I have been looking to the Lord concerning what is Open Heavens Ministries. What is its purpose? What is it supposed to be doing? Where are we in the things of the Lord? Where should we be and how do we get where we should be? What is God’s will? Has anyone else been thinking about some things like that for your own life?
Open Heavens Ministries is not to be a spectator church. In most churches the people sing a couple of hymns, listen to the sermon, and then go home. They never participate; they never function. It is our responsibility to teach the people how to function in the Body of Christ. Jesus Christ is to be glorified in that way. Now you can say, “Well, He is glorified. He’s always glorified.” But His glory is not manifested except when He functions through someone. It is not what you do for the Lord, but the emptying out of self so He has a channel to flow through. When He moves through you in some way, then He is glorified.
We must learn how to function in the Body of Christ. However, it is very difficult to teach people to function when they don’t want to. That is human nature. Human nature does not want to walk with God. The greatest hindrance to spiritual maturity is self.
Our relationship with the Lord can be greatly enhanced through just talking with Him. We tend to get very religious when we pray, and the more religious it is the more ineffective it becomes. We want to learn His presence and have confidence in our relationship with Him. When you pray, just talk to the Lord as you would with another person. Just talk to Him. Tell Him what you like; tell Him what you don’t like. Be very honest with the Lord. “God, I really don’t like the way circumstances are right now.” Just talk to Him. “Lord, I know what I am. Help me to walk with You. Teach me Your ways.” Talk to Him, even when you are involved in other things. Talk to Him in your mind. You don’t have to speak out loud. So, what are you doing? You are creating a relationship with the Lord. You are creating an awareness of His presence. You are learning that He is really with you. A major problem among Christians is a lack of awareness of His presence.
So let’s get back to what we were talking about. Our greatest hindrance to spiritual growth is self. That is where the battle rages. That is where the victory is won or lost. The elimination of self is most difficult, but that is what makes us overcomers.
II Corinthians 10:3-4 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the
4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds…
We are walking around on this earth in a human body, but we don’t war in a human way. The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, not of man. Have you pulled down any strongholds lately? Have you ever felt like you were in a cage? “How can I break out of this?” Pull down some strongholds! First, you have to know where those strongholds are. The next verse tells us.
II Corinthians 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ…
Casting down imaginations… That is where the strongholds are. They are in your thinking, in your self life. The imaginations that need to be cast down are in your carnal mind. Very often when a person says, “I feel the Lord is speaking this to my heart…,” it is not the Lord speaking to their heart at all. It is coming from their mind, because most do not know the difference between what is coming from their mind and what the Lord is speaking in their heart. We need to know the difference. Blessed is the man that walks not in the counsel of the ungodly. Psalm 1:1. “Well, I haven’t been under any counsel of ungodly people.” The ungodly is your mind. To walk in the counsel of the ungodly is to be led by your carnal mind, the ungodliness of your human nature.
We tend to use a lot of terminology that makes us look spiritual and it gets to be a habit. Just learn how to talk with the Lord. Don’t try to be super-spiritual, just be little. Empty yourself out. We are not trying to be something special. We just want to know Him, that’s all. Everything that would hinder us from knowing the Lord is found within us. In the Old Testament when those Israelites came out of Egypt, they were slaves. They came out of Egypt saying, “Oh boy, we’re free now!” Actually, they were just as much enslaved as they were when in Egypt, because they still had Egypt in their heart and that is where the bondage really was. Even while they were in Egypt under the taskmaster they could have been free.
Whatever your situation, whatever circumstances you find yourself in, you don’t have to be in bondage to those things. While Paul was in prison, he said, “The word of God is not bound” (II Timothy 2:9). He could speak the Word and send letters to the churches. He was in bondage but his ministry was not. A man’s gift makes room for him, and brings him before great men. Proverbs 18:16. Again he said, “I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content” (Philippians 4:11). It is not the circumstances that we’re in that determine our freedom. It is our heart relationship to the Lord, because wherever you are He is there, too.
Casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God… “Well, I can’t think of anything in my life that is exalting itself against the knowledge of the Lord.” Human nature always exalts self. Every aspect of human nature is opposed to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Self always exalts itself. That is why Jesus said, If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; and whosoever will lose his life for My sake shall find it. Matthew 16:24-25. Cast down the imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.
II Corinthians 10:6 And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.
You may ask, “I wonder why God hasn’t brought judgment on some of the ungodly things around us and some of the ungodly people who are doing such ungodly things?” Well, if He brought judgment on those ungodly people, then He would have to bring judgment on the ungodliness that is in us, too. He will revenge all disobedience when ours is complete. He is dealing with the sinfulness of our flesh nature now. Judgment comes to His people first. For the time is come that judgment must first begin at the house of God; and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the Gospel of God? I Peter 4:17. We want the judgment of God! We want the corrective judgment of God that we may not be judged with the world. We want the fire of God to purge us and bring forth His righteousness in us. Then we will be the pure channel through which the Lord can accomplish His purposes. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow…Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me…Then will I teach transgressors Thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto Thee. Psalm 51:7, 10, 13. Our purpose is to become a channel for the Lord.
Copyright © 2007 by Henry DuBose