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Spiritual Renewal – The River

“And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb”
Revelation 22:1

Streams of pure grace cascade from His Throne and “from the Lamb”. It is from this river that all creation is offered mercy and restoration. One simply needs to drink of His person, His heart, and rich provisions. The Son of God walked this earth crying out to all who would hear: “come unto me and I will give you rest”. To the wayward woman at Jacob’s well He offered living water.

“If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.
John 4:10

This water is for the asking. It washes the dust of our pilgrimage from our feet, it revives our hope and deepens our resolve. It keeps our eyes off the drudgery of this world and enables us to see and feel the plight of others. Through its ministrations we are lifted out of ourselves; we are renewed in the love of Him for others. This water is vital to the very soul of our being. Just as daily hydration is important for our physical bodies, we must drink daily of His living water to maintain the strength and vitality of our souls.

David knew of this great river thousands of years ago.

“There is a river
whose streams make glad the city of God…”
Psalm 46:4

Ezekiel beheld this river. He walked in its depths and was aware of the restorative work of God for all who would immerse themselves in its pulsating life.

“And it shall come to pass, that every thing that liveth,
which moveth, whithersoever the rivers shall come, shall live”
Ezekiel 47:9

Ezekiel also warns us of the eddies and the marshes, those places which were at one time in the mainstream of the river but had stopped flowing by the wayside; their waters were no longer fresh and invigorating.

“It’s swamps and its marshes shall not even be healed,
they shall be given to salt”
Ezekiel 47:11

Healing is in the flowing and the current of the river. I know from personal experience it is often too easy to get out of His flow and to languish in the stagnant waters of my own reasonings. In those moments I lose the care and concern for others and become a “dead sea”. It is when I lose the out-flow of His waters my own becomes stagnant.  Only running water can remain pure and clean. It is essential to our spiritual well-being to “keep yourselves in the love of God” (Jude 1:21).

The Church at Ephesus was declining from a place of life and vitality as God beheld their “works” and declared that they had “left their first love”. The call to repent and return back to the “first works” is His word for our good.

“Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.”
Revelation 2:4-5

The power afforded us by this precious river is for our renewal and restoration. It is incumbent upon us to be in its flow in order to partake of its benefits. The word of God reminds us of the pitfalls of those who start out well in Him and yet by journey’s end have settled for something less than His precious provision.

“For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken Me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water”
Jeremiah 2:13

His promise remains to the “called, chosen and faithful”:

“For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.
Revelation 7:17

Brian Troxel

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