The River of Life

The man brought me back to the entrance of the temple, and I saw water coming out from under the threshold of the temple toward the east…

Ezekiel 47:1


Ezekiel the prophet was led by a man of God to the entrance of the temple. Ezekiel was among the Jews exiled to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar in 597 B.C. He was of a priestly family and served as a priest-prophet in his day. During the first seven years of his ministry, he relayed to his fellow Jews the harsh reality that Jerusalem would fall. After the fall of Jerusalem, he began to deliver the hope of restoration and revival for the future. In one of his visions, the man of God took him to the entrance of the temple to show him the glory that would one day be returned to the temple. Our Scripture reading today speaks of the vision of water – a river flowing under the door of the temple. The man measured the water knee deep, waist deep, and finally too deep to cross. Then he was led to the bank of the river where he saw a number of trees on each side of the river. He was told that the river emptied into the sea where the water becomes fresh and living creatures thrive. Wherever the river flowed, everything would live.

The picture of the restoration of the temple is a picture of our spiritual life – our life in Christ. Jesus tells the woman at the well that He is the living water that she thirsts for: If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.

(John 4:10) Jesus, our living water, wants to come into the temple of our lives.

Paul describes our lives as homes for His spirit to dwell, and the river of life in Christ longs to fill our temple. For some, it is enough for His river to fill knee deep, and for others, waist deep. But it takes a leap of faith to allow His living water to fill us so that we are unable to touch the bottom of the river bed. We are no longer in control when the river goes beyond waist deep. As long as we are waist deep, we can still go back to shore. When the river goes over our head, we are offering our lives to God completely – no longer in control – willing to surrender to the Master’s hand.

Are you willing to surrender completely to the living water of Christ?

If you are knee deep, ask Him to take you further (waist deep). If you are waist deep, ask Him to take you over your head. Offer your life in complete surrender, and when you do, you will find that floating in the river of His Presence is complete freedom.

Heavenly Father,

I surrender all control. Send forth Your river of life throughout my temple so that I may be truly set free.

In Jesus’ name, Amen


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