If God is Spirit and we are here in the physical world, how can we approach him? Let's talk today about how to open the gates of heaven through praise.
Hello, everybody. Welcome to the Dona Watson Show. I'm your host, Dona Watson. I'm just an average American Patriot who loves God, her family, her country. I try really hard to listen to God's voice. Sometimes I write stuff. Come with me, together let's explore this crazy experience we call life. Welcome to the show.
Hello, everybody. Welcome to podcast 17: “The Gates of Heaven.” I want to talk with you today about gaining access to the throne of God.
I think we would all agree that the spiritual world exists on a plane that lies above the physical world. The way to connect with God is through the spiritual world.
But how do we get there?
Jesus told the Samaritan woman at the well, in John 4:23-24, “But an hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. Yes, the Father wants such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.”
Ok. So now we have the concept. God is spirit and we are to worship him in spirit. But what’s the “how”? If we are separated from God by the plane of existence, how do we get there?
Let’s look at the Psalms for the answer to that question. Psalm 100:4 reads, “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and bless his name.”
There is something magical about thanksgiving and praise. When we put aside the physical world around us and focus on God, we can begin to praise him for his goodness, for the gifts he has given to us, for provision, for redemption, and as we express these truths, it begins to unlock the gates of heaven. Focusing on the attributes of God, and expressing our gratitude and adoration to him unlocks those gates.
In the Old Testament, when a priest wanted to enter the presence of God, he would bring offerings and incense. This was a foreshadowing of what we can experience in the New Covenant.
Peter wrote about this. We find in 1 Peter 2, starting in verse 1, “Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all slander. Like newborn infants, desire the pure milk of the word, so that you may grow up into your salvation, if you have tasted that the Lord is good. As you come to him, a living stone — rejected by people but chosen and honored by God – you yourselves, as living stones, a spiritual house, are being built to be a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” He continues in verse 9, “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his possession, so that you may proclaim the praises of the one who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.”
Let’s flip over to Psalm 96:8-9 and then we’ll tie these together. The psalmist writes, “Ascribe to the Lord the glory of his name; bring an offering and enter his courts. Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness; let the whole earth tremble before him.”
So there we have it. In the New Covenant, we are the priests and as God’s priests, we are to “rid ourselves of all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all slander,” and as we purify our hearts and minds, we begin to focus on the Lord’s holiness. And as we do so, we begin to unlock the gates of heaven. We begin to enter the presence of the Lord.
When we submit to the Lord, we acknowledge that he is supreme, that he is in control.
A heart that is repentant gains the ear of God. A heart filled with praise becomes the pathway into the presence of God.
Ps 100:4–“Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and bless his name.”
But what if we’re just not feeling it? That’s when it becomes a sacrifice of praise. We already read in 1 Peter 2 about being a holy priesthood that offers spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. In Hebrews 13:15-16, we find: “Therefore, through him let us continually offer up to God a sacrifice of praise, that is, the fruit of lips that confess his name. Don’t neglect to do what is good and to share, for God is pleased with such sacrifices.”
So there you have the how. Now for the why. Why does this even matter? Why should we care? As physical creatures in a physical world we can be tempted to trust only what we can touch, only what we can see. But the truth of the matter is, we are physical creatures in a spiritual world. God the Father is spirit and he created everything. He is the driving force in this world. We are physical creatures trapped in a spiritual world. If you can, think about it this way: The spiritual world is the one that really matters. When our physical bodies die our spirits will live on and what we do now prepares us for that life after death.
That’s why this is such a critical issue. I encourage you today to align your spirit with God’s. To come to him in repentance, to offer him a sacrifice of praise, to unlock the gates of heaven and to worship God in spirit and in truth. And that, my friends, is how we rise above the things that would hold us back here in this physical world in order to focus on eternal principles that truly matter.
That’s all I have for today, guys. I hope this truth settles in your spirits and…ponder it. Until next time, remember, I love you and God does too. Take care! Bye.