Tuesday, 20 December 2016

The river of God is filled with blessing.

"The river of God is filled with water" (Psalm 65:9).
What a superabundance of blessing there is in the river of God! We read more about the river of God in Ezekiel 47. We read about the amazing increase of God's blessing - "The water came up to my ankles ...The water came up to my knees ... The water came up to my waist ... the water had risen so much that it became a river which I couldn’t cross. The river was too deep to cross except by swimming" (Ezekiel 47:3-5). When God gave this vision to Ezekiel, He asked him, "Son of man, do you see this?" (Ezekiel 47:6). This is the question that the Lord puts to each one of us: 'Do you see what I'm showing you?' What happens when we're learning to swim in the river of God? -   "Wherever the river flows, there will be many fish and animals. The river will make the water in the Dead Sea fresh. Wherever the river flows, it will bring life" (Ezekiel 47:9). We read about fish -  "From En Gedi to En Eglaim people will be standing on the shore of the sea with their fishing nets spread out. As many kinds of fish will be there as there are in the Mediterranean Sea" (Ezekiel 47:10) - and God speaks to us about becoming "fishers of men" (Matthew 4:19). When we respond to Jesus' call, "Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men" (Matthew 4:19), we become new men and women - "the Dead Sea" becomes "fresh" (Ezekiel 47:9). This is where fruitfulness begins. God begins with us. He changes us. Before we can become fishers of men, we must become followers of Jesus. Before we can follow Jesus into the place of witness, we must follow Him into the place of worship - "All kinds of fruit trees will grow on both sides of the river. Their leaves won’t wither, and they won’t fail to produce fruit. Each month they will produce fresh fruit because this water flows from the holy place. The fruit will be good food, and the leaves will be used for healing” (Ezekiel 47:12). "All kinds of fruit trees" - Bearing fruit for the Lord - this is for all of us! We don't begin with bearing fruit. We begin with the water that flows from the holy place. We begin with worship. When we're learning to worship the Lord, He will teach us the way of fruitfulness. We receive blessing from the Lord. We share His blessing with others. We are blessed, and they are blessed. As we experience God's blessing in the place of worship, we will find that the Lord turns our hearts towards other people, and we will long for them to join with us in worshipping the Lord: "O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His Name together" (Psalm 34:3). True worship will always be more than our own worship. It will be worship that longs for other people to join with us in worship. It will be worship that leads to witness. Lord. send Your blessing, and may Your blessing reach out to more and more people.

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