Praise God from whom all blessings flow – in abundance! Hope each of you had a blessed Christmas and enjoyed some extra special Jesus time! I know I have enjoyed some much needed quiet time in study and His presence while I have been off during the holidays, which has re-ignited my fervor and passion to rise up in the abundant flow of the “river of God” and go forward trusting in Him more fully – no matter the spiritual warfare. It’s been heavy – hasn’t it?
I’d like to encourage you with the encouragement I received by sharing a little portion of what the Lord spoke to me regarding the abundance of the “river of God”. I’m reading a book called “Releasing the Rivers Within” by Dwight Edwards (former pastor of Grace Bible Church in College Station, TX and current pastor of WatersEdge Community Church in Houston, TX). In his book Pastor Edward says “because of divine abundance inflooding our souls, there’s and important truth for us to remember. To enable us to carry out His will, God is always ready to give us more than enough of Himself. “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us (Eph 3:20). God’s economy in our souls is always one of surplus. He’s able to provide not just the necessary strength we need to make it through this trial, but more than we can use. He can give us more than enough love to reach out to a disagreeable person, and more than enough patience for every difficult relationship. In another portion of his book, He expands on Ezekiel 47 and states that: “when Jesus made His promise in John 7 about the never-ending flow of living waters He prefaced it with the words “As the Scripture has said…” No single Old Testament passage fully matches the statement Jesus made, but one that may well have been in His thinking richly describes “the river of God” as a stream of amazing abundance. He then states that “…we see in this passage that wherever the waters of this “river of God” flow, they bring life (47:9), healing (47:8-9,12) and fruitfulness (47:12). And we especially get a strong description of the abundance of these waters. As an angelic guide led the prophet Ezekiel out into the river, Ezekiel first encountered water that was ankle deep, then knee deep, then waist deep.
Finally, “it was a river that I could not cross; for the water was too deep, water in which one must swim, a river that could not be crossed” (47:3-5). What a fitting portrait of the Holy Spirit within the believer! There’s more Spirit available to us than we can ever use. We aren’t ankle-deep, knee-deep, or even waist-deep saints. We’re in over our heads! The Spirit within us is too deep ever to touch bottom and too wide to ever be crossed in a lifetime of appropriating. He goes onto say that “we must be careful not to dismiss or downplay the extravagance of what God’s Word offers simply because the level of our present experience hasn’t scaled the heights of our Lord’s offer. Wow, how often have I done that?!
So, as we go into the New Year, let us remember that the river of God has fresh, cleansing and healing power that is abundant and without end – we’re in over our heads! It is time to let His river flow freely from His throne into the deep places of our souls, pushing out all the debris and clutter, healing us and setting us free so we in turn can set the captives free! He so desires to flood us with more of His living water so He can flow through us without reserve to others who are in need of our Savior.