Thursday, September 29, 2016

The River Reference

God has been highlighting Ezekiel 47 to Joel and me the past week.  In this chapter the prophet Ezekiel is shown by an angel the water flowing from God's Temple.  The angel first shows Ezekiel where it is coming from, and then he measures it..... first ankle deep, then knee deep, then chest deep, and then over his head.  On either side of this river 12 fruit trees are growing and they produce new fruit every month of the year because they are watered by the Temple river.  The leaves on these trees are used for medicine. It is a very interesting prophetic vision given to the prophet Ezekiel for Israel.

 God's references to a river first started on September 19th, a few days before our river flooded here in town. While meditating  I saw Joel by a river, fishing on the side of the bank.  He then put his pole down and took off his boots and socks, rolled up his pants and got into the river.  He waded around for a while and then immersed himself in the river.  While in the water Joel noticed a small waterfall where a fresh stream was flowing into the river.  He climbed out and started walking up the hill to find its source.  He came up to a huge boulder flecked with gold that was at least a 60 feet high. The water reflected off the dark colored rocks as it trickled down, forming a stream and then ending up in the river.  I then saw God's hands come out from the rock and He laid them on Joel's head.  As He did so I noticed that Joel's hair was dark black, like when he was young.  I heard "I have anointed you to preach the gospel, heal the sick, cast out demons, and raise the dead."  Joel then turned around and he could see his life from this starting place and as it went down to the river.  On either side he could see things that he had been protected from, and as his life journey progressed the path got wider and wider.  At the end the path split looking like arms raised in praise to God.  I then heard the prayer of Jabez..."Oh Lord, that you would bless me indeed.  Enlarge my territory.  Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain." (And God granted him his request.)   

What God showed me that morning led me to read Ezekiel 47 again.and then another devotional we read mentioned the river of God.  I remembered something similar in Heidi Baker's book, "Birthing the Miraculous" so Joel and I went back and read the chapter "Deeper Still", based on Ezekiel 47. We prayed that God would keep revealing to us what He wanted us to know about this river, because when we get the same message more than 2-3 times we know we are to pay attention.

Later that same day I went to Bethel Church's site and noticed that they were premiering the movie "Holy Spirit Reborn", so Joel and I decided to watch it.  I mentioned it in a previous post.  About half way through an evangelist from a South African villages spoke about how God came to him as a boy and led him to become a Christian.  He spent his time bringing Jesus and His healing power to the villages.  He talked about how Holy Spirit came into his life, sharing that Holy Spirit is like a flowing river.  He went on to that that when we are in a river we cannot control where it takes us, the current does that....and it is the same with Holy Spirit.  He takes us with Him and we are not in control, but we can trust Him with the journey.  He ended by saying "God is our Father and Creator, Jesus is our Savior, and Holy Spirit has been placed here in us and on earth now to empower and love us.   He wants us to surrender and let Him work through us in others."   Powerful.

So we know when we are just wading in a river ankle deep we can be in control of what is going on. When we are in knee deep we still have that control.  Waist deep as and it gets harder to go where we want to go.  Then when the water is up to our necks, we are not in control of where the river current takes us.  It is also the same with Holy Spirit.  When God asks us to surrender to Him and His plans for our lives, do we just wade in that, or do we immerse ourselves, trusting God to take us where He desires us to go.....trusting Holy Spirit as He blesses us.  Loving us, empowering us with that river of Living Water to be used by God for His plan and purpose.

I am sure God is not through teaching us about all the river references He has sent our way.  We keep asking for Him to reveal all He wants us to learn, difficult as it may be.

Pastor Seth Dahl says that Holy Spirit is never shown to be a depersonalized force.  He is God.  He wants an intimate relationship with us. He is not an "it".  He is Holy.  Part of the Trinity.  Not a wind.....but God's breath, living, powerful, and personal.  When Jesus left this earth he told the disciples that God was sending them someone to help them do even more than He had done.  Come Holy Spirit, come.

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