Saturday, June 14, 2014

Atmosphere Is Everything!

"And the four living creatures, each one of them having six wings, are full of eyes around and within; and day and night they do not cease to say, Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord God, the Almighty, who was and who is and who is to come.' And when the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, to Him who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders will fall down before Him who sits on the throne, and will worship Him who lives forever and ever, and will cast their crowns before the throne, saying, 'Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created." (Revelation 4:8-11) 

There is no doubt that the atmosphere of heaven is God Himself. According to the Scripture, worship is happening day and night in heaven. It never stops. Why? Because God is so awesome! He is so glorious His glory fills all of heaven. The atmosphere of heaven is the overwhelming, very tangible presence of God.

There are times when heaven comes to earth as we lift up Jesus in our praise and worship. Through God's infinite grace, and the power of His Holy Spirit the atmosphere of heaven permeates the natural realm...and the only logical thing to do is to lift our hands, our voices, or simply fall before Him. When the atmosphere of heaven comes to the earth things change. When heaven touches earth we change! When God manifests Himself...freedom comes. I've seen mountains turn to molehills. I've seen folks physically healed (including myself). I've seen people weep for joy. Many times we've seen people repent of their sins, and even surrender their entire being to the tangible presence of Jesus. When heaven comes to the earth one begins to comprehend the brevity of this natural life...and the reality of eternity.

Listen to Psalm 22:3, "Yet You are holy, O You who are enthroned upon the praises of Israel." David, even though in a dry and weary land at this point in his life, acknowledged that God enthrones Himself on the praises of His people. There is something about praise and worship that creates an atmosphere in which God is pleased to dwell. It is not that He's not everywhere. It's that when worship goes up...His manifested presence comes down! When God manifests Himself in this way, heaven comes to earth.

As I said earlier, and as I've personally experienced many times...when heaven comes to earth....things change. In Acts 16 Paul and Silas had been imprisoned for preaching the gospel of Jesus. They were beaten badly and thrown into the deepest, darkest, yuckiest part of the prison. There was water, mud, and rats all over the place. At midnight they began praising and worshiping God. They weren't trying to get something started, they just loved Jesus. They knew the comfort they would receive from worshiping Him in adverse conditions. The conditions weren't right. As a matter of fact, they stunk! The atmosphere stunk. But they worshiped out loud anyway. They created an atmosphere in which God was pleased to dwell, and dwell He did. He came and shook the entire prison with an earth quake. As a result, their chains and shackles fell off (including all the prisoners in the whole prison). The prison keeper and his entire family got saved as a result of heaven coming to earth!

I've often said we don't worship Him based on our feelings. This is very true. But we must also understand that through the power of praise and worship we have the ability to literally change the atmosphere of the room we are in. We have the ability to change the atmosphere of our city! In the midst of the most a stinky, nasty, muddy, worldly atmosphere God will enthrone Himself on the praises of His people. No matter how you feel. No matter what your circumstances. Praise Him. Create an atmosphere in which He is pleased to dwell. Heaven will come to earth.

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