Floodgates and Heavens
This past Sunday our worship team launched our service with the praiseful song “Open up the Heavens” in which the chorus shouts
Open up the Heavens / We want to see You
Open up the floodgates / A mighty river
Flowing from Your heart / Filling every part of our praise!
The song is a prayer, inviting the Spirit of God to both descend from above and erupt from within, and there is precedent for this entreaty…
The prophet Isaiah cried, “…let the clouds pour down righteousness; Let the earth open up and salvation bear fruit…” (Isa. 45:8). Ezekiel explained, “the heavens were opened and I saw visions of God.” (Ezek. 1:1). To the faithful tither God tosses the challenge “…test Me now in this… if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.” (Mal. 3:10)
Jesus assured “Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” (John 7:38). As he was being stoned to his death Stephen testified “I see the heavens opened up and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” (Acts 7:56). And Peter “saw the sky opened up…“ as God affirmed to him His plan to extend salvation to the Gentiles (Acts 10:11).
But water cannot drench where it is prevented by an umbrella. It cannot quench where the bottle is corked.
Just one year after my birth the classic musical/romantic comedy “Singin’ in the Rain” came to theatres. An iconic scene from the movie features director, choreographer and dancer Gene Kelly gleefully singing and dancing in a downpour. He’s carrying an umbrella, but it remains closed for the most part. He’s getting drenched, but he doesn’t mind at all. At one point he even stands beneath a gushing downspout! — Check out the scene here .
Pastor Andrew’s message Sunday morning warned us against the dangers of a “hardened” heart… a heart that has become slow to obey, then stiffened by self-will, no longer pliable clay but dry, cracking, brittle.
The only hope for softening a substance like that is a good, long soaking… a drenching and absorbing.
This week, let’s keep singing… pleading… “Open up the Heavens… open up the floodgates…” but let us ensure no umbrellas are up, no hearts are closed.
It’s a wonderful thing the Lord seeks to do in us… in you. And it’s a wonderful rest He offers. But more about that tomorrow…
To hear Pastor Andrew’s complete message, go to the Lincoln Baptist Church website and look under ‘Sermons Online’ for the Feb. 2 message.