This is something I got from a passage I read in my devotions a few days ago and I wanted to share…
Ezekiel 47:1-12 (NLT) – The River of Healing
“In my vision, the man brought me back to the entrance of the Temple. There I saw a stream flowing east from beneath the door of the Temple and passing to the right of the altar on its south side. The man brought me outside the wall through the north gateway and led me around to the eastern entrance. There I could see the water flowing out through the south side of the east gateway.
Measuring as he went, he took me along the stream for 1,750 feeta and then led me across. The water was up to my ankles. He measured off another 1,750 feet and led me across again. This time the water was up to my knees. After another 1,750 feet, it was up to my waist. Then he measured another 1,750 feet, and the river was too deep to walk across. It was deep enough to swim in, but too deep to walk through.
He asked me, “Have you been watching, son of man?” Then he led me back along the riverbank. When I returned, I was surprised by the sight of many trees growing on both sides of the river. Then he said to me, “This river flows east through the desert into the valley of the Dead Sea. The waters of this stream will make the salty waters of the Dead Sea fresh and pure. There will be swarms of living things wherever the water of this river flows. Fish will abound in the Dead Sea, for its waters will become fresh. Life will flourish wherever this water flows. Fishermen will stand along the shores of the Dead Sea. All the way from En-gedi to En-eglaim, the shores will be covered with nets drying in the sun. Fish of every kind will fill the Dead Sea, just as they fill the Mediterranean.But the marshes and swamps will not be purified; they will still be salty. Fruit trees of all kinds will grow along both sides of the river. The leaves of these trees will never turn brown and fall, and there will always be fruit on their branches. There will be a new crop every month, for they are watered by the river flowing from the Temple. The fruit will be for food and the leaves for healing.”
So what I got out of this is leaving the shores of stagnant, dead Christianity and going out into the living waters of a Spirit filled life. It originates from the Temple – where the presence of God is… It says it flowed pass the altar – which is the place of worship and sacrifice. We are called in Romans 12:1 “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship.” So offering up ourselves in TOTAL surrender in every area of life is part of our act of worship. As with this river – this act of total surrender as worship is where it starts…
I noticed also that the process of getting to the deep waters was a gradual leading… (and a conscious choice to follow that leading)
First he led him to the waters which were ankle deep. Here – you’re just getting your feet wet. Maybe for some that’s salvation – or maybe for a lot of us it was the start of our spiritual revival – just getting our feet wet in what God has in store for us. In any case – in ankle deep water – much of you is still above water – and you can pretty freely frolic around and move for yourself.
Next – he led him to waters which were knee deep. This one is significant to me – because the knees to me are symbolic of prayer. God is calling me to deeper levels of prayer, I haven’t prayed like I have been for the past month ever before and he’s totally changed my prayer life as I know he’s probably done with some of you too! Also something significant that stood out to me about knee deep waters is that you are less free to jump about and move as before… the water starts to have more of an effect on you. A deeper christian life always starts with prayer and I’d urge you if you want more, to earnestly seek Him in prayer & intimacy.
He then leads him to waist deep waters (or some translations say loins). As I imagine it – now half of him is in the water and half is above – you see a lot less of him. Also – in waist deep water – you are more affected by the current of the river – and you can’t run. You have less control of where and how fast you’re going. For me also (and if this isn’t for you ok – but I felt like God was showing this to me) – loins speak of passions. God wants all of our passions to be directed to Him, not to the opposite sex, to friends, etc… How does your passion to God compare to your passions to other things/people? Is your passion for God so intense that it makes all other passions seem like hate!? Luke 14:26 “If you want to be my disciple, you must hate everyone else by comparison–your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters–yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple.”
Finally he’s led to waters too deep to walk and he has to swim. He can’t touch the ground anymore. I don’t know if any of you have ever been to rapids – but I’ll tell you this from experience – in river rapids – as long as your feet can touch the ground – you can control where you’re going… but once you reach waters too deep to walk – you’re at the mercy of the current. At swimming depth – there is hardly or no more of you above the water – you’re engulfed in the river. For me I know God has been calling me to greater and greater levels of total surrender. To completely let go and enter the deep waters, where there’s nothing of me left to see and I’m at the mercy of his current’s leading. The river is deepest and the current is fastest at the center – same way – we need to be at the center of God’s will to be swept away.
God never throws us into things over our heads without first preparing us. Notice it was a gradual leading to the depths… and I’ve seen in my own life and in some of you how God’s been leading us to deeper waters. But in the end – he only can lead – we have to take the steps forward. The only thing limiting the Holy Spirit’s flow in our lives, is us. I want everyday to be growing… but there is a price to that growth – commitment and surrender… putting priority on the things of God. Seeking first the Kingdom. I know these days are busy days and a lot of people are tempted to reduce their quiet times, etc in light of that – but I’d urge you to still seek Him first and trust Him to add all these things…
If what you did yesterday still seems big to you – what victories, struggles you overcame, temptations, etc… if those still seem big to you – maybe it’s because you’re still close to them – how far have you traveled today? I know as I continue on my walk – the further out I go – the smaller the things that I left behind seem.
As we surrender and go deeper – as our feet stop touching ground, we’re making ourselves more affected by the flow of the river. God is preparing us, step by step, to do his will…
So I guess what I’d like to leave everyone with is – where are you? Ankle deep, Knee deep, Waist deep, or swimming?
I dunno about you guys – but I could go for a swim right about now! lol.