February 28, 2021
Attracting Open Heaven | Rev Dr Taiye Adeola
Listen To The Sermon Below
Matthew 3:13 -17
13 Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him.14 But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? 15 And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him. 16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: 17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
Two Sundays ago I did a theme interpretation of our theme for the year “My Season of Open Heavens” and pointed at three interpretations and the implications for us if the theme will not be a mere slogan. We said open heaven means:
- Heaven on earth – the divine coming near to generate a relationship with the earthly, making us connect with the heavenly without hindrance bringing about divine blessings to humanity – Isaiah 64:1-2
- Divine presence – Having and living by the consciousness of the divine presence at all times above every other negative consciousness orchestrated by the devil –Act.7:54 -60
- Experiencing God – God becoming more real in our lives as we move away from traditions, ritualism, activities etc into a deeper relationship with God and understanding of his purpose in all things – Ezekiel 1:1
Heavens does not just open or close, it is always a response or reaction to human activities of obedience or disobedience; human commitment or negligence; human fellowship with the divine or disconnection from him. If as we discussed previously open heavens mean “Heaven on earth”, the divine comes to tabernacle with the earthly only when the heavens are attracted by the humans, this can be through worship, prayer, holiness, obedience and so on and the heavens close, that is the divine cuts off from the earthly when there is human disobedience, sin or break in fellowship. Let us look at some examples:
Genesis 7:11-12 – “In the sixth hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up and the windows of heaven were opened. And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights”
Genesis 8:2 – “The fountains of the deep and the windows of heaven were stopped and the rain from heaven was restrained”
Exodus 9:22-26 – “And the Lord said unto Moses, stretch forth thine hand toward heaven that there may be hail in all the land of Egypt, upon man, and upon beast, and upon every herb of the field, throughout the land of Egypt. 23. And Moses stretched forth his rod toward heaven; and the Lord sent thunder and hail, and the fire ran along upon the ground, and the Lord rained hail upon the land of Egypt. 24. So there was hail, and fire mingles with the hail, very grievous, such as there was none like it in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation.25. And the hail smote throughout all the land of Egypt all that was in the field, both man and beast, and the hail smote every herb of the field, and brake every tree of the field. 26. Only in the land of Goshen, where the children of Israel were, was there no hail.
Malachi 3:10 – “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it”.
2 Chronicles 7:13 -14 – “If I shut up heaven that there be no rain; or if I command locusts to devour the land; or if I send pestilence among my people; 14. If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land’
2 chronicles 20:22 – ‘And When they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab and mount Seir, which was come against Judah and they were smitten”
Acts 7:54 -60 – 54 – When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth.55 But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, 56 And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God. 57 Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord, 58 And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man’s feet, whose name was Saul. 59 And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. 60 And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.
The point I am making here is that open heaven is a divine response or reaction to human activities. Our activities, conduct, dispositions, behaviors or misbehaviors can attract or repel open heaven.
From the experience of Jesus Christ we can point at two things that if the Lord helps us to know and do will attract open heavens; these are obedience and humility. These two are connected as one is the evidence of the other. Obedience is evidence of humility.
Obedience to the divine which propels a man to fulfill all righteousness even when it is not convenient to do so will command open heavens. That John was supposed to be baptized by Jesus as John protested was the natural sequence in terms of spiritual hierarchy but Christ’s humility and desire to fulfill all righteousness made him to submit to one lower than him in Baptism and then the heaven opened. John speaking about Jesus said “I indeed baptize you with water, but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire: 17 Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his garner, but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable”
That Jesus was greater than John was not in contention but Jesus in obedience to the divine order and desire to fulfill all righteousness insisted that the divine and not the natural order must be followed. How often do we disobey the divine to submit to the natural course of events at our own detriment? When we walk in disobedience we lose the blessings of obedience. Please take note that many things following the natural order will come your way this year opposing divine instruction and insisting on the natural order. When you succumb to the natural which many times implies carnality you will be disobeying the divine and that will work against open heavens. You therefore must insist on following the divine rule, obeying divine instruction and fulfilling all righteousness if you want to attract open heavens.
A disobedient person is arrogant and rebellious but obedience is a clear evidence of humility and submission to higher authority. A person who does not submit to divine authority is challenging the capacity of the divine to exercise such divine authority over him or her and as such should also not expect divine blessings as a natural course of event as a product of obedience in his or her life. Obedience and humility will attract open heavens.
- Tithes and offering – Malachi 3:10
- Love and Submission in Marriage – Ephesians 5:22ff
- Diligence and commitment to work – Proverbs 22:29
- Service to God and humanity – Ephesians 6:5-9
Obedience and humility will draw the divine to you. The Bible says in James 4:6 that God resist the proud but gives grace to the humble. God looks at the proud from afar but dwells with a man with a contrite and humble spirit (Isaiah 57:15). A man or woman that wants lifting must first learn to be humble (James 4:10; 1 Peter.5:6)