God is Near: The Message of Heaven Come Conference
This devotional series focuses on communing with God, the One who is near, and exploring what it means to be “gates of heaven” on the earth. This idea presents itself in Genesis with Jacob, and in the New Testament through the life of Jesus and at Pentecost. We created this series as a way for anyone around the world to engage with the theme of our upcoming Heaven Come Conference: “God is Near”.
What Pentecost signifies for all believers is that “the gate of heaven” is not just something real, or merely with us (Jesus), but now in us, alive and active. Again, this phrase refers to living aware of the full reality of God’s intentions on the earth, His capability, and His desire to work through our lives.
Jesus enters the world as the “house of God”, the one who “tabernacled” among men full of grace and truth.
When Jesus sends his disciples the gift of the Holy Spirit, He makes us the house of God.
In his teaching on this topic pastor Bill Johnson describes, “What Jesus demonstrated on the earth and on the cross cleared the way so that we are without excuse- we now have access, not through travail or labor, but free access to Him and his world at every moment of every day. We live as a gate to release that reality into this one.”
During their time with Jesus, the grace of the Holy Spirit was with the disciples, directing them and empowering their ministry. But with forgiveness of sin having been accomplished at the cross, the Holy Spirit could now occupy them and operate from within. This realization extends the theme of “the house of God” and adds another level of meaning to “the gate of heaven”.
The infilling of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost and in the life of any believer today makes us “the house of God”. The very presence of God dwells within us, we are carriers of His presence, collectively and individually “the gate of heaven”.
Through the gift of the Spirit, we can partner with the Father’s reality, the kingdom of heaven, and see His purposes brought to earth.
Jesus’ time on earth modeled what kind of life that was possible and intended by God. In John 14:12-14 Jesus declares, “Whosoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in My name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask for anything in My name, and I will do it.”
Jesus’ demonstrations of compassion and power, His death and resurrection, and His gift of the Holy Spirit qualify us to move in the same faith and obedience.
The words Jesus told his disciples when they asked him how to pray can become tangible and powerful in our lives. We now have authority to expect and participate in what it means to see His will be done, “on earth as it is in heaven.” Jesus would not tell us to pray something that wasn’t possible. Those radical words mean that anything we see around us that does not align with the reality of the kingdom of heaven (sickness, pain, lack, strife, despair, confusion, etc.) we can affect through decree, prayer, the laying on of hands, prophetic acts, acts of faith, and more, all modeled for us in Scripture.
Jesus’ time on earth brought with it revelation of how to become like Him, and He gave us the key that enables us to: His Spirit. Jesus described Himself as the Light of the world and before He departed earth, he called us the Light of the world (Matthew 5:14). Rick Warren describes it like this,
“This is a portrait of discipleship. Jesus, who is the Light of the world, re-creates us into the Light of the world. We are light, not because of anything in ourselves, but because we are now in a supernatural union with the Light of the world.”
Pray & Reflect:
- Have you experienced the baptism of the Holy Spirit? This a gift available for every believer and is part of God’s full intention for you as His child. Take some time and pray this prayer:
- Come Holy Spirit, fill me from the inside out with the fullness of Your presence. May I never be the same. Show me what it looks like to be influenced by You and moved by You with faith and compassion, so that I may be a blessing to others the way Jesus was. Become my closest companion and guide me into greater things.”
- What are some ways that you would love to be used by God, but haven’t fully believed are possible? (Do you want to see more people experience salvation, healings, reconciliation, deliverance from mental illness, restored marriages, etc.)? Ask Him to show you some of the powerful ways He plans to use you to demonstrate his kingdom the way the disciple did. Write these down.
- Sometimes it can be easy to feel like only those on stage, or with the microphone, or who have been in ministry for years are qualified to see radical displays of the kingdom. But the truth is we all have been qualified, and anything is possible. Take a moment to pray this prayer:
- Holy Spirit give me the courage to step out in risk when I know You are giving me the opportunity to release Your kingdom. Help me not underestimate or discount what this could look like at any moment. Give me eyes to see and ears to hear. If I see breakthrough, build in me a capacity to be trusted with more. If I don’t see breakthrough, help me maintain hope and expectation that You are always at work and You are always good.
Acts 2:2-4, John 14:12-14, John 8:12, Matthew 5:14
To read the first blog of the message of Heaven Come Conference, Jacob’s Dream: The Gate of Heaven, click here.
To read the first blog of the message of Heaven Come Conference, The Son: The Gate of Heaven Among Us, click here.
Click Below to visit the Heaven Come Conference Website for information + registration.