Rivers

3

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John 7:37–38 (NIV)

“Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”

CONSIDER THIS

“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.”

Welcome back to Solomon’s Porch on this Monday in the old city of Jerusalem. Though we are standing in ruins, the Spirit has rebuilt for us a cathedral of revelation with the living stones of the Word of God. It is the day after the day of Pentecost. There’s Jumper over to our right. (I can’t call him “Lame Beggar” any more. He has a nickname now. It is “Jumper.”) Peter and John are off to our left, trying to regain their composure since they are as astonished as anyone else present. And standing center stage on the King’s Porch is Jesus Messiah himself. The Holy Spirit is almost making melody of his words:

“Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”

Just now approaching from across the court yard is an old man. He has a long beard, weathered skin, and he carries what looks to be an ancient scroll. Could it be the Prophet? Oh my! It is Ezekiel. 

He hands the scroll to Jesus, the Word made Flesh, who opens it up to what we would call chapter 47 and he hands it back to Ezekiel motioning for him to read. He says,

The man brought me back to the entrance to the temple, and I saw water coming out from under the threshold of the temple toward the east (for the temple faced east). The water was coming down from under the south side of the temple, south of the altar. He then brought me out through the north gate and led me around the outside to the outer gate facing east, and the water was trickling from the south side (Ezek. 47:1–2).

Now Jesus begins walking across the courtyard, motioning us to follow him. He leads us out through the north gate and around the outside to the outer gate facing east, and all of a sudden the vision of the Prophet materializes before our very eyes. We hear the water trickling and then we see it. Could Jesus be “the man” Ezekiel was referring to? One thing is for sure. He is now.

In the distance we see the Jordan River and further off we catch a glimpse of the Dead Sea. As Ezekiel continues with the reading, Jesus begins to walk in the shallow stream of water. We follow him. That’s what we do isn’t it? We follow Jesus. 

As the man went eastward with a measuring line in his hand, he measured off a thousand cubits and then led me through water that was ankle-deep. He measured off another thousand cubits and led me through water that was knee-deep. He measured off another thousand and led me through water that was up to the waist. He measured off another thousand, but now it was a river that I could not cross, because the water had risen and was deep enough to swim in—a river that no one could cross. He asked me, “Son of man, do you see this?” (Ezek. 47:3-6).

We are a mile down river now, approaching the deep end of the pool. Jesus turns and asks us, “Do you see this?” Then he says,

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

Then Jesus walks over to the bank of the river. Ezekiel keeps reading . . . 

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 (Ezek. 47:6–9).

Salty water becoming fresh? Yes!

The Dead Sea teaming with flourishing life? Yes!

Just try to take it in today. We will process it more tomorrow. 

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

Rivers . . . 

Still day one. 

THE PRAYER

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 find myself asking, how deep is the water around me? Am I still in the shallows? Am I ready for the deeps? My prayer, Jesus, is one word: Rivers. Rivers. Rivers of living water flowing from within me. Come Holy Spirit! make it so. Praying in your name, Jesus, amen. 

THE QUESTION

Do you tend more to prefer the lake/reservoir or the river? See the difference? What about that? 

For the Awakening,
J.D. Walt
Sower-in-Chief
seedbed.com

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3 COMMENTS

  1. I believe that river is to me the preferred term. Out of those choice’s, only river connotes an inexhaustible source. Only a river of “live”, flowing water remains clean as it encounters pollutants.

  2. Rivers flow, whereas lakes, which are created by rivers, are mostly static and contained only here and there breaking out to form more rivers. So both are good, lakes are temporary places of still growth but it’s the rivers that carry life from place to place.

    One name only.

  3. Jesus doesn’t put the Dead Sea into His followers. Instead, He releases ongoing inner rivers of living water. Those invisible rivers are the most important rivers on the planet.

    Christ-followers are now God’s temple. The rivers that Ezekiel writes about (in Ezekiel 47:1-2) are supposed to be flowing from within our innermost being and out into the world around us. (The Temple where the lame man in the book of Acts was healed was destroyed in 70 AD.)

    Inner “rivers of living water” are outflowings of the presence of the risen Jesus as the fruit of the Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit. They will freely flow from any Christ-follower who determines not to hold them back consciously or unconsciously and courageously refuses to quench the Holy Spirit’s promptings no matter what circumstances, culture, desire, fear, or tradition demand. All we need to do is to truly and fully and persistently “let go and let God”–let Him freely flow in and through us all day long.

    True Christianity isn’t how much theology you know. It’s how freely you allow Jesus and His inner rivers to flow in and through you. Too many Christians want to be “in the know” instead of “in Jesus’ flow.” It’s time we get in, stay in, and overflow with the Holy Spirit’s supernatural inner flow.

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