Rivers are wonderful water system in nature. They start from high mountains or hills and as the slope tends it continues to run through the dry land and it finally connects to the sea. The longest river is recorded to be Nile, which stretches for 4258 miles! The source of a river varies from underwater reservoirs, springs, rain, melting glacier etc. However, it starts from one place and flow until it finally emerges with the sea.
When a river start to flow there are several obstacles in its path to pass such as great heights, valleys, gutters, dry land etc.. But the river passes these obstacles by making wonderful waterfalls at great heights, filling up the valley, overflow and move on, fill up the gutters and moving on and quenching the thirst of dry land and go on! As we see, there are several obstacles on the way, but the river doesn’t stop at any obstacle, but find some way to move on until it reaches to the sea! The river also carries several minerals and sediments on its way and deposits along the bank of the river where is used by the green plants and trees boosting their growth while drinking water from the river!
Thus the river brings life on the dry lands, flourishes the vegetation by giving water and the nutrients, provide great scenery through waterfalls, quenches the thirst of animals and man and it provides home for many river creatures! But the greatest of all is, even though it emerges into the vast salty sea, the river water never gets salty!
While the fresh water quenches the thirst of our body, what can quench the thirst of the spirit in us? The Bible tells us about a river that can quench our spiritual thirst. Psalms 46:4 says- ‘There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells.’ (Psalm 46:4 NIV). Yes, that’s the only river which can take away all the sorrows and burdens of our heart and fill us with divine joy and quench our spiritual thirst! More about this river is described in Ezekiel 47 and in Revelation 22
‘The man brought me back to the entrance to the temple, and I saw water coming out from under the threshold of the temple toward the east (for the temple faced east). The water was coming down from under the south side of the temple, south of the altar. He then brought me out through the north gate and led me around the outside to the outer gate facing east, and the water was trickling from the south side. As the man went eastward with a measuring line in his hand, he measured off a thousand cubits, and then led me through water that was ankle-deep. He measured off another thousand cubits, and led me through water that was knee-deep. He measured off another thousand and led me through water that was up to the waist. He measured off another thousand, but now it was a river that I could not cross, because the water had risen and was deep enough to swim in—a river that no one could cross.’ (Ezekiel 47:1-5 NIV)
This is about a vision what God gave Ezekiel. There is no physical river that flows from the temple right now, but it’s a prophecy which will fulfill in the end of days. However to us this river is a spiritual river which can change the course of our life, our destiny! It’s the river of God! The river starts as a small stream, later it grows bigger, wider and deeper as the passage suggests. At first the water is shallow. But after 1000 cubits it’s ankle-deep, another 1000 cubits it’s knee-deep, again after another 1000 cubits it’s up to the waist and in another 1000 cubits the water became so deep that you need to swim and cannot cross! This shows the measure of spirituality in your life. What stage are you today? Are you at ankle-deep, knee-deep, waist deep, fully immersed or have not stepped in it? Would you like to get into this river?
The next passage tells us what it’s capable to do.
‘He asked me, “Son of man, do you see this?” Then he led me back to the bank of the river. When I arrived there, I saw a great number of trees on each side of the river. He said to me, “This water flows toward the eastern region and goes down into the Arabah, where it enters the Dead Sea. When it empties into the sea, the salty water, there becomes fresh. Swarms of living creatures will live wherever the river flows. There will be large numbers of fish, because this water flows there and makes the salt water fresh; so where the river flows everything will live. Fishermen will stand along the shore; from En Gedi to En Eglaim there will be places for spreading nets. The fish will be of many kinds—like the fish of the Mediterranean Sea. But the swamps and marshes will not become fresh; they will be left for salt. Fruit trees of all kinds will grow on both banks of the river. Their leaves will not wither, nor will their fruit fail. Every month they will bear fruit, because the water from the sanctuary flows to them. Their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing.”’ (Ezekiel 47:6-12 NIV)
This is a prophecy which will take place in the end of days. The river will flow from the temple situated in Jerusalem all the way to the Dead Sea. As you know the Dead Sea has got the most densest water in the whole world. As the name suggests there are no living things in this sea. The water is so dense with minerals and other chemicals that no life can survive in these waters and people can float on the surface! But when this river flow into the Dead Sea the water so powerful that it will bring great changes in the Dead Sea. The Dead Sea will no longer be dead, but it will be brought back to life, for when the living water from the river of God will flow, it will take away all the saltiness and bring it to life! Living fishes of all varieties will grow in it and the fishermen will fish from the sea like in other seas and Fruit trees of all kinds will grow on the banks of the river, giving fruit throughout the year and the leaves will not wither for they are powerful to heal!
