Rachel Olsen

"Everything that touches the water of this river will live." Ezekiel 47:9a (NLT)

One Sunday I woke up feeling overwhelmed. Several projects on my plate were consuming my focus, and closure was eluding me. I'd only been awake a few minutes when my family suggested we go to the beach for an hour or two before church. What? Go to the beach before church? Go get all sandy before church? You want me to body surf before breakfast?

That's exactly what we did.

As soon as my toes hit the sand, I knew this was a good idea. Each shifting step toward the glistening water, brought me closer to refreshment. As I eased into the surf, slightly chilly water rushed over my ankles. Catching my breath, I pressed forward, breathing deep as the water reached my knees and waves splashed up to my waist. I kept walking until my chest was submerged under the flowing water, and the tension drained from my body and mind. The only thing I could or cared to do was focus on the beauty of God's creation around me and the nearness of my family. Projects and decisions that had threatened to overtake me, were washed to the backburner of my mind. For the next hour or so, I floated over swells, dove through waves, and surfed on the salty sea foam. I walked out of that water feeling alive again.

A favorite Bible passage of mine is Ezekiel 47 where the prophet experiences a vision of God's temple. He is shown the Temple by a heavenly host – perhaps an angel, or perhaps even Christ Himself. Out of this Temple, past its altar, flows a stream of water that becomes a massive river. Read for yourself Ezekiel's experience there:
"Then the man brought me back to the entrance of the Temple. There I saw a stream flowing eastward from beneath the Temple threshold. This stream then passed to the right of the altar on its south side. The man brought me outside the wall through the north gateway and led me around to the eastern entrance. There I could see the stream flowing out through the south side of the east gateway. Measuring as he went, he led me along the stream for 1,750 feet and told me to go across. At that point the water was up to my ankles. He measured off another 1,750 feet and told me to go across again. This time the water was up to my knees. After another 1,750 feet, it was up to my waist. Then he measured another 1,750 feet, and the river was too deep to cross without swimming. He told me to keep in mind what I had seen; then he led me back along the riverbank. Suddenly, to my surprise, many trees were now growing on both sides of the river! Then he said to me, 'This river flows east through the desert into the Jordan Valley, where it enters the Dead Sea. The waters of this stream will heal the salty waters of the Dead Sea and make them fresh and pure. Everything that touches the water of this river will live. Fish will abound in the Dead Sea, for its waters will be healed. Wherever this water flows, everything will live.'" (Ezekiel 47:1-9, NLT)

Are you feeling overwhelmed with problems, projects or decisions today? Are you feeling mentally drained, physically spent, or spiritually numb? Take a dip with me into the river of God, the river of healing, and be awakened to life in God. Let this living water flow over, into, and through you today – for wherever this water flows, everything will live!

Dear Lord, forgive me of my sins and plunge me deep into Your river. This is where I want to be. Cover me, wash me, cleanse me, heal me, and purify me. Make me spiritually alive and in tune with You today. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Do You Know Him?

Stop by Rachel’s blog

God’s Purpose for Every Woman: A P31 Devotional Gen Eds. Lysa TerKeurst & Rachel Olsen

Application Steps:
Spend a few minutes in prayer, imagining yourself walking into the river of God. Feel the presence of God wash over you as you turn your heart towards Him and receive cleansing from His living water.

Plan a trip to a local swimming spot and get some exercise as you contemplate living water. Invite a friend to come along, and tell them about the river of God described in Ezekiel 47.

Have I touched this river of life? Everything that touches it will live!

Have I gone beyond sticking my toes in – have I submerged myself in my walk with God?

Power Verses:
Revelation 22:1-2, "And the angel showed me a pure river with the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb, coursing down the center of main street. On each side of the river grew a tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, with a fresh crop each month. The leaves were used for medicine to heal the nations." (NLT)

© 2009 by Rachel Olsen. All rights reserved.

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Blogger Marilyn Fox said...

I loved the fact that you decided to go to the beach before church and that your children even dared to ask that. I never even would have considered it but maybe I should have. How wonderful that you would throw your burdens on the Lord and enjoy the water and the exercise which invigorated you physically. Just like when we immerse ourselves in God and He invigorates us spiritually as we enjoy the exercise of submitting ourselves and our time to Him.

Blogger Unknown said...

I was invited to go the beach tomorrow however kept thinking of all on my "to do " list and asked God to please show me if this was a good idea. Opened my email and there was my answer - Hallelujah!

Thank you!

Blogger Unknown said...

I was invited to go the beach tomorrow however kept thinking of all on my "to do " list and asked God to please show me if this was a good idea. Opened my email and there was my answer - Hallelujah!

Thank you!

Anonymous Renee said...

Wow, there is nothing like God coming through right when you need him, He's an on time God.

I've been feeling very overwhelmed as of late, just with lifes little problems, family, work etc... and right when I needed it I get your Proverbs 31 Daily Devotion.

Thank You so Much Lord !! You are truly my everything.

Blogger jacob said...

Hi, I notice that you are discussing the throne of God. We have been led to believe by our ancestors that when Jesus was resurrected he went up to a throne in heaven. However I just read a fascinating book by the New Testament scholar Stephan Huller that in earliest Christianity that the original gospel writer (St. Mark) might have had a physical throne ON THIS EARTH in mind - one which originally sat in Alexandria and which he rediscovered in Venice - see the photos of the object in the Basilica di San Marco which Italian sailors stole from the Church of St. Mark in Alexandria along with the body of St. Mark in 828 AD - see photos of the throne here -

The point of Huller's book is that St. Mark was the first Pope and that Jesus ruled 'on his right hand' as he sat on this throne (it is a universally acknowledged - albeit ignored - fact that the title 'Papa' or Pope was originally associated with St. Mark rather than St. Peter and with Alexandria rather than Rome; the bishop of Rome only acquired the title after the fifth century).

I was really fascinated by this book. It wasn't anything like what I had been taught in Sunday school. It really made me think and learn about the language that Jesus and the original gospel writer (St. Mark) spoke.

For instance in Hebrew or Aramaic (the language of Jesus) there would be no way to distinguish the concepts of 'divine throne' or 'heavenly throne' - i.e. it would be easy for white Europeans to get misled or confused (like the Gospels of Matthew and Luke speaking about 'the kingdom of heaven' and 'God' even though the Aramaic would be one and the same).

It is an amazing book and here is some background information on the author

Just thought I would pass this along



Anonymous Rachel said...

This was just what i needed! I was deciding whether or not I wanted to go to the beach with my family tomorrow and here was my answer.


Blogger J. P Holding said...

Hi, I notice that you are spamming people's blogs promoting Stephan Huller's idiotic book. I just read and picked apart his book and found it to be full of half-truths, obfuscations, poor reasoning, and insufficiently documented claims. A bunch of us are discussing Huller's nonsense here:

The point of the thread is to expose Huller as the fraud that he is. Huller is a circus performer by trade, and we can believe that, given the sort of gymnastics he uses in the book.

I was really disgusted by his book. It wasn't anything like what serious scholars have to offer, which I guess is why he can only get fringe nutcases like Robert Price and Robert Eisenman to endorse it. It really made me think Huller needs some psychotherapy and exposure to serious historical scholarship and critical thinking.

It is a goofy book and it belongs in the trash can.

Just thought I would pass this along

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