Summary: This sermon encourages Christians to go on and develop their Christian experience in discovering the greatness of God and His power.
Scripture: Ezekiel 47:1 - 12
Title: “About A Mile Downstream”
Introduction: Last week I preached a sermon called, “The River of Grace.” We looked at the SOURCE, the COURSE, and the FORCE of this river.
This week we want to take a look at the PROGRESSION of Christian GROWTH.
This river that Ezekiel saw in this vision was coming from God.
It represents: Grace, Love, Redemption, Healing, and the Holy Spirit. (You can wrap up all these together in one package!)
If there was a stream of water anywhere within reach that would do all these things for whoever stepped into it every one of us would be making arrangements to go get into this river.
I would like to ask you a question. How many of you can honestly raise you hands today and tell me that beyond any shadow of a doubt, you know that you are exactly in the center of God’s will and that you are right where God wants you to be in your spiritual growth?
The truth of the matter is, we all have plenty of room for improvement!
That’s what this sermon is all about toady. It’s about becoming more of what the Lord God wants each of us to be. It’s about leaving the shore of stagnant, disappointed Christianity and wading out into the deep spiritual waters of the born again life.
I really believe that there are many in the church today that are afraid of getting in over their heads.
I. WATERS TO THE ANKLES. (v. 3)
a. For this RIVER to do you any good, you have to get into it!
b. Ezekiel was being LED by this divine messenger. (v. 2 “he led me about the way…”)
c. If we OBEY the leading of the Holy Spirit of God He will lead us into a DEEPER EXPERIENCE with God in our Christian walk.
d. I believe the “Waters to the Ankles” were representative of our introduction into Christianity. (When we were saved)
e. There was only a LITTLE BIT of the man of God covered by the waters. More of the man was sticking out of the waters than was covered by the waters.
f. This is WADING water, shallow water, much like when we were children wading through a mud puddle.
g. The divine messenger led him through the waters they didn’t stay in that depth very long.
h. The GREAT PROPERTIES of the waters didn’t have as much effect on the man of God as it does further on down the river.
II. WATERS TO THE KNEES. (v.4)
a. After measuring down the river another 1/3 of a mile the waters had increased to a depth to the knees.
b. Knees very well could refer to PRAYER. Our Christian walk begins to deepen during our Prayer Life.
c. A Christian doesn’t GROW unless PRAYER becomes a regular PART of everyday life. (This river flowed down by the ALTAR)
d. Going Further is always going to be a part of Christianity. “And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.” (Mt. 26:39)
e. The waters were already having a GREATER EFFECT on the walk of the man of God. (It more difficult to jump up and down and act like a kid in knee deep water!)
f. A strong prayer life will change the way you act!
III. WATER TO THE LOINS. (Waist) (v. 4)
a. The divine messenger led Ezekiel down the river another 1/3 of a mile and the depth of the river had increased to the waist.
b. The waters were covering about ½ of the man of God. We now see much less of the man of God sticking out of the water.
c. The waters have had a much greater effect on the walk of Ezekiel. He has slowed down because of the water.
d. Ezekiel is now giving in to the power of the waters of the river.
e. At this point the river has captured a greater part of Ezekiel’s thinking.
f. The FURTHER we GO the more we GROW!
IV. WATERS TO SWIM IN. (v. 5)
a. Ezekiel makes a tremendous discovery after measuring out another 1/3 of a mile he can’t find any bottom to this great river.
b. Ezekiel is now in over his head! This represents the HIGHEST LEVEL that any believer can reach in his life.
c. Ezekiel has reached a PLACE where he is beyond his own ability. (He has placed himself under the command and control of the Lord).
d. This is WHERE God wants all His children to be!
e. Now Ezekiel has to SWIM! (By the way, it takes FAITH to swim!)