The language of the rock, the oil, and the open heaven can be misleading. Each is something we would be tempted to call “it”, but in each case we need to say “He”. Seeing God as a person makes all the difference.
A few years ago I had an open heaven experience because I shifted from the language of “it” to the language of “He”. Here’s what happened.
I was in a worship service and we had all gone sky high in spontaneous worship. It became so intense that the worship leader took his hands off the keyboard and shrugged at another person on the worship team. It wasn’t time for man to lead; God was leading for now.
The worship was intense and I was hungry, so I prayed the classic prayer, “More, Lord.” It’s a good prayer, but on that day, my heart immediately corrected me: was I simply expecting God to double the voltage of His presence, as though He were a mere force field?
As soon as this thought flashed through my mind, I changed my prayer. “Lord, make it more personal,” I prayed.
Instantly I saw Jesus standing in front of a stone wall and grinning at me. As soon as our eyes met, He began to walk and I followed. He took me up onto the porch of an apartment in a three-story brick building, opened the front door, and walked in…
I won’t write about the furnishings in the apartment or the three people who were sitting at the dining table. Instead, this was a new beginning for me as God has led me into a season of open visions.
What is an open vision? Contrast it with another kind of visions, the picture that flashes in your mind when you seek God’s wisdom. Many visions are pictures like the still photos you would see in a photo album or on someone’s FaceBook page.
Some visions are like videos, complete with sound and motion. But an open vision goes one step further, putting you in an interactive video in which you participate. What you say or don’t say will affect the way the vision unfolds; so will what you do or don’t do.
It has been very humbling since then to have had more than my share of open visions. Some have been scenes from the earth and some have been in heaven. It’s humbling because it isn’t my gift or my anointing or my will that makes it happen; I get there by invitation only. And a tone of the fear of God goes with these experiences, as they happen with the tacit understanding that I am there only by permission and not because I have somehow earned the right to be there.
Without exception, whenever I get into an open vision, it happens by relating to God as a person, not as an inanimate force field or a theological concept. He is much more personal than you and I are. Next to Him, we are the ones who are inanimate objects.
Why do I share about the open visions I have had? Because God is giving these experiences to more and more of His people. We are in a season when we are going to need profound God-encounters to equip us to shine brightly in a world that appears to be getting darker every day.
So whenever you consider the rock, think in terms of “He” and “Him” rather than “it.” The same holds true for the oil; the Holy Spirit is a person.
In what everyone is calling the Information Age, this personal dimension is one of the great differences between God-given prophecy and the endless chatter of man. That which is born of the Spirit is spirit; that which is born of the flesh is flesh.