This is it! It’s like a dipstick to check your walk with God. And it certainly explains a lot concerning the many different doctrines we see on a regular basis.
Years ago, when I made my first forays into a deeper walk with the Lord, these passages were life-changing for me. So I’d like to share some personal insights.
After several chapters of describing God’s plan for the temple, we come to chapter 47, and see water coming from the altar of that temple. An angel takes Ezekiel on a short excursion, showing him how the water flows out onto the land. The angel takes Ezekiel out to water which reaches the ankles, then the knees, the loins, and finally over the head. “A river which could not be forded, but waters in which you swim.” (47:5)
Where the river goes, there is an abundance of healing, with trees on each side bearing fruit in every season. (Hang on. We are going to see this again when we get to Revelation 22. It’s the River of God). This anointed river is the river of the Holy Spirit pouring out onto God’s humanity. A beautiful picture, isn’t it?
Now this is where the dipstick comes in. The water flows out, but there are many different levels of it for us to choose. Do we want just a dab of God? Do we want to go about our busy lives and just throw up a “Thank you, Jesus” or “Help me, Jesus” every now and then? In that case, we will stay in ankle-deep water all of our lives.
Or do we want to wade out to our knees or our loins? Perhaps as we do, we think that we have performed some great service for our God. But not so. There is a place we can get to which is water over our heads. It’s not our own wills, but His. It’s water where you swim; you can’t stand on your own feet any more.
This is the thing. We get to decide how much of God we really want in our lives. We can’t fake it; He knows where we stand. But let’s just know that the more of ourselves we give to Him, the more of Himself he gives to us. It’s the Law of Measure, and we get to choose our measure. “By your standard of measure, it will be measured to you in return.”(6:38)
And what does it mean to get out into the deepest water? More guidance, more understanding and revelation of Him, more ability to hear His voice, more favor, more abundance in our lives. Our Father wants us to have a relationship with Him which is without measure. And that’s what I want.
One more note. Several years ago we were having an extended revival in our church. It was really exciting to see so many saved and healed, as we had meetings several nights per week for a total of 13 weeks. One morning during that season, just as I awoke, I had a little vision. I was in the River up to my neck, treading water. But the amazing thing to me, was that I literally felt the current of the River – and it was very strong. In fact, it was so strong that it was carrying me in its power and I had no control.
Until that time, I had thought of the river as being placid and peaceful, but not so. The current was as strong as the ocean current, and I knew that God was in control, carrying me where he wanted me to go.
I don’t know about you, but I want the deepest relationship with God available. I want to truly know Him and walk with Him every day. I realize that you and I have a choice. We are not required to walk with Him that closely, but that’s where the blessings are. The shallow waters are not for the fulness of his promises, but if we will commit ourselves to the “water where we have to swim,” we will accomplish our purposes in the earth, and we will see His plans demonstrated in our lives.
And the best part: we will truly know Him as our Father.
I John 1-2
John was a remarkable disciple. When we read his gospel and then this book, we are aware that he knew the love of God better than any. He received that love as very personally his, just as God wants us to do.
So let’s take a look. John says that those who “walk in the light” and those who “keep His commandments” are truly His.
When a life is committed to the Lord, there is evidence. The tree should be bearing fruit, if it’s real. So as we walk with Him, there will be evidence of a life lived for Him. We will not be living sinful lives, and we will be walking in love toward others as well as ourselves.
Now when I mention “sinful lives,” I don’t mean we have to be perfect. In fact, right in the middle of this dissertation, John says that “if we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves.” (1:8)
So what then? We make mistakes, but we don’t choose to go another way. We don’t choose a sinful lifestyle, but choose to walk in His light. And if we do make a mistake, He is quick to forgive us and to help us do better next time.(1:9)
Walking in the light signifies walking a path toward His light. We grow in our ability to overcome the sins of the past, and we grow in our ability to demonstrate God’s love for us and others.
Light, life, and love. That’s the fruit we will show to the world – the fruit they need to see.