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May 11, 2020

 

Flow River, Flow !

My Dear Friend,

     In the sixth century BC, God gave the prophet Ezekiel a special vision of a special river. A very special river. A river like none you have ever seen (Ezek. 47:1-12).

     It is a river of God. It “issued out from under the threshold” of God’s “house” (v. 1), so God Himself is its Source. It springs from Him, its very headwaters are the very Godhead! It is a river of God’s manifest presence. It emanates from the “house” where God’s presence, the Shekinah glory, manifests and dwells in the most holy place. Wherever it flows, God’s normally concealed and undetected presence spontaneously manifests and flows.

     It is a river of life. “Everything shall live where the river cometh,” noted the prophet (v. 9). Wherever this river flows, life flows with pulsating vitality, breath, moisture, and growth. It is a river of fruit. When it touches the waters, they bring forth “a very great multitude of fish” (v. 9), and when it flows through the land, the land produces fruit-bearing trees (vv. 7, 12). It is a river of healing. When it touches the Dead Sea, its excessively salty waters are “healed” and become fresh again (v. 9). It is a growing river. The farther it flows, the deeper and more powerful it becomes (vv. 3-5). It is a faithful river. Its waters never fail to flow. It is so regular and dependable that fishermen depend on it regularly for their catches (v. 10) and farmers harvest new fruit monthly from the trees it constantly waters (v. 12).

     It is a miraculous river. The things it does surpass the laws and power of nature. It produces awe-inspiring signs and wonders that supersede precedent, reason, and science. It is a river of God’s Word. The keynote Psalm reveals streams of the Spirit run through the scrolls of Scripture. Thus, the believer planted in daily Bible study (Ps. 1:2) is like “a tree planted by the rivers of water” (Ps. 1:3); every new insight imparts new living water and spiritual energy. And everything true of the river of God is also true of the Word of God.

     It is a river of the Holy Spirit. In a direct reference to Ezekiel’s vision, Jesus said this river symbolizes believers baptized in the Holy Spirit: “He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water. But this spoke he of the Spirit, whom they that believe on him should receive” (Jn. 7:38-39). Thus, the Spirit-filled Christian is a channel through which the river of the Spirit touches, fills, and changes others. As Ezekiel’s river flowed from God’s temple, so the river Jesus spoke of flows from our bodily temples, for “Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit” (1 Cor. 6:19).

     It is a river of revival. Ezekiel saw this river flow through the dry, lifeless Arabah and into the salty, dead waters of the Dead Sea - and suddenly they revived! Life and fruit appeared in places previously dead and barren (vv. 8-9). This river is prophetic. Ezekiel saw it in a vision foretelling things to come in the Day of the Lord.

     It is a river of very small beginnings. When he first crosses it, it is very shallow, only “to the ankles," or, figuratively speaking, insignificant, weak, seemingly without potential, utterly ignorable. Yet it is a river that ends in greatness. After a time, Ezekiel said it became “a river that could not be passed over” (v. 5), or one that could not be ignored nor overcome. No one laughed at this river now; its size, swiftness, tree-lined banks, and abundant fish commanded attention. And no one could walk over it. Indeed, if any dare try it, they, not this river with its powerful current, would be bowled over.

     Finally, it is an unchanging river. Like the God from whom it flows, it is “the same yesterday, and today, and forever” (Heb. 13:8). It has flowed in ages past, it flows now, it will flow the rest of our lives, and it will flow forever, unchanged in characteristics, unaltered in works, undiminished in power, uninterrupted in regularity. But questions need to be answered.

     Why did God give Ezekiel this vision? Why did Ezekiel record it for posterity? To foretell the coming Day of the Lord? Yes, of course, but what is God trying to tell us today? Why did Jesus so directly and prominently refer to this very text?

     He wants this river - of God, of His presence, of life, of revival, of the Word, of the Holy Spirit - to flow into us and through us. Every day. Wherever He sends us. Whatever He has us doing. Whatever our circumstances. Whatever our blessings or adversities.

     Every wondrous truth in Ezekiel 47 can be a daily reality in every abiding, obedient, Word-loving, Spirit-filled, Spirit-led Christian. And church. And ministry. And mission. From small beginnings we may grow to great fruitfulness; though once easily walked over and ignored, we may become indomitable overcomers, spiritually undefeated in every conflict and unignorable because of the thriving life, energy, joy, grace, truth, love, works, and fruits of Jesus’ character manifesting increasingly through us!

     Every day we seek God, we may drink from this river, because it is ever-faithful, always there, always accessible, always the same, never diminished, always ready to refresh, revive, reinspire, and reform us into the Image of its Source. Every day we drink of it, it will flow through us again, afresh, and with more power, bringing God’s presence, discipling “trees of righteousness” through us, producing more traits of the Spirit and works of the kingdom, releasing miraculous physical and spiritual healings, spawning awesome revivals, and creating wondrous, unexpected divine life and fruitfulness in “Arabah” Christians long dry and “Dead Sea” churches long lifeless and barren.

     Thus, Ezekiel’s vision is a prophecy. It is speaking to not just the Day of the Lord but also this day of the Lord. God wants the special river Ezekiel saw to produce a special work in us in these last days of the Church Age. A very special work. A work like none we have ever seen in our lifetime or in Church History.

     May we seek the Source of this river until we become deep, wide channels of it, and of Him. Meanwhile, let us all pray, all over the earth, all speaking with one voice, “Flow river, flow!”

Praying,

Greg Hinnant
Greg Hinnant Ministries

       Greg Hinnant Ministries
PO Box 788, High Point, NC 27261
1-336-882-1645