosperous man. He became wealthy off an idea he received from an angel. I pray that angels will work overtime on your behalf in 2015 to bring about results, protect you, deliver you from evil and move things in your favor.
Jesus also drew a link between open heavens and angelic ministry in John 1:51 when HE says ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, hereafter you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.’
“Oh, that You would rend the heavens! That You would come down! That the mountains might shake at Your presence. As fire burns brushwood, As fire causes water to boil. To make Your name known to Your adversaries, That the nations may tremble at Your presence! – Isaiah 64:1-2
The second benefit of open heavens is God’s presence. Living under open heavens guarantees the presence of God with you. At the onset of Moses’ ministry in Exodus 3:11-12, God promises him open heavens by the assurance of HIS presence. God’s presence does not accompany people walking under closed heavens. Moses, later in his ministry insisted on God’s continued accompanying presence before he would move any further with the Children of Israel. He said in Exodus 33:15 ‘If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here.’ Moses does a brief exposition on the benefit of HIS presence in the next verse (Exodus 33:16) saying in essence that it is the presence of God upon a person’s life that distinguishes him from everyone else. His presence makes the difference.
We cannot afford to go into 2015 without HIS presence. HIS presence causes the opposition to quake before you and without a doubt you will face opposition in the pursuit of anything worthwhile. Psalm 114:7 says ‘Tremble o earth at the presence of the Lord; at the presence of the God of Jacob’. There can be no resistance to HIS presence. Mountains, which in the Bible, are allegorical symbols for obstacles shake at HIS presence. Nations which are also metaphors for adversaries tremble at HIS presence. As you start a new year, God’s presence is needed. It gives rest. Genesis 35:3 says ‘Then they set out, and the terror of God fell on the towns all around them so that no one pursued them.’ Jacob traveled in the midst of enemies but faced no challenges because God’s presence was with him as promised in Genesis 28:15, also at the onset of a new journey.
THE HOLY SPIRIT
“ When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him.” Matthew 3:16 (NKJV)
The third benefit of open heavens as is evident in the above text is the Holy Spirit. The heavens were opened to HIM (not everyone, just Jesus) and the Holy Spirit descended upon HIM. Without open heavens, the Holy Spirit cannot come and abide upon us. HE comes with invaluable benefits. HE gives insight, wisdom, joy and peace. HE teaches us all things, helps us pray effectively and reveals the Word to us. HE comforts us and empowers us for victorious Christian living upon HIS arrival. HE reveals the mind of the Father to us. HE is indispensable to you and I. I need not be a sage or prophet to predict that you will need wisdom, revelation, comfort, help, joy, peace, answered prayers and insight into God’s mind in 2015. In agreement with the principle of open heavens at the inception of a new thing shown in previous texts, Jesus was at the brink of starting HIS earthly ministry when HE experienced open heavens.
How does one get to walk under open heavens? We get this by praying earnestly for it. Isaiah prayed for God to open the heavens and come down, and while Jesus prayed, the heavens opened. God’s Word says ‘ask and you shall receive and everyone who asks receives’ according to Matthew 7:7-8.
As we start the year 2015, we need open heavens to deploy angels for maximum fulfillment of destiny, carry God’s presence for the effortless removal of obstacles, as well as walk in the power of Holy Spirit to achieve all goals we have set. Without these three, 2015 will most likely be an abysmal year. I am pursuing hard after open heavens as I cross into the New Year. I am excited about both open heavens, the event and the experience for me to walk in. I pray for you dear reader that you will walk under constant open heavens in 2015 and beyond in Jesus Name. Shalom.
PS: The next post will be on January 1, 2015. Thank you to all Broken Bread Club readers for your patronage. I am encouraged by your endorsements and feedback. Doing this has blessed me just as much as it has blessed you. Happy New Year in advance! It will be our best year yet.