Do You See This?


Ezekiel 47:6–9 (NIV)

He asked me, “Son of man, do you see this?”

Then he led me back to the bank of the river. When I arrived there, I saw a great number of trees on each side of the river. He said to me, “This water flows toward the eastern region and goes down into the Arabah, where it enters the Dead Sea. When it empties into the sea, the salty water there becomes fresh. Swarms of living creatures will live wherever the river flows. There will be large numbers of fish, because this water flows there and makes the salt water fresh; so where the river flows everything will live.


“The Spirit of Jesus in me greets the Spirit of Jesus in you and brings us together in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, amen.”

Outside. We are outside. The temple complex is in the rearview mirror. And we are chanting now. Clap with me on the bolded words.

Everywhere the river flows everything will live. (clap)
Everywhere the river flows everything will live. (clap)
Everywhere the river flows everything will live. (clap)

Okay, you’re getting it now. We are going to be doing that all day today and tomorrow too. 

As we sit on the banks of the Jordan River about a mile downstream from the temple, I want you to imagine this conversation with Jesus. We are eating some falafel we got from the equivalent of a taco truck. And they are so good! 

Jesus interrupts the chant and asks us, “So what is this river you are chanting and clapping about?”

Someone shouts out, “The River is You, Jesus.” Another says, “The River is the Holy Spirit!” 

Jesus responds, “Yes and Yes!”

Then he asks the $64,000 question, “Do you see this? Where is this river?” 

We all squirm a bit. We want to point to the swift river on whose banks we sit. We want to point to Jesus, or to the sky. Then from the back of our group we hear a faint voice say, “Me.” Everyone cranes their necks to see the teenage boy; the one who has sat on the back of the bus the whole way with AirPods in his ears and not said a word the entire time. Jesus says, “Can you speak up? Where is this river?” The boys repeats, “Me, the river is in me.” “Indeed,” Jesus says, “The River is in you, and you, and you,” motioning his hands across the group as if to signify everyone personally and yet collectively.

“Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”

“Do you see this?” he asks.


Everywhere the river flows everything will live. 

Everywhere the river flows everything will live. (clap)
Everywhere the river flows everything will live. (clap)
Everywhere the river flows everything will live. (clap)

Finish up those falafels. You are going to need your strength. We will go further down river tomorrow. It could get marshy. And if you want to join me in the chant, you can listen in here. 

Still day one. 


God our Father, who with your son Jesus Messiah, fills us with the Holy Spirit, thank you for the miracle and the mystery of the day of Pentecost. And thank you for today, and that it is only the day after. I contemplate it, Jesus, rivers in me—which is to say you in me—the Holy Spirit in me. I’ve somehow become comfortable with the trickles around the temple. It’s predictable. It’s a low bar, and everyone around seems kind of sleepily content with trickles. I keep hearing you say, “Rivers.” Holy Spirit, give me the audacity to go down river, even a quarter mile. What would that mean? Praying in your name, Jesus, amen. 


What might it look like for you to walk down river today? To let Jesus lead you in the current of the Holy Spirit? What do you have to lose? What might someone else have to lose if you don’t? Are you seeing that this river is in you? Now, what if the level of the water is not according to your faith or feelings but according to how far down river you are standing? 

For the Awakening,
J.D. Walt

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P.S. Do you hear that knocking sound?

That’s me, knocking on your door with another invitation to join us for our upcoming course, How to Experience the Holy Spirit. Have you ever taken a course on the Holy Spirit or read a book or given any intentional study to the third person of the Trinity? 

If not, why not? And if not now, then when? I know, I’m pushing. But this matters, friends. I want your faith to flourish. I want you out of the trickle and into the River. And Jesus knows the desperate need for you down River. We begin July 25. Best thing to do is invite a friend to join you. They don’t have to live nearby. It will be a conversation and prayer partner. 

This is going to be good. Register today. 

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WHAT IS THIS? Wake-Up Call is a daily encouragement to shake off the slumber of our busy lives and turn our eyes toward Jesus. Each morning our community gathers around a Scripture, a reflection, a prayer, and a few short questions, inviting us to reorient our lives around the love of Jesus that transforms our hearts, homes, churches, and cities.

Comments and Discussion

3 Responses

  1. To “walk in the Spirit” (away from the Temple) is to flow with Christ’s current in your day-to-day life, trusting and depending more and more on the living Jesus guiding you from within and less and less on religious formulas, programs, and control.

  2. “Now, what if the level of the water is not according to your faith or feelings but according to how far down stream you are standing?” Then the level of the water would depend on the amount of our willingness to obey the leading of the Spirit of Christ. This all by grace alone.

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