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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.

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