Monday, September 5, 2016

Like A River

This past Saturday I took a morning hike along the Eau Claire River up near Wausau. It was  beautiful day. For the most part I was alone, hiking a riverside trail upstream through some increasingly rocky terrain.

As I walked I couldn't help but notice the river and how it changed. When I first began walking the river made no sound at all - just water flowing around some rocks in the stream. Further upstream, however, I began hearing the river speak to me. Like a bunch of kids playing in the distance.

First there were little rapids - places where the water hurries over the rocks - splashing its way around them. Then there were times the river ran silent again, until there was another ledge of rock to tumble over.

Finally, I arrived at my destination, The Dells. It's a place where the rock formations force the water into a narrow, rapidly rushing torrent, demonstrating what true power can be generated by such simple things as earth and water.

As I sat on one of the rock outcroppings, resting at the end of my hike, it occurred to me how similar our faith is to a river. Sometimes it is quiet and unassuming, sometimes it is strong and forceful, yet, whatever the circumstances, God's Holy Spirit is always there inside us . . . it is always moving.

How was it that God called you to Himself? Was His Holy Spirit working on you your entire life? Or was there a sudden revelation and transformation? God works in different ways for different people.

What is the purpose of a river (if rivers can have such things)? What is its ultimate goal or destination? Well, all rivers have the same "desire" - to get to the ocean. Is that desire any different than our desire to get to heaven?

In the Old Testament, Ezekiel spoke of a river that flowed from the temple. That river was Jesus. And Jesus also spoke about God's dwelling place. It was to be in us! Read the prophecy of Ezekiel and then the promise of Jesus.

"Then he brought me back to the side of the river. As I returned, I saw that there were very many trees on both sides of the river. He said to me, “These waters go out toward the east country and down into the Arabah, then flow into the Dead sea. When they flow into the sea, the waters there become clean again. Every living thing that gathers where the river goes will live. There will be very many fish, because these waters go there and make the salt water clean. So everything will live where the river goes." - Ezekiel 47:6-9

"37 On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” 39 By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive." - John 7:37-39

Is God's river of life flowing from within you?

The River - Jordan Feliz

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