Keys to an Open Heaven
by John Avanzini
Copyright © 2001 by International Faith Center, Inc. P.O. Box 917001, Ft. Worth, TX 76117-9001. Printed in the United States of America. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. Contents
and/or cover may not be reproduced in whole or in part in any form without the express written consent of the publisher.
Keys to an Open Heaven. ISBN: 1-878605-54-2
Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the King James Version of the Bible. Scripture marked Amplified is taken from THE AMPLIFIED BIBLE, Old Testament copyright ©
1965, 1987 by The Zondervan Corporation. The Amplified New Testament copyright © 1958, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. For emphasis, the author has placed selected words from the Bible quotations in italics.
P.O. Box 702357
Tulsa, Oklahoma 74170-2357
Keys to an Open Heaven
Perception Can Become Reality
Did you know that the way you perceive God can keep you from knowing the truth about Him? It’s true. Your perception of a person, even if it is wrong, will keep you from seeing him as he really is. That is the reason I make this statement: you will have the God you perceive.
If you perceive Him as a poor god, you will always think he is trying to get money from you. But when you understand He is a rich God, you will realize He is trying to get money to you not from you. Your perception of God and His relationship to your financial
status will cause you to see Him in one of two ways; He will be either Jehovah Needy or Jehovah Jireh.
According to the Bible, God is Jehovah Jireh and is ready and able to prosper and abundantly bless you beyond all you can imagine or think. He is not Jehovah Needy, standing with his hand out trying to get all you have for his own selfish needs.
Here is the bottom line. You are a living epistle (letter) that is being read by every unsaved person who observes your life.
… you yourselves are our letter of recommendation (our credentials), written in your hearts, to be known (perceived, recognized) and read by everybody.
2 Corinthians 3:2, Amplified
If the God you perceive from the teaching you have received is a needy god, all who observe you will perceive your god to be needy or greedy, and they will have no desire to know him. However, if the God you perceive from a correct understanding of His Word is a God who abundantly blesses and prospers His children, those who observe His goodness to you will perceive Him to be a good God who supplies and blesses, and they will come to your light.
… Shine (be radiant with the glory of the Lord), for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you!
… His glory shall be seen on you. And nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.
Isaiah 60:1-3, Amplified
The primary purpose of this book is to provide some key requirements for keeping heaven open over your life. When the windows of heaven are open, the abundance of God can continually flow into your stewardship, revealing to the world the rich and generous God you serve.
Key #1 You Must Tithe
There is no question that the first step to proper stewardship is tithing, for the tithe belongs to God.
And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the LORD’S: it is holy unto the LORD.
God promises that if you faithfully tithe, He will open heaven over your life and abundantly bless you.
Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
In light of this verse, it is clear that if you do not tithe, the windows of heaven will not be open over your life.
Key #2 Keep Your Priorities Right
You will not receive increase from God if you ask for the wrong reasons.
Ye ask, and receive not, because you ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.
You can be assured of an ever-increasing flow of wealth if you will always put the Kingdom of God first in your life.
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
When your primary purpose for increase is for the benefit of the Kingdom, God promises He will supply those things you personally desire as well as the things you need.
Key #3 Don’t Be Double Minded
A double-minded man does not have the ability to receive from God.
But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
You can overcome double-mindedness first by reading and studying the Word of God.
Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
2 Timothy 2:15
Second, you can overcome by listening to anointed ministers as they teach the Word of God. For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established.
Key #4 Give Acceptable Offerings
God does not accept every offering, but you can give in such a way that all your offerings will be acceptable to Him. First, always give from a willing heart.
For if there be first a willing mind, it [your offering] is accepted….
2 Corinthians 8:12
Second, base the amount of your offering on the good things God has given you.
…it [your offering] is accepted according to that a man hath [according to what God has given you], and not according to that he hath not.
2 Corinthians 8:12
Third, always give your offerings with joy and thanksgiving.
…let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
2 Corinthians 9:7
Key #5 Have Proper Understanding
Understanding always governs every part of your ability to receive from God.
Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul [or understanding] prospereth. 3 John 2
You can’t increase in an area if you have no understanding of it. However, when you begin to understand the things God has promised, you will have the ability to receive their manifestation in your life.
Key #6 Cast Out All Fear
The spirit of fear does not come from God.
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
2 Timothy 1:7
You overcome fear by believing and trusting God’s Word more than you trust the words of anyone else, the devil included.
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.
2 Corinthians 10:5
Remember that Jesus is the Truth. You can trust everything He said in His Word.
Key #7 Operate in Faith
You can’t please God if you don’t have faith in Him.
But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
Strong faith is absolutely necessary for increase, for it is the raw material of every promise of God.
Now faith is the substance [raw material] of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
The funding of your stewardship will be in direct proportion to the strength of your faith.
… According to your faith and trust and reliance [on the power invested in Me] be it done to you.
Matthew 9:29, Amplified
Key #8 Cast Down Unbelief
If you are in unbelief, you are not operating in faith. Unbelief will keep you from receiving God’s promised blessings.
