Thursday, August 9, 2012
During the time I was watching the eagles ready to leave their nest, we were experiencing quite drastic flood levels in our local rivers resulting from a greater than normal mountain snow melt.
We watched the rising rivers amazed at how much water overflowed their banks.
Places that were once able to be waded across were many feet deep, the water rushing into white capped waves carrying with them large trees that had been swept into the river.
I stood one day gazing at the wide expanse of the now swollen river , ever widening in depth and width and I thought about the scriptures in Ezekiel that talk about a river.
Ezekiel's river is a 'spiritual' river that flows out from under the Temple of God.
The Angel Guide explaining things to Ezekiel, drew Ezekiel alongside to walk into the river with him to measure its depth.
First Ezekiel is brought to the depth of his ankles , then deeper where the water is waist deep. Then he is led deeper still where the water is too deep to cross -- he must swim or drown.
I spoke in my last post about how we love to keep our feet on this earth where things are secure and familiar. It is hard to 'lift ourselves' out of our comfort zone and trust something that we have no experience with or something that we cannot touch or see , cannot understand or know the final outcome.
As I stood looking at our swollen river with Ezekiel's river experience in mind ... I saw that the eagles and Ezekiel's river were really speaking to the same thing - our needing to pull ourselves away from trusting in earthly things.
We will all quite readily wade into a river ankle deep .. That still allows us to keep our feet quite firmly on the solid river bed.
Most people are quite happy with 'ankle-deep' spirituality . That allows them to believe in God , turn to Him when they need Him, leaving the rest of the time free to enjoy life on their own terms. It feels like the best of two worlds, leaving them in control of their life.
Some people have a deeper desire for God ... and they wade into God's river to where it is waist deep. Now they begin to experience the buoyancy of the water -- their feet not quite so firmly planted on the river bed.
Their faith in God is beginning to lift them up from this earth ... their thoughts turn more often to Him and they consider His will, His desires before they make major decisions in their life. But there is a reluctance to leave completely the things of this earth that they value and hesitate to give up. They prefer to understand God's will before they follow, allowing their own reason to over rule when the cost or the risk seems too high.
But then there are some who dare to walk into the river where they can no longer walk.. their feet no longer able to keep hold on the earth ... they abandon themselves completely to the 'water' ... and let the Spirit bear them up ... Now they are floating.
When I learned to swim as an adult , I remember how hard it was to 'float' on the water - to 'let go' and have faith the water would hold me up . I remember I could hold it only for so long and then I would tense, doubt causing me to 'sink'.
That is what real 'faith in God' is, isn't it ? It is when we so abandon ourselves to the 'water' of the Spirit that we are completely lifted up from the things of this earth ...only the things of God matter in any moment of the day ... consideration of His will, obedience to His word is at the fore of our minds, love for Him filling our hearts.
The chorus of one of my favorite songs comes to mind ...
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.
Its soo much easier to 'look up' isn't it , when you are floating on your back - resting on the water ? But that is also a vulnerable position - our doubt so easily causes us to 'sink'.
When our faith is strong we know that we are so safe , so completely secure 'floating on the river of the Spirit' . We are no longer guided by the wisdom of this earth, nor moved by the things that would 'worry' us .. Nothing but the Kingdom of God is important to us. Our love for God is lost in His love for us and truly .. "the things of earth grow strangely dim".
Water will 'hold up' anyone trusting its law of buoyancy, so also God can be trusted to hold up anyone trusting in His 'buoyancy' of power and wisdom and love. Our faith in Him is so precious to Him that He will never allow anyone to 'sink' whose faith is put in Him.
1Pe 1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: