“Who in their right mind walks a mile out into a river, not knowing how wide the river runs, or how deep it goes? It is the same as walking into the ocean”, my husband exclaimed. I had found myself in the depths of Ezekiel 47 a week ago, wondering about the distance he traveled out into the river from the temple, and I asked my husband to help me figure it out.
It is easy to lose the detail when looking at a passage like this, and for lack of a better term, skim the surface of what is really taking place. Apart from God, we are pretty shallow people. The waters of ourselves are safe, comfortable and easily tainted, but when we tap into the waters of God, they are unnerving, adventurous and pure in every ripple, wave and depth.
Deep calls unto deep
You may be asking yourself, “What is out in the deep, and what difference does it make if I go out there?” I would say to you, God is out in the deep. You may be standing ankle deep in the river, but you were made for the deep. Psalm 42:7 says,
“Deep calls unto deep at the roar of your waterfalls; all your breakers and your waves have gone over me.”
The deep is uncomfortable, and it will ask more of you than you ask of yourself. There is water in the deep that rages and flows into rapids. These are the wild things where God manifests glorious facets of Himself. There are depths yet to be encountered in the deep where He resides. There are creatures and big fish yet to be encountered. Did you know that ninety five percent or more of the ocean is unexplored?
Exploration of the ocean and its depths is expensive, time consuming and difficult. The result is that a small percentage is known by us. It is the same with the depths of God. It is much easier to stand in the shallows and to admire the deeper waters. It is easier to dismiss the call of the deep because it is too difficult. Many people forsake the call to go deeper into Him because the cost is too great, and it is more time than they want to invest. The result is a shallow relationship where only a small percentage is interpreted about Him while the deeper facets are abandoned and misunderstood.
The depths of His Living water
Ezekiel was not standing on the ocean shore. He was led out into water that originated from the temple door, becoming a river. He started out in ankle deep water. After walking over half a mile, he was knee deep in water. I was amazed to discover that Ezekiel stood in waist deep water at almost a mile out into the width of the river from where he started. Past that point, the deep awaited him. It was a river that could not be passed through.
The man leading Ezekiel told him that everything would live where this river went (Ezekiel 47:9). This river would supply fresh water, also known as living water to the Dead Sea. Where life was once unsustainable, the living water would change the environment. The deep would be teeming with fish of all kinds, and fishermen would gather them in their nets.
Trees would grow on the riverbanks, bearing much fruit because of the living water flowing from the sanctuary. Leaves of healing would grow on these trees (Ezekiel 47:9-12). This is a picture of the deep, and this environment transpires when we take a drink from the Well of salvation that is Jesus. These rivers are deep, and they are Living water (John 7:37-39).
The glorious intimacy of the deep
There is a call going forth for the body of Christ to go to the deep. Ezekiel 47 is a prophetic picture of what awaits in the deeper waters. A mighty harvest of salvations await as we become fishers of men. Facets of God await us, and as we plunge deeper and deeper into His Presence, we see another facet of Him that we had not seen before.
God wants us to come to the deep because He wants to be in the garden with us. The secret place is a deep garden in Him. It is that place where we abide in Him, the Living water, and when we do, the fruit of His Spirit comes forth (Galatians 5:22-24). It is that place where leaves once used to cover shame and sin are now thriving as leaves of healing.
I sense the waters churning as He stirs the desire in us to dwell in the depths of Him. The invitation is being given to the body of Christ in this hour. It is a rumble in the deep, a sound that is mysterious to those not recognizing the voice of many waters.
It is that drawing to leave the comfortable behind and to come after Him, to venture out into the deep despite the personal cost or the time necessary to explore His depths. It is a place where we cannot pass through because we get lost in Him. Who in their right mind walks a mile out into the width of a river, not knowing how wide the river runs, or how deep it goes? Only the thirsty and the radical would do such a thing.