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River of Life

There is a river that flows out of the East Gate of the temple in Ezekiel’s vision. You can find it in the 47th chapter of his prophecy.

Ezekiel's angelic tour guide instructs him to walk out into this river.

This river is the flow of the Spirit of God coming from His throne.

Ezekiel gives a progression from ankle-deep to knee-deep to waist-deep and finally, water that can’t be crossed—waters to swim in.

This river brings life as it meets the sea.

Healing for the nations.

The trees on its banks yield fruit every month.

As I’ve read this passage in the past, my desire has always been to be in the deep water—swimming in the Spirit’s flow. I’m not satisfied with an ankle-deep prayer life. I sick of a knee-deep relationship with God. I'm not even willing to settle for a waist-deep religion. I want to be in waters so deep I’m not in control, but moving with the flow of the Spirit.

This is still my heart, but as I read this description this morning an old spiritual song from the 80s came to mind. “I’ve God A River Of Life.” Do you remember it?

I’ve got a river of life flowing out of me;
It makes the lame to walk and the blind to see.
It opens prison doors, sets the captives free.
I’ve got a river of life flowing out of me.

It comes from some of the red letters in John’s gospel:

"He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, 'From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.'" - John 7:38 NASB

Could it be that Ezekiel’s temple is not a future brick and mortar temple, or even a view of a heavenly temple, but he is describing the mystery of the New Covenant believer?

Let’s think about it for a minute.

Paul calls us a temple:

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? - 1 Corinthians 6:19 NASB

Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said,"I WILL DWELL IN THEM AND WALK AMONG THEM;AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE. - 2 Corinthians 6:16 NASB

Not only are we the temple of the Living God, but we are seated in Christ:

and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, - Ephesians 2:6 NASB

So this river that flows from the throne of God, out of the east gate of the temple flows into us—through us—into the world we walk in today. As we get out into the deep water—these “waters to swim in” (KJV) this same river of life flows out of us into the dry places of this present age.

We walk into the conference room—board room—classroom—mailroom and this river of life floods the place. The room fills with the flow of the Spirit—leaves of healing floating around the room—fruit of the Spirit dropping everywhere.

Can you see it?

What happens next?

What happens when the Spirit invades the rooms you’re cleaning, the meals you’re preparing, the papers you’re writing, the coffee you’re serving?

What happens when the Spirit’s influence washes through the halls of your school, and every room of your home, every apartment in your building?

Lord Jesus, baptize me afresh in Your Holy Spirit so Your river of life can flow into my world today.

Ben NelsonThanks for coming by today.

Shine where you’re screwed in.


Hey - if you haven't checked out my book - Encounters With Jesus - take a look at this sample chapter. This book offers a fresh look at the life of Jesus through the eyes of the ones He touched. You'll love it.

You can order yours here.


Many Waters - SoS header

A garden enclosed
Is my sister, my spouse,
A spring shut up,
A fountain sealed.


A fountain of gardens,
A well of living waters,
And streams from Lebanon.

Song of Songs 4:12, 15 NKJV

Jesus said:

Jesus answered and said to her, "If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, 'Give Me a drink,' you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water." - John 4:10

Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, 'From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.'" - John 7:38

Jesus gives gifts that are made for re-gifting!

His two step process is simple –

1)    Ask
2)    Give

When we come to Him and ask Him for something to drink, He does not simply hand us a glass, nor does He teach us to get it for ourselves (as in ‘teach a man to fish.’)

These would both be wonderful responses on their own, but that is not God’s economy.

God’s brilliant plan is to place within each of us a source. [Tweet This]

Ask me for water and I will set in you a river that will flow to the nations.

Ask me for light and I will set you on a hill and cause you to shine.

Remember the old Chorus?

I've got a river of life flowing out of me,
Make the lame to walk and the blind to see,
Opens prison doors, set’s the captives free,
There’s a river of life flowing out of me,

Spring up O well, within my soul,
Spring up O well, and make me whole,
Spring up O well, and give to me,
New life, abundantly.

L. Casebolt

Ben NelsonGet out there and flow today!

See you again soon,

But for now, I remain,

Your brother Ben

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“I Shall Be Whole” { The Woman with an Issue of Blood } Painted by Al Young
“I Shall Be Whole”
{ The Woman with an Issue of Blood }
Painted by Al Young

Immediately Jesus, perceiving in Himself that the power proceeding from Him had gone forth, turned around in the crowd and said, "Who touched My garments?" - Mark 5:30

Yesterday we looked at how the woman with the hemorrhage was able by faith to tap the power of God that was resident in Jesus. If you missed it, you can check it out here.

I think what Jesus did is super informative for us.

Jesus saw what the Father was doing and joined. There are times – maybe most of the time – that Jesus was way ahead of the crowd, but somehow, this time, Jesus was not aware ahead of time what the Father was going to do.

Does this seem like blasphemy to you? I promise I am not going for blasphemy. I believe Jesus is God, that He is the 2nd person of the Trinity. I believe He created all things, and that He is eternal.

Here is an important point of theology though. When Jesus walked the earth, He did not stop being God, but He limited His use of the supernatural to only what was possible for a human who was filled with the Holy Spirit.

Rather than Jesus being a magic man, doing miracles by His own creative and redemptive power as God, He did miracles by the Spirit using the power of God. He saw what the Father was doing, and joined Him. Jesus partnered with the Father to do every miracle He did as He walked the streets of Galilee.

And in the story we are pondering currently of the woman with the hemorrhage, the power had already flowed from Jesus into the woman when Jesus picked up on what the Father was doing.

He immediately saw what was happening, and joined it. He confirmed what He was with the Father in four ways

  1. He told her to have courage – “Daughter, take courage” (Matthew 9:22)
  2. He told her what happened – “your faith has made you well” (Luke 8:48)
  3. He spoke peace into her life – “go in peace” (Luke 8:48)
  4. He sent her away with the expectation that not only the bleeding, but the horror that had been her life for twelve years was now over. “be healed of your affliction.” (Mark 5:34)

Lord, I want to be so full of the Holy Spirit that others can tap into it. Let it be a river flowing out of my inner most being into a dry and thirsty land. Lord, I want to be attentive to what you are doing with that river, where it is flowing, so I can speak into the lives you are changing around me with Your words of life.

Ben NelsonThanks for coming by.

See you again soon.


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