Streams in the Desert - Jun 28

by L. B. E. Cowman and Jim Reimann

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There before me was a door standing open in heaven. (Revelation 4: 1)

We should remember that John wrote these words while on the island of Patmos. He was there “because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus” (Rev. 1: 9). He had been banished to this island, which was an isolated, rocky, and inhospitable prison. Yet it was here, under difficult circumstances— separated from all his loved ones in Ephesus, excluded from worshiping with the church, and condemned to only the companionship of unpleasant fellow captives— that he was granted this vision as a special privilege. It was as a prisoner that he saw “a door standing open in heaven.”

We should also remember Jacob, who laid down in the desert to sleep after leaving his father’s house. “He had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and . . . above it stood the Lord” (Gen. 28: 12– 13).

The doors of heaven have been opened not only for these two men but also for many others. And in the world’s estimation, it seems as if their circumstances were utterly unlikely to receive such revelations. Yet how often we have seen “a door standing open in heaven” for those who are prisoners and captives, for those who suffer from a chronic illness and are bound with iron chains of pain to a bed of sickness, for those who wander the earth in lonely isolation, and for those who are kept from the Lord’s house by the demands of home and family.

But there are conditions to seeing the open door. We must know what it is to be “in the Spirit” (Rev. 1: 10). We must be “pure in heart” (Matt. 5: 8) and obedient in faith. We must be willing to “consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3: 8). Then once God is everything to us, so that “in him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17: 28), the door to heaven will stand open before us as well.
~from Daily Devotional Commentary

God has His mountains bleak and bare,
Where He does bid us rest awhile;
Cliffs where we breathe a purer air,
Lone peaks that catch the day’s first smile.
God has His deserts broad and brown—
A solitude— a sea of sand,
Where He does let heaven’s curtain down,
Unveiled by His Almighty hand.


Cowman, L. B. E.; Reimann, Jim (2008-09-09). Streams in the Desert: 366 Daily Devotional Readings (p. 252). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.

Categories: spiritual