But we can relate this to our lives. We can be pictured as the Dead Sea with no life, no hope and everything dead situation. But if we allow the river of God to flow into us it will take away the dead things out of our lives and bring us new life! It can take away all the bitterness of saltiness in our life away and fill us with divine peace, joy and gladness! Good and life giving things will emerge from us like the variety of fishes that will come in the Dead Sea. People will come to us for support like the fishermen. Not only that, but the spirit of God will help us to be fruitful like the fruit trees of all kinds in the banks of the river and to remain fruitful all the time! And as the leaves will remain green and be used for healing our words, acts, will be made healing for many others who are broken, hurt and sick! Will you allow this river of God to flow into your life? Will you have a thirst to drink this living water today? This is why Jesus said- ‘On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.’ (John 7:37-39 NIV) and In John 4 we see Jesus speaking to a Samaritan woman about this river of God- ‘Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”’ (John 4:13-14 NIV).
How do you receive this living river of God in your life? You need to accept Jesus as The Lord and Saviour in your life and lead a holy life. You need to believe in heart and declare by mouth that Jesus died for you on the cross of Calvary for the redemption your sins and He rose again from the dead and is in heaven who soon coming to gather his children to be with him forever!
‘If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.’ (Romans 10:9-10 NIV)
‘For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.’ (John 3:16 NIV)
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. (John 14:1-3 NIV)
If you haven’t accepted Jesus this amazing God as Lord and Saviour in your life and would like to accept him, please say this prayer, believing in your heart and declaring by word.
‘Heavenly Father, I accept and believe Jesus is the only true God who came to redeem my sins. I believe Jesus is the son of God who came to this earth to die for my sins and to fulfil Jesus died on the Cross of Calvary and all the sufferings and pain that Jesus took on the body was for me, He was broken down and gave His very last drop of blood for me on the Cross of Calvary for the redemption of my sins and I accept Jesus as Lord and Saviour in my life, I confess my sins and give my life for Jesus. Please forgive me for every mistake I made in my life. Please come in me, live in me, fill in me and guide me until the last breath of my life and help me to stay away from evil ways and lead a holy and victorious Christian life as you please. And bring me to heaven to be with you forever. In Jesus name. Amen!’
As Jesus promised the River of God ‘Holy Spirit’ has been sent to this world on the day of Pentecost on the crowd of 120 people, including Peter and other ten disciples gathered on the rooftop of Mark as said in the book of Acts of Apostles chapter 2. God has set the Holy Spirit of God to lead those who believe in Jesus as an Advocate, comforter and to lead in all Truth in this wretched world. God can change your hopeless, distressed, painful, hurt and broken life into something precious. Will you accept Jesus in your life and allow the river of God to flow through you and perform great things for the glory of God?
‘For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants.’ (Isaiah 44:3 NIV)
“Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.” (Isaiah 55:1 NIV)
‘The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.’ (Isaiah 58:11 NIV)
‘Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.’ (Revelation 22:1-2 NIV)
Now he had to go through Samaria. So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon. When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans. ) Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?” Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.” He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.” “I have no husband,” she replied. Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.” “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.” “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.” Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.” Just then his disciples returned and were surprised to find him talking with a woman. But no one asked, “What do you want?” or “Why are you talking with her?” Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?” They came out of the town and made their way toward him. Meanwhile his disciples urged him, “Rabbi, eat something.” But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.” Then his disciples said to each other, “Could someone have brought him food?” “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. Even now the one who reaps draws a wage and harvests a crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. Thus the saying ‘One sows and another reaps’ is true. I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor.” Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.” So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. And because of his words many more became believers. They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.”’ (John 4:4-42 NIV)
‘When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?” Some, however, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine.” Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. These people are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: “ ‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord. And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ “Fellow Israelites, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him. David said about him: “ ‘I saw the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest in hope, because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, you will not let your holy one see decay. You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence.’ “Fellow Israelites, I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried, and his tomb is here to this day. But he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that he would place one of his descendants on his throne. Seeing what was to come, he spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah, that he was not abandoned to the realm of the dead, nor did his body see decay. God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of it. Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear. For David did not ascend to heaven, and yet he said, “ ‘The Lord said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.” ’ “Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.” When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.” With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day. They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. (Acts 2:1-47 NIV)