Spend some time in the charismatic circles of Christianity, and you will probably hear the term “open heaven” used here and there. It’s a term meant to describe the resources and assistance of God and heaven being available and given to you.
There are a great number of believers today who are looking for an open heaven, and wondering how to get it. So today we are going to have a discussion about how this can be achieved, and how Heaven is actually open to you right now, today.
In my conversations, I often hear people say that “it just feels like God isn’t listening! Like my prayers are just bouncing off of the ceiling!” – and I know that feeling well, I’ve said the exact same things before in the past. It’s a common problem – and for some people it can be so disheartening that it destroys their confidence and their belief. The frustration and confusion can even dismantle their faith, because they start to internalize everything and try to analyze why it’s happening and they experience a spiritual kind of analysis paralysis. Again, I know it well, I understand; I’ve been there and done that, I have the t-shirt, and the hat.
So today we are going to talk about why this happens, and also how to overcome it, and it’s probably easier than you think it is… so let’s get started!
As with everything else the foundation and focal-point of all of this, is none other than Jesus Christ and His sacrifice. You might have seen that coming already, or that may be an entirely new revelation for you (if so that’s okay). It’s the most important piece of information that you will ever receive, and it is the support-structure for everything else. Quite simply, Jesus changes everything.
Now that may seem overly simplistic, but stick with me here, because we aren’t just going to use that phrase like a bumper-sticker… it actually means something here. When I say “Jesus changes everything” I am talking about, the Covenant that you’re under, and the Identity, that you now have as a reborn new creation. If you ever need help remembering this, just think of “See, eye” or “I, see” – and as we continue looking at these areas of Jesus changing your covenant and spiritual identity, you will most definitely see how amazing this is!
And the first thing I would like to share with you today, is actually something from the old covenant, found in Deuteronomy 28:23:
“And your heaven that is over your head shall be brass, and the earth that is under you shall be iron.”
This interesting phrase is what many people describe as their situation. They describe their heaven over their head as brass, their prayers just bounce off of their brass ceiling, and God just doesn’t hear them. But what we should honestly consider is, is this actually true of their situation? And this is where the truth of Jesus comes into play.
You see, this verse of Deuteronomy 28:23 is describing a curse; specifically a curse of disobedience under the old covenant. This particular curse is part of an entire list of curses which cover the majority of the chapter. And an important point to consider is that there is no cherry-picking here. God does not say that those under the Old Covenant Law would be cursed with some of the curses for disobedience – no He actually specifically says in verse 15 of this same chapter, that all of the curses shall come upon you. So unless you are prepared to claim every single curse listed in Deuteronomy chapter 28, you might want to think twice about claiming this one here.
Let’s simplify it even more though… are you as a child of God, a new creation in Christ, under the curse of the Old Covenant Law of Moses?
Have you ever even thought about this question? What I have seen and experienced over the years is that many Christians act a certain way and say and believe certain things without considering the underlying truth of what they are saying and believing.
You see, Galatians 3:13 states plainly that Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law.
Now what does this mean for you today? In proverbs 26:2 we can see the following:
“As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, so the curse causeless shall not come.”
This here plainly tells us that a curse will not come without a cause. So is there a cause? Most people think that when they commit a sinful action, that is itself a fresh cause for a curse. This is actually the predominant viewpoint on this verse of scripture. However this idea totally neglects the finished work of Christ… God is not judging us today based on our performance, He is judging us today based on Jesus’ performance (Philippians 3:4-9). This is the foundation of the matter and indeed everything else as well. We cannot earn any blessing, but in Christ we have them all. And so too with this verse here, Christ is the reason why this verse is a promise to us and not a burden, because in Christ Jesus, there is never a cause for cursing. Jesus Himself cannot be cursed and therefore since we are in Him, we also can not be cursed.
Now if we stopped right here, it would be enough, but wait, there’s even more! Turn with me to Numbers 23:21-23:
“He has not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither has he seen perverseness in Israel: the LORD his God is with him, and the shout of a king is among them.
God brought them out of Egypt; he has as it were the strength of an unicorn.
Surely there is no enchantment against Jacob, neither is there any divination against Israel: according to this time it shall be said of Jacob and of Israel, What has God worked!”
This is the Biblical account of the words which the LORD put into Balaam’s mouth when Balak the king of Moab had hired Balaam to curse Israel. Notice that in verse 21, Balaam says that God has not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither has He seen perverseness in Israel. I find this fascinating because we know full well just from reading the history of Israel in the scriptures, that Israel committed much iniquity and sin, however God did not see it – they were covered by their blood sacrifices.
Then in verse 23, we see that without any doubt, Surely there is no enchantment against Jacob, neither is there any divination against Israel. This is not just wishful thinking here, this is absolute certainty. There is no enchantment, no divination, nothing against God’s people.
Now they had the blood of bulls and goats, which did not remove their sin, but only covered their sins for a single year. We have the eternal Spotless Lamb, Jesus Christ who has shed His Divine Blood once and for all.
You might say, “But James, are you absolutely sure that nothing can get through?” Look at verse 20, which says:
“Behold, I have received commandment to bless: and he has blessed; and I cannot reverse it.”
In Christ Jesus today, you are blessed, not cursed, and no-one can reverse it!
This is why, as I mentioned earlier, Jesus changes everything! We need to stop behaving and believing as though we are still under the old covenant, when Jesus has actually placed us in the New Covenant.
So with this knowledge in place, how exactly is Heaven opened for us today?
Again, it all comes back to Jesus, and in Genesis 28 we can see an absolutely amazing picture of this truth. Check out verses 12-14 of Genesis chapter 28:
“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.
And, behold, the LORD stood above it, and said, I am the LORD God of Abraham your father, and the God of Isaac: the land where on you lie, to you will I give it, and to your seed;
And your seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in you and in your seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.”
This is the famous “Jacob’s Ladder” that you may have heard of before. Take notice that angels are ascending and descending, going up to heaven, and coming down to earth by way of this ladder.
Also notice that the blessings here are not just for Jacob and his family alone, but all the families of the earth. (this includes you and me as part of God’s family and kingdom).
Yet you may still be wondering how all of this fits together. Well, stick with me here – you’re about to see it as we turn to John 1:51, and see this:
“And he said to him, Truly, truly, I say to you, Hereafter you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of man.”
Jesus is the fulfillment of what Jacob saw in his vision! Jesus is the ladder upon which angels ascend and descend. Jesus is the way by which heaven is open to us, and for us!
So do your prayers bounce off of the ceiling today?
1st John 5:14-15 says:
“This is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he hears us: And if we know that he hear us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.”
That is the confidence that you can have today in Christ Jesus, that when you pray he hears you, and you know (not wish, or guess, but know) that you have whatever you ask.
And don’t get tripped up on that “according to his will” part in verse 14 – because people use that bit far too often to completely nullify the rest of the verse and say “well God didn’t hear you because it wasn’t his will”.
But the verse doesn’t say “according with his will”, but rather it says “according to his will”. The idea here is that the fact that today in Christ God will always hear your prayer is according to the will of God!
This is actually spelled out in Hebrews chapter 8, the Old Covenant did not allow for unconditional blessings and God was forced to disregard his people due to their disobedience, but now in Christ, the condition has been eternally met, and God gives you all things freely (Romans 8:32).
My friend, as you meditate on these truths today, I encourage you to look squarely at Jesus. Look to Him, and not upon religion – because the difference is vast; night and day. Darkness and light.
See Jesus, and you will see clearly yourself as well. You will see your new identity in Him, and you will find every curse removed and every blessing given freely, as you stand secure in Christ, under an open heaven.