It’s a great title for an album isn’t it? The art is spectacular, the song is beautiful… but what does it actually mean? What are we trying to communicate when we say OPEN HEAVEN / River Wild? I think the answer is simply found in the Scriptures…
In Genesis 28:12-15, God stood at the top of the stairway from Heaven, and Jacob’s perspective about his calling was changed. In Ezekiel 1, Ezekiel sees the manifested glory of God, resulting in worship and hearing the voice of God. Stephen became filled with the Holy Spirit, and gazed into heaven and saw Jesus (Acts 7:55-56). Only a few chapters later (Acts 9:3-6), Paul had an intense God-encounter that changed his life forever and he received his apostolic calling. In Acts 10:11-46, the sky was loosened while Peter was in meditation and was given the Gospel to the Gentiles. And in John’s vision in Revelation 4, a door was standing open in Heaven and a voice came forth saying, “Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this.” Then John saw the throne of God.
As we experience God opening up the heavens, we hear His voice, and we find ourselves facedown on our knees. When faced with an Open Heaven, we cannot remain unchanged — our only response is worship. Humble, uninhibited, passionate worship.
But the culmination of Heaven opening up is with the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
N.T. Wright says:
“The resurrection completes the inauguration of God’s kingdom. . . . It is the decisive event demonstrating that God’s kingdom really has been launched on earth as it is in heaven”
Heaven has opened up and broken through to our earth. In Jesus’ coming, and in the outworking of God’s great redemptive plan, we have access to all of the richness of Heaven and full access to the Father. Our relationship is restored and we are invited to participate in God’s plans for a new humanity. We are invited to pray, seek, go, tell, work, imagine and love. We are invited to continue on in bringing Heaven to earth.
And as we do, help is given through the person of the Holy Spirit who empowers us to live God’s way … Jesus put it best when He said in John 7:38,
“Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”
A river wild, if you will. We become engulfed in God’s love for humanity and we receive life. Life abundantly. A Jesus kind of life. A River Wild kind of life.
A river wild kind of life, as we become full of passion and seek to live in a new reality with the rightful King at the helm.
A river wild kind of life, as we realize we have been swept up in grace undeserved.
A river wild kind of life, as we are filled with the Holy Spirit and empowered to be witnesses to the wonder and hope of Christ within us.
In Jesus, Heaven opens, and in us He stirs a river wild… A passionate, explosive love for God and for the humanity He created.
And so as this collection of songs plays on your phone or in your car, as you sing these songs in your homes and churches, our prayer is that you would sense the nearness of Heaven, the love of the Father, the grace of Jesus Christ and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit. That these songs would not merely be words, but that they would ignite and stir within you a passion for God and a love for people. That you would be compelled to go out into your world to tell, over and over again, our story of His rescue and hope. That you would seek to bring change to a world still in desperate need of the love of a Saviour.
May the All-Consuming consume you, and may you truly be immersed in His mercy …
OPEN HEAVEN / River Wild