December 16 I Monday
“Fruit trees of all kinds will grow on both banks of the river. Their leaves will not wither, nor will their fruit fail. Every month they will bear fruit, because the water from the sanctuary flows to them. Their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing.” —Ezekiel 47:12
After Ezekiel sees the vision of a new temple, the Lord shows Him a river that flows out from the south side of the temple. He follows a man with a measuring line, and at 500-yard intervals the depth of the water was measured. At first, it was ankle deep, then knee deep, then waist high and after another 500 yards, it was so deep they could not pass through.
Along the riverbanks, Ezekiel saw a great number of trees. Their roots went into the water and they flourished. The river ran its course down the mountain into the stagnant water of the Dead Sea. As the river entered the sea, the water became fresh, the fish came alive and swarms of living creatures came to live around its shores. This is a beautiful portrait of what flows out from the temple of God. As Christians, we are that temple, and if we are to give careful attention to the entrance, we must also give careful attention to the exits so that what flows out from us will be derived from Christ.
God’s purpose is to make us a channel of His activity whereby He will raise the spiritually dead to life. This is the primary mission of Jesus. Our deepest need is not to have our sins forgiven or that we are lost and need to find our way, but that we need to have spiritual life. Spiritual death is the absence of God from the human soul. The primary means through which the Lord Jesus transmits His life is through His people. Rarely do we find someone whose experience of Christ did not begin by an appetite created in them by seeing Christ in someone else. However unwittingly on our part, God works through us in this way.
God has many things to pour into this world and we are His vessels. Jesus tells us, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in Me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them”(John 7:37-38). While we must quench our thirst in Christ, we cannot be sponges that soak up everything so we alone are the beneficiaries. May we be willing vessels that open the exits and be the rivers that allow the Lord Jesus to flow through us, and give life to a world that so desperately needs Him.
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, what a beautiful picture the river of life is. Thank You for this wonderful vision, and I pray, Lord, to be a river of life that will bring others to You.