“Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so that there will be food enough in my Temple; if you do, I will open up the windows of heaven for you and pour out a blessing so great you won’t have room enough to take it in! Try it! Let me prove it to you!”—Malachi 3:10
The windows of heaven are open to you. All that you need you will find there, on the other side of those windows. All you have to do is reach up and receive it. You might not understand it all, where it came from, or how it was put there for you, or even why Jesus has given you so much. But all you have to know is that because He loves you, He’s opened the windows of heaven for you, and you can receive all that you need.
If you’re feeling unhappy or worried, ask Jesus for His overflowing joy and His peace that surpasses all understanding. If you’re struggling in some way, ask Him for strength and answers. Then reach up and receive whatever you’ve asked for. The way you reach up is by putting feet to your prayers. If you have been feeling unhappy or worried, then begin to praise Him and let Him restore your joy and peace. If you need answers, then stop to listen for His voice and believe that as you ask, you will receive.
The windows of heaven are open for you, because Jesus loves you! And there’s nothing that you could need that He cannot supply through His open windows.
Living in His abundant joy
“For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” 2 Chronicles 16:9
What Jesus searches for in His children is an awakened soul that thrills to the joy of His Presence! However, you are often subject to a slumbering soul: taking for granted your life with all its blessings, being overly focused on negative things, buying into the world’s version of the good life. Jesus wants to help you break free from these worldly weights so your soul can soar in the heights with Him.
Yearning for an awakened soul is half the battle. Many of God’s children view devotion to Him as a duty, and they look elsewhere for their pleasures. They fail to understand that the joy of Jesus’s presence outshines even the most delightful earthly joy.
Of course, it is not an either/or situation. You don’t have to choose between enjoying Jesus and the many good gifts He provides. It is simply a matter of priorities: He wants you to treasure Him above all else.
The more fully you enjoy Jesus, the more capacity you have to appreciate the blessings He shower upon you. As you delight in Him, He’s free to bless you bountifully. If you keep Him first in your life, His good gifts will not become your idols. Delight yourself in Jesus and He will give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart.
One thing is needful
“There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:42
There is changing power in the Words of Jesus. By absorbing them into your innermost being, they have the power to change you. His Word works as a catalyst, allowing His Spirit to do its transformative work in your heart and life.
But in order for it to work, you have to imbibe His Words. You have to take them in. You have to receive them, believe them, and accept them. Then you have to live them, follow them, implement them. That’s how His Spirit can work in your heart, in your life, in your very spirit.
Jesus knows it’s easy to become distracted with the things around you—your ministry, your job, your pet projects, even seemingly necessary things like doing your laundry or cleaning your house all of which are good. But sometimes they can distract you or detract from the best.
Only one thing is needful. Only one thing in all of life is needful, and when you have chosen that good part, it will not be taken away from you.
That good part, this one thing that is needful that empowers you to do all the rest is your time spent with Jesus, sitting at His feet to learn of Him, whether through your time of getting quiet in spirit to seek Him in His Word, or through seeking His voice in prophecy, or in praising Him in song, or in praying for the needs of others and even yourself; or in committing your day, your plans, your hopes into His safekeeping. This is how your spirit reaches out to touch and connect with His Spirit, to keep itself unspotted by the world and its evil.
Take on the full armor of God—the helmet of salvation that binds us and makes us one, bringing us close enough to speak to each other; the breastplate of righteousness, of shunning the things of this world by turning to His Spirit every time such temptations come knocking at your heart’s door; the shield of faith to quench every fiery dart of the Enemy, and which helps you trust Jesus, depend on Him, and look to Him; your loins girt with truth—the truth of His Word entering your most secret parts; your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace—as you share His Word with others; the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God; and finally the cloak of your zeal and fervor for Jesus.
And the way you manifest this zeal is by seeking to fill your life with the Spirit of Jesus, His Word, His will, and His ways. It is your praises, your love for others, your giving to others, your seeking, your knocking in the Spirit, your acknowledgment in humility of your own nothingness and His greatness that form this cloak which will encompass everything you do in the warmth of His presence and Spirit.
This is your destiny, to run the race before you. Honors are laid up for you at the end of the road, at the end of the race which you must patiently run, keeping your eyes fixed on Jesus. By looking to Him, by doing that one thing that is needful, you will finish the course, obtain the crown, win the prize of His high calling, and be prepared to move on to the next round of the Greater Victories Olympics.
A crown of life
“I haven’t learned all I should even yet, but I keep working toward that day when I will finally be all that Christ saved me for and wants me to be. No, dear brothers, I am still not all I should be, but I am bringing all my energies to bear on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God is calling us up to heaven because of what Christ Jesus did for us.” Philippians 3:12–14
Keep your focus on Jesus, and on the crown of life He has promised to those who love Him. There is a sense in which life on this earth is an endurance contest. It can be helpful to view your life this way, because then you’re not shocked or disappointed by the many trials you encounter. Nonetheless, He provides splashes of pleasure even in the midst of your hardest times. Among the many blessings He has for you, the joy of His presence is always available to you.
The crown of life is similar to the wreath that was awarded for athletic victory in biblical times. However, those athletes competed to get a perishable crown, a wreath of greenery, and you are receiving a crown that will last forever! Whenever you are feeling battered by life’s trials, remember the crown of righteousness that is stored up for you. Because it is His righteousness that saves you, this eternal reward is absolutely guaranteed! Jesus has promised to give it to all those who love Him, who long for His return. When He, the Chief Shepherd, come back for you, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away!
“Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that never fades away.” 1 Corinthians 9:25; James 1:12; 1 Peter 5:4