HEAVENS--The Time Is Now"
By Amanda Butel, Editor
churned through 2005, God began to impress upon me His desire to open the
heavens and water us. Eventually, by early October, it was as if the Lord was
shouting, "I'm about to open the heavens and bring release!"
I finally got the message and began to research scripture, read through current prophetic words given by reputable ministers, and glean from several Christian resources on the subject. The Lord revealed further what He is declaring over our individual lives and our regions--and I believe the Body of Christ at large....
The Lord is rending open the heavens and is about to pour out His rain upon His people like never before! For these are significant times of transition. We are entering a new age in the life of the Church--where there is a demand going forth from the heart of this generation.... A unified Body of believers linked to the desire of heaven.... A humble company of people who yearn to know their God intimately and to walk demonstratively in His power and love. A Godly counterculture is rising in the midst of a worldly system that is deeply entangled in the pursuit of self. This radical new breed of Christians will be dictated by Jesus' purpose and will live by His Spirit. They will set their heart on things above, rather than on earthly things. They will walk with the agenda of their Father--partnering with Jesus--to call forth His inheritance. God is ready to display His manifest Presence like never before! We will see healing, hope, favor, salvation, restoration, refreshing, signs and wonders, and provision...supernatural provision in abundance! He is about to blow our minds!
With your spiritual senses, you may have heard the thunderstorm gathering momentum on the horizon. You may have smelled a change in the air. You may have felt the spitting of the beginnings of rain--a drop here, and a drip there--but GET READY FOR THE DOWNPOUR! I believe the Lord is saying that there is a deluge of His power coming!
GOD IS BRINGING RELEASE!
"What is all this about open heavens?" you might be asking. "It doesn't feel like it for me! It seems as though the heavens over my head are as bronze, and the earth beneath me is like iron (Deuteronomy 28:23)! It seems as though nothing I put my hand to prospers. It seems as though all I do is sow, sow, sow...into hard, unproductive soil. My unsaved neighbors are prospering, and my carnal friends appear to have no problems.... WHERE IS MY HARVEST!?"
Hang in there, sons and daughters of the King! Be strong and be courageous. God hears your cries, and your season will surely change!
The Lord is wanting to strengthen you in the hope of His Word: Beloved, I have not forgotten you! You are the apple of My eye...and I have great plans for you--to prosper you and to give you a future and a hope.... For out of your belly shall flow forth RIVERS of living water! Out of your womb shall come forth a manifestation of My Spirit in a brand new way.... Do not despise the day of small beginnings.... Do not reject the small stones I have placed in your hand.... Pursue Me, and I will draw near to you.... You will see Me move mightily in your midst. And you will declare My works.... You will see My Presence arouse you and My Glory spill forth.... A greater dimension of My power is coming upon you.
OPEN HEAVENS ARE SCRIPTURAL
When we search through Scripture, we find several examples of the heavens opening for individuals and regions on earth. There are quite a few references to the doors and windows of heaven. (For example: Ezekiel 1:1; Malachi 3:10; Acts 10:11-20; Revelation 4:1-2; Revelation 19:11.)
Even when Jesus was baptized, Matthew 3:16-17 says, When He had been baptised, 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. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, "This is My Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."
As we read on, we see that Jesus was then led into the wilderness where He was tempted by the devil--and He resisted. He had received an open heaven in the waters of baptism--where the Spirit of the Lord came upon Him--and God spoke forth His blessing and endorsement over His life. This was Jesus' initiation into ministry. Todd Bentley points out in his book, "The Reality Of The Supernatural World", that from then on, even though Jesus consistently faced opposition, the power of God was evident in and through His life. He displayed fruit as He obeyed the will of His Father--going about doing good (Acts 10:38). Jesus multiplied Himself into the lives of others. He subdued the enemy and cast out devils. And He took dominion over His environment, including: creatures, plants, the weather, and the spirit realm. Jesus operated in signs and wonders and revelation all the time, and because of the anointing on His life, people were drawn to Him. When they saw the miraculous operating through Him, they believed.
Likewise, because of the work of the Cross, everywhere you and I walk, we are taking the blessings of heaven within us. Everything we put our hands to has the potential to be fruitful and multiply. God has granted us authority to subdue the works of the enemy, and to take possession and dominion. We are kings and priests of the Most High God, and as we work to do His bidding, He will do the rest! As we align ourselves with the purpose of heaven...our Heavenly Father's authority, blessing and favor will bust a move on our behalf!
YOUR SEED WILL NOT BE LOST
Along with open heavens comes God's rain--the watering of seed!
