The River of GodApril 26, 2010
When the man went out toward the east with a line in his hand, he measured a thousand cubits, and he led me through the water, water reaching the ankles. Again he measured a thousand and led me through the water, water reaching the knees. Again he measured a thousand and led me through the water, water reaching the loins. Again he measured a thousand; and it was a river that I could not ford, for the water had risen, enough water to swim in, a river that could not be forded. Ezekiel 47:3-5
There’s rich symbolism in those words that God inspired Ezekiel to write. The river is a symbol of the Holy Spirit, and God has called every one of us believers to flow in it.
Ankle deep water symbolizes our walk in the Spirit. “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16). Every day we are being invited to get out of our beds and not let our primal instincts govern us but, instead, to walk by the Spirit.
Knee deep water reveals the importance of getting on our knees and praying. “With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints” (Ephesians 6:18). We are at our best when we make our prayer life central.
Loin deep water represents serving in the Spirit. Your loins are the part of your body where your leverage comes from, and when these muscles are being worked, you have a greater bounce in your step. We are to translate our walk and prayer in the Spirit into action by serving in the Spirit. “Serving the Lord with all humility and with tears and with trials . . .” (Acts 20:19).
Enough to swim in. Now you are completely saturated with the rivers of living water: “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18). Let’s get filled with the Holy Spirit and let it spill out into all of life.
Jesus said, “‘If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, “From his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.”’ But this He spoke of the Spirit.” (John 7:37b-38). Christianity is not meant to be a sub-culture contained in a reservoir, but a mighty flowing river of God bringing healing to the nations.
Jump in – the water’s fine!
Copyright © 2010 St. Louis Family Church. All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reprinted or distributed in any form without prior written permission of St. Louis Family Church. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation.