Bible Reading for Today: Acts 10:1-3 —
“1There was a certain man in Cæsarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band,
2A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway.
3He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius.
4And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God.”
Assurance of Faith
We have been talking about open heavens over the last three days whilst waiting on the Lord in fasting and prayers. In this first instalment, I will like us to consider some things that we can hold on to, as we stand in prayers to believe God for our breakthrough.
What do we have to do to experience open heavens in our lives?
From the scriptures that we have been examining in these series, we can see some helpful patterns emerge. One thing is very certain:
Child of God, you can live under open heavens. It is God's desire and plan for your life to live under, and experience continually open heavens. We are seated with Christ in heavenly places, and we know that Christ is seated in the very presence and at the right hand of the Father.
WHAT TO DO
God's Sovereignty — Many times, God opens the heavens to give man a revelation of His divine presence as a sovereign act without man's input.
Prayers — Our prayers position us to experience open heavens.
In our theme scripture today, Cornelius “provoked” open heavens, as the bible said concerning him:
“Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God.” Acts 10:3b
This is also confirmed by the following two scriptures:
Luke 3:21— “Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened…”
James 5:17-18 —"17Elijah was a human being like us, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain and there was no rain on the land for three years and six months! 18Then he prayed again, and the sky gave rain and the land sprouted with a harvest.“
Have you remained steadfast and importunate in your prayers?
Giving — In the passage of scripture that we read earlier (Acts 10:3b), Cornelius's prayers and his generous giving pushed through the heavens to come before God. Your giving (material and financial) can cause the heavens to be open unto you.
Are you generous and consistent in your giving?
This principle can also be seen highlighted in Malachi 3:10 — "Bring the entire tithe into the storehouse so that there may be food in my temple. Test me in this matter,“ says the LORD who rules over all, "to see if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until there is no room for it all.”
Are you faithful in your tithes and offerings?
Righteous Living and Obedience — As we read in our two scripture passages from Day 1 (In Dt 28:1-23 and 2 Chr 7:13-14), we saw that God warned Israel that the heavens will be shut up against them if they lived in rebellion and sinned against Him; and conversely, He promised Solomon that with repentant heart and righteous living, His people's prayers will guarantee open heavens over their lives.
Are you living a life of obedience and righteousness?
Walking in God's Purpose — One of the ways for us to enjoy open heavens over our lives is to make a commitment to aligning with and walking in God's purpose for our lives. When we do this, God backs up His word in our lives with the whole of heaven's resources made available to fulfil His vision and call for our lives.
Are you walking in alignment with God's purpose for your life?
Faith — This is the building block that underpins every other thing that we have talked about.
It is the assurance of faith that we have in Christ Jesus, that guarantees us access to the throne room of God.
As the bible says in Ephesians 3:12b — “…in whom we have boldness and confident access to God because of Christ's faithfulness”.
As God did when Elijah confronted the prophets of Baal, and later when he declared to Ahab about God opening up the heavens to send down rain, God honoured Elijah because he honoured and declared God's words in faith. God responded to Elijah's faith by opening up the heavens to magnify His Name.
Child of God, God wants to do the same in your life as well.
Will you let Him?
Pastor Wale Ola
Meditate on the points highlighted above, and use them as a checklist to prepare yourself as we round up our prayers for this month's fast. Is there anything you need to do or redress in order to position yourself for what we are praying to God for?
Begin to petition God based on His word and pray that you will begin to walk in the tangible manifestation of open heavens over your life—your household, family, ministry, business, finances, church etc.
Declare and confess over your life, that from today, you will begin to operate and live under open heavens. That God will open the heavens unto you and over you.
Declare that every area of your life will begin to manifest the blessings and evidence of open heavens in the Name of Jesus.