So let's talk about YOUR seed.... You know, the selfless investments of resources, finances, time, and effort you've sown into the
The Lord wants you to know that ALL THE SEED you have sown into the soil of His Kingdom is being watered and prepared for harvest. He is opening the heavens and showering out His healing rain, His provision, His awesome Presence, His supernatural blessings, His salvation and deliverance, His revelatory insight, and His power! So that the ground beneath you would yield forth INCREASE...earthly and spiritual blessings!
Start believing for INCREASE over your life...increase in all good things that come from your Heavenly Father. God's Word reminds us that our planting has not been in vain!
In Luke 8:4-18 where Jesus tells the parable of the sower, He reminds us to take heed how we hear so the Word of God is not snatched from our hearts or choked by the cares of this world or the pleasures of life. But rather, He urges us to be patient and exercise endurance, so our seed can grow to its full maturity and reap a plentiful harvest--more than we can contain! Therefore, do not grow weary in well-doing!
THE PROCESS OF YOUR SEED
The Lord promises to provide, water, protect, and multiply your seed...so it bears bountiful produce in your life!
1) God supplies your seed. (2 Corinthians 9:10)
2) The Lord Himself invigorates fresh vision and hope and strength as you wait on Him. He floods the parched areas of your heart, and causes your ground to become soft--to yield forth harvest. (Isaiah 44:3,4)
3) Your seed begins to germinate and grow as the Lord breathes upon you. In due season, He provides rain for your seed, and blesses the work of your hand. (Deuteronomy 28:12; Isaiah 30:23)
4) The Lord also provides protection for your seed from the attempts of the enemy to steal, kill, and destroy. (Malachi 3:11)
5) Under open heavens your wilderness flourishes as a fruitful field--which is then counted as a forest! (Isaiah 32:15-20) Your seed multiplies, and the by-products of your fruitful seed become justice, righteousness, quietness, rest, peace, and assurance forever!
6) God establishes your seed! His blessings in your life are EVERLASTING! (Psalm 89:3,4)
THE IMPERATIVE CHOICE TO RENEW YOUR MIND
In order to see God's Kingdom manifest in its fullness, as a Church Body, we must experience a paradigm shift. The Lord is challenging our mindsets. He is imparting fresh hope and faith to our hearts, and encouraging us to stand on His Word--no matter what! He is raising our level of expectation in Him.
He knows that sometimes we just need to get over ourselves, or as John 3:30 puts it, He must increase, but I must decrease. We must repent of our limited and smug opinions, and confront our polluted mindsets of pride, and fear, and self-centeredness. We must incline the ears of our hearts so we can clearly hear the Word of the Lord and allow it to liberate and rejuvenate and empower us.
I find that when I am able to quiet the siege of cares and concerns within me, the Lord whispers to my heart...Amanda, be still and know that I am God! Have I not provided your seed? Did I not say I would cause it to grow? Can I not breathe on your stale and arid situation and bring it to life? Can I not restore your grieving soul. Can I not calm the raging storm around you? Where is your faith? So I am compelled to search my heart...to see where my faith lies, and to redefine where--or in whom--I place my trust.
My question to you is this: Are you seeing His Kingdom come in your life? Are you anticipating God to move on, in, and through you? Are you being transformed from glory to glory? Are you expecting His Presence to overshadow you and His blessings to overtake you?
Admittedly, so often our minds become contaminated with frustration and doubt and endless worry, and it can feel as though we are suffocating in our lack and need and heartache. But don't give up child of God! In your desperation reach out to the Lord, and HE WILL bring refreshing to your soul. He promises to sustain you and send forth His mercy and truth. As you wait on Him, as you exercise endurance, He shall strengthen your heart. As you trust in Him, He will be your shield of protection, and make your way perfect.
Trust in the Lord, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.... For evil doers shall be cut off; But those who wait on the Lord, They shall inherit the earth... (Psalm 37:4,9)
The Word of the Lord comes to remind us...to declare that the Creator of the Universe has delegated to us His authority to be fruitful and multiply His goodness. We are commissioned to subdue the desires of the flesh and this world, and to take dominion over the suggestions and lies of the enemy.
Therefore, as a citizen of heaven, as a rightful heir to the throne, as God's representative in this earthly realm, all you have to do is stand in agreement with the desire of heaven, and obey the voice of your Father. YOU have all authority to do everything the Lord has destined you to. Empowered by the Holy Spirit--the same Spirit which raised Christ from the dead--you are anointed to magnify God in every area of your life.
So get ready! There is an open invitation to us--the Church--to receive His mandate and pursue the higher call; to love the Lord with all our heart, mind and soul; to love others; to lay down our lives for the King of Glory; to possess our inheritance and bring the Lord His--the nations! (Psalm 2:8; Revelation 11:15)
BEYOND THE DAILY GRIND
Being a working mom, I completely understand that "doing life" can become all-consuming! Simply getting through each day's grueling routine threatens to absorb all our energy's reserve and focus. But this is NOT what the Lord has designed for us. Too often we become complacent and accepting of our present culture and current circumstances, and then we so easily kick into "survival mode"--just working through the motions of life. But it takes great courage and trust in the Lord to begin to look further in your heart and life to assess what territory you are possessing for Heaven and what damage you are inflicting upon the Kingdom of darkness. Are you transforming your environment with His light? Are you influencing your family, your neighbors, your colleagues, your friends--and bringing God glory?
