Deep and Deeper

“Then he brought me back to the door of the temple, and behold, water was issuing from below the threshold of the temple toward the east (for the temple faced east). The water was flowing down from below the south end of the threshold of the temple, south of the altar. Going on eastward with a measuring line in his hand, the man measured a thousand cubits, and then led me through the water, and it was ankle-deep. Again he measured a thousand, and led me through the water, and it was knee-deep. Again he measured a thousand, and led me through the water, and it was waist-deep. Again he measured a thousand, and it was a river that I could not pass through, for the water had risen. It was deep enough to swim in, a river that could not be passed through. And he said to me, ‘Wherever the river goes, every living creature that swarms will live, and there will be very many fish. For this water goes there, that the waters of the sea may become fresh; so everything will live where the river goes… And on the banks, on both sides of the river, there will grow all kinds of trees for food. Their leaves will not wither, nor their fruit fail, but they will bear fresh fruit every month, because the water for them flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for healing.’” Ezekiel 47:1,3-5,9,12

Issuing from God’s throne, His very presence, is living water for all. The Lord leads us there, and offers abundance. We can stand on the shore and survey the options for how far we want (and don’t want) to go, or we can get in with Him and start to walk.

River, Blue Pools, Mt Aspiring Natl Park, NZ

Why is it that I get complacent to hang around the shore and consider what my commitment might be, and miss out on tasting divine refreshment? Or am I content to wade in the shallows? They are lovely, and refreshing, and rather easy to enjoy- get a little wet and cool, but nothing uncomfortable, nothing to make me shiver, nothing extreme. Ezekiel’s vision from God here urges us to go deep, and deeper, with Him. It is there we really know the force of the water, there we are cleansed, there we are saturated. In the deeps we are forced to exercise strength, resistance, balance; after going in deep we have to adjust, change clothes, have a whole new appreciation for what a good soak can mean for our perspective, our faith muscles, our outlook. Full immersion brings lasting satisfaction. (Ephesians 5:26)

When I go to my God each morning, I dip my feet by opening the Word. Superficial skimming of a verse or passage is like barely getting our feet wet- check the box, dip the toe, maybe grab a pithy mantra for the day, and move on. But when we stay to read, reread, listen, digest, we go deeper, and the washing of the word begins to take effect. We are bid deeper: what does this reveal or magnify in my Lord? How am I to think differently and behave in response? The more time and attention I spend, the deeper I can go; the water begins to identify sin habits, open opportunities, change desires, and slough away terse reactions, impatience, selfishness, pride.

Oh God, thank You for bringing me to Your temple; lead me on to the river. Keep me going deep, and deeper with You. Have full sway with me, that my fruit be consistently used of You for feeding, blessing, and healing.

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