Open Heaven’s. It’s a picture God gives in the Bible to describe what it’s like to live in a region or a season of uncontainable blessings. In Malachi 3:10-12 God’s words are recorded…
Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it. I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not cast their fruit,” says the LORD Almighty. “Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,” says the LORD Almighty.
The last 12 days, we’ve been prayer-walking the Penn State University campus. We are asking God to open the floodgates of heaven and pour out His blessing. We are asking God to make His presence known. We are asking God to change hearts and — as I mentioned last week — sometimes the first heart He changes, He needs to change, is mine/ours. Here is one of the changes I see occurring — we are talking more about God. We are thinking more about God.
Listen to what is written in Malachi 3:16-16,
Then those who feared the LORD spoke with each other, and the LORD listened to what they said. In his presence, a scroll of remembrance was written to record the names of those who feared him and loved to think about him. “They will be my people,” says the LORD Almighty. “On the day when I act, they will be my own special treasure.”
Can you imagine — being treated as God’s own special treasure? In the Hebrew this word was used to describe the treasures of Kings. The crown jewels. Can you imagine, that there is a way of life the equivalent of being treated as God’s special treasure? Not God’s 2nd-hand 1993 Jeep, or His dirty old boots, but his special treasure.
What’s your special treasure? Precious photo albums, a rare coin collection, old love letters, a stuffed animal, a gun your father gave you? A person? How do you treat your special treasure? “Well I walk on it, leave it laying around, let my kids write all over it, and once in awhile I might look at it.” No we protect our special treasures, and care for them, and love them, and show them off to special friends.
Do you know how much you matter to God? Maybe one of your parents left when you were little. Or someone hurt you… Or you’ve just never felt like you fit in. Do you realize that the generation coming to adulthood now, is the most aborted generation in our history? And we wonder why people want to know if God or anyone else cares?
Can you imagine what it might be like to live under an open heaven flooded with God’s blessings, treated like God’s special treasure? But there’s a problem…it goes to the very heart of our problems. Sometimes if all we think about are God’s blessings, we can miss the blessing of God. In other words sometimes we value God’s gifts over God’s presence… the ultimte blessing.
Malachi lived in a time when people’s greatest need was for an encounter with the living God, but their greatest problem was that they didn’t know their greatest need. They had a false sense of security… that came from a false sense of God’s blessing…economy was good, unemployment was low, life was sweet in Malachi’s happy valley… they thought they were God’s favorites…on a nice leisurely walk with God. But God said, “you’re on the run…you’re not walking towards an extraordinary destination…you’re headed for extraordinary distraction… “Return to me.”
This week, before you go out for a prayer-walk — and I strongly encourage you to do so — spend some time “returning to God.” Check you heart, confess your failures, ask God to forgive you and make you clean. Tell him that you love Him…ask Him to expand your heart to love Him. Return to him before you go out and pray for them. You are His special treasure — live like it.