So we see that they were not able to enter [into His rest], because of their unwillingness to adhere to and trust in and rely on God [unbelief had shut them out]. Hebrews 3:19, Amplified
There you have it. Unbelief will shut the windows of heaven. But remember that faith in God’s Word will bring every blessing of God to your doorstep.
Key #9 Don’t Look Back to Your Old Life
You must let go of the past. Whether it was good or bad, it is over. Keep in mind that your future is ahead of you, and in Christ it looks bright. Whatever you are involved in for the Lord right now should be the most important thing in your life.
Jesus said to him, No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back [to the things behind] is fit for the kingdom of God.
Luke 9:62, Amplified
Remember that with Jesus, things just keep getting better.
Key #10 Maintain Proper Relationships
A turbulent marriage will hinder your prayers and stop the flow of God’s abundance into your stewardship.
Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.
1 Peter 3:7
This is not only true in marriage. The way you interact with other family members, friends, and co-workers is also important if you desire to live under an open heaven.
Key #11 Walk in Love
Do not allow strife and bitterness into your relationship with your Christian brothers and sisters. It will stop the increase that comes from your giving.
Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.
This verse implies that God will not accept your offerings if you have strife with a brother or sister in the Lord.
… Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
Jesus said no commandment is more important than to walk in love.
Key #12 Believe God’s Proven Ministers
Believing God establishes your life, and believing God’s proven ministers will bring prosperity to your stewardship.
… Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in the LORD your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper.
2 Chronicles 20:20
Remember that God has ordained the five-fold ministry to help bring us into maturity in Christ. If you believe His chosen preachers and teachers, He promises you will prosper.
Key #13 Be Willing to Work
God says that you cannot prosper in His economy without hard work.
For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.
2 Thessalonians 3:10
You must keep in mind that the number one reason for working is that you may have money, not only to meet your own needs, but also to be a blessing.
Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.
You can’t expect a harvest unless you plant seed. If you want to ensure plenty of seed, you must be willing to work for it.
Key #14 Keep Sin Out of Your Life
If you choose to give sin a place in your life, you will bring a curse upon yourself (Deuteronomy 28:15-68).
However, when you choose to keep sin out of your life and obey God, you place yourself in a position to experience all His blessings.
And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all
his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth:
And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God. Deuteronomy 28:1,2
Key #15 Speak the Right Things
Guard your words; speak only of health, life, prosperity, and the godly desires of your heart. Jesus said you will have what you say.
For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Mark 11:23
If you want the windows of heaven open over your life, always speak the things that agree with God’s Word. When your words line up with His Word, you can more easily receive all that God promises you.
Key #16 Pay Your Pledges to God
Unpaid vows cause God to look upon you as a fool.
When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed.
No one wants to be a fool in God’s eyes, for we all know fools do not live under an open heaven. When you make a promise to God, be wise and fulfill your vow.
Key #17 Perceive God As He Is
Continually renew your mind so that you will always perceive God to be who He truly is—the rich generous God of heaven. He is
the God who desires to bless, not curse all of His children. If you perceive God to be harsh and stingy, your incorrect perception will hinder your ability to receive the good gifts He desires to give you. If you perceive Him to be good and generous, you will readily receive the abundant life He has promised you.
…I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
Key #18 Refuse to Love Money
The love of money is the root of all evil. This simply means that it is the first step to most sins.
For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
1 Timothy 6:10
Money is not for loving. It is for blessing you and your family, as well as all the families of the earth (Genesis 12:1-3).
Key #19 Respond to the Cry of the Poor
You must realize that the needs of the poor are of primary importance to the Lord. Giving to the poor is actually lending to
He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.
Ignoring the cry of the poor will bring you to a time of need, and no one will hear your cry for help.
Whoso stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor, he also shall cry himself, but shall not be heard.
Key #20 Be a Doer of the Word
It takes more than just hearing God’s Word to prosper. You must also act upon the Word.
But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
As a doer of the Word, you will qualify yourself to receive God’s blessing.
But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.
Key #21 Get Rid of Traditional
Thinking About Money
Traditional thinking about money will render God’s truth about it ineffective.
So for the sake of your tradition (the rules handed down by your forefathers), you have set aside the Word of God [depriving it of force and authority and making it of no effect].
Matthew 15:6, Amplified
It doesn’t matter what you have heard all your life; if it doesn’t line up with the Scripture, cast it aside and allow the Word of God to be effective in your life. Don’t allow your tradition to block you from the promises.
Key #22 Exercise Patience
The full transformation of your mind will take some time. Be patient. Sowing never brings a n i n s t a n t harvest. As you exercise patience, you will receive the promise of God.
…ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.
It is now time for you to act upon these truths you have learned from the Word of God.
Our God is rich, and as the rich God of heaven, He is eager to supply all of your need as well as your desires through His rich Son, Jesus Christ. As His child, you are standing at the threshold of a bright new existence of stewardship in the rich Kingdom of your rich God. In closing, please join the Apostle Paul in making the following affirmation.
Let it be the beginning of a wonderful new vocation as God’s steward. [I pray that God] would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.
For other books by John Avanzini, or to contact this ministry, write to:
John Avanzini Ministries
P.O. Box 917001
Fort Worth, TX 76117-9001