Be encouraged, my friend! God doesn't require another Maria Woodworth-Etter or Katherine Kuhlman! And He isn't after pretences, or conjured-up sweat and tears! He doesn't expect you to suddenly transform into a five-fold minister all wrapped in one. He just wants YOU! He simply asks for a surrendered vessel, one who loves and trusts Him, one who believes wholeheartedly in His Word, and one who is willing to follow Him--without compromise. Are YOU that one?
TIMES OF VISITATION
Isaiah 60 predicts that as darkness increasingly covers the earth, so too will the brightness of His rising--upon us! God's Glory will be revealed through His Body. His power and grace, His compassion and might will be shared to the world through His Ambassadors--the Church. Just as the prophet Isaiah prayed in Isaiah 64:1-3, let us cry out to the Lord to rend open the heavens, and invade our earthly realms with His Presence and His Glory!
I urge you to trust in the Lord's faithfulness to do that which He said He would do...and prepare to receive. Position yourself for the release of His Presence. Posture yourself before the throne of grace, and expect Him to do a mighty work in and through you; that you would possess all He has for you; that His blessings would overtake you and make you rich (Deuteronomy 28:2)!
In other words, God wants to enlarge you! He wants your baskets to overflow--like the loaves and the fishes--so you can feed the multitudes, and pour into others (see Dueteronomy 28:11); so you would unreservedly say, "I am greatly blessed, and highly favored of the Lord.... Freely I have received, and freely I give....
I am blessed going in and blessed going out. I am the head and not the tail. I am above and not beneath. No good thing will He withhold from me. My vats overflow with oil. I am living proof of the Word of God working in and through me. The same Spirit that raised Christ Jesus from the dead dwells in me. So therefore I walk in His Kingdom power. I walk in the Presence of the Lord, in step with Him. His fire surrounds me and His Glory dwells within me. He has plans to prosper me, and to give me a future and a hope. I am a new creation, and as a child of God I obtain legal access to the throne of grace. I am an heir of promise. Jesus Himself intercedes on my behalf. The Lord does battle for me. No weapon formed against me shall prosper. His angels go speedily to do His bidding. All of heaven backs up His Word in my life. He will never leave me or forsake me. He won't give up until His Word prospers in my life.... I cannot fail in Him. I put my trust in Him alone."
HE IS WAITING FOR YOU
Revelation 3:20 says that the Lord stands at the door of your heart and knocks. He is waiting to fellowship and dine with you. You are His co-laborer--in partnership with bringing His Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. He has significant and unique plans for you, a specific calling to enhance the Kingdom. He wants to share His treasured secrets--those hidden mysteries of the Kingdom--with YOU! He wants to reveal His strategies for these vital times. And He is ready to split open the heavens, and rain down supernatural favor and blessings upon your life. The secret to discovering these keys is abiding in intimate fellowship with Him.
A PRAYER FOR YOU...
Lord, I thank You for open heavens over my life--bringing release. Open the floodgates of heaven, Lord. Let Your healing rain fall, and water the spiritual ground around and beneath me, that I would yield forth increase and multiplication, that my life would produce fruit--abundant and sweet, and that Your Glory would flow uninhibited in and through me. I repent for the times I've settled for a predictable and limited lifestyle of compromise and irregularity, instead of yielding to an adventurously faith-filled, sacrificial walk with You.
I thank You for signs and wonders, miraculous power, prophecy, healing, salvation, restoration, refreshing, provision, and RELEASE! Thank You for breathing on me afresh--and renewing my hope. I thank You for Your heavenly hosts of protection flanking my path as I work in partnership with You. Tear open the heavens, Lord. INVADE MY WORLD with Your reality and with Your Kingdom! Inflame my heart with Your desire, that Your Glory would continue to manifest in my earthly surroundings in an even greater measure.
Thank You, Lord, for refreshing and abundance, for rest and FAVOR, that Your inspiration would flood my heart, that Your peace and joy would work in and through me, that Your anointing would FLOW through me in an even greater measure, and I would be an ensign of Your goodness and faithfulness--a sign and a wonder, ablaze for You, set apart by You, ignited by Your Spirit, breathed upon by Your Spirit. I deny the enemy's lies. He has no foothold here. Lord, I lift my heart to You in faith and complete surrender. I rest in Your Presence. AMEN