The prophet Ezekiel had some of the most amazing visions in the entire Bible. He saw a magnificent revelation of God and his glorious throne (Ez. 1), the valley of dry bones that came to life (Ez. 37), and the heavenly temple with a river flowing out of it (Ez. 40-47). For this last vision, God sent an angel to guide him. After showing him the temple and then bringing him across the river at several times at different depths (ankles, knees and waist) the angel asked him: “Son of man, do you see this?” (47:6).
Of course he saw it, he had just been in it! Ezekiel was standing there wet from the waist down but he was looking at something much too big to fully comprehend. We have the benefit of reading the rest of the Bible to help us understand more. In the last chapter in the Bible, an angel shows the Apostle John the same river that Ezekiel saw.
“And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.” (Rev 22:1-2 NKJV)
Obviously, this river is not to be ignored. I believe God wants every one of His children to both experience and to understand more and more about this river. Standing on the shoreline and observing is not enough, we are being asked to do what Ezekiel did as he actually got into the river and went deeper and deeper.
I want to make three suggestions about how you can step into the river:
- Ask God to show you His river. We need eyes to see what is happening in the spiritual realm so go ahead and ask for the gift of sight. We first need to see what He is doing in order to participate!
- Take a step into what He shows you. While you may not see a physical river, God will show you where He is moving and how you can get into the flow but this will likely involve a bit of risk taking. Perhaps you will come in contact with someone who is going through a storm. Step in to that situation and be a friend, show love and offer to pray. You may be prompted with a verse of Scripture or a gift of the Spirit to share with someone. Take a chance and pass along what God gives you.
- Decide to go deeper. Having God answer prayer and use you is wonderful but don’t stop when you are only ankle or knee deep, there is more to come! The promise of greater things (John 14:12) calls us to go deeper. Don’t play it safe on the shoreline, this river has much, much more to offer.
Are you immersed yet?