And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him: And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased (Mark 1:10–11, KJV)
When God opens the heavens, the earth flourishes, but when He closes them, the earth withers. This remarkable metaphor of earth-heaven interaction is an excellent image of how the spiritual atmosphere over us determines the course of our lives.
Before proceeding any further, let us examine the physical basis of this metaphor. As with any biblical imagery, God uses natural things we know to describe spiritual truth. The figure of open heavens is that of rain falling from the clouds in the atmosphere upon a piece of farmland. The physical atmosphere is the physical heaven or the first heaven. In this first heaven, rain clouds form in the first layer of the atmosphere( troposphere) and then falls on the earth. Furthermore, when rain falls—open heaven— the vegetation blossoms. But when rain does not fall, a closed heaven, the farmland is scorched, and the vegetation withers.
The interaction of the physical heaven and the earth is an image of how the spiritual atmosphere around us determines our earthly lives. In this metaphor, the physical atmosphere of heaven is a figure of the heaven where God dwells—or third heaven. The rain symbolizes the blessing which proceeds from God and causes His people to flourish on earth. The farmland or the trees represent our lives: spiritual lives, ministries, bodily and mental health, families and other relationships, provisions, businesses, careers, etc. As trees, we flourish under an open heaven of God’s blessings but wither under a closed heaven.
So when God opens the heavens, rain from heaven falls upon the earth and enriches it with the River of God( Ps. 65:9). And when this River that is full of water flows, the trees grow healthy green leaves and produce abundant fruit. What is this rain that falls from God’s presence and enriches the earth? In Mark 1:10-11, two different activities occurred when God opened the heavens over Jesus. First, the Spirit came down. Then, the voice of God was heard. These two blessings, the Holy Spirit and the Word of God, encapsulate the rain from heaven that make people’s life flourish on earth.
God opened the heavens over your life the day you received Jesus as your Savior and Lord. On that blessed day, God spoke to you and placed His Spirit in your heart. Therefore, you are, by default, under an open heaven as a Christian. But whether you will live in that open heaven is determined by your relationship with the Spirit of God and His Word: how you yield to the Spirit’s leadership and live by the Word.
Is it possible to be under open heaven as a Christian but live as though under closed heaven? ( Gal. 5:25)
Apply the Word
There is a spiritual atmosphere that conditions our lives. You create an atmosphere of clouds full of rain over your life whenever you spend time in God’s presence praying and feeding on His Word, yield to His Spirit, or obey His Word in any area of your life. And when these clouds are complete, they empty themselves as rain in your ministry, health, family, etc. Sadly, some Christians are walking with empty clouds over their heads while struggling hard with their strength to make things work for them. Walk under an open heaven!
Thank the Father for the blessing of open heaven in Christ, and ask Him to teach you how to live under an open heaven.