Summary: An appeal to have a deeper walk with the Lord
“Wade In The Water”
The man brought me back to the entrance of 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 flowing 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.”
Ezekiel 47:1-5 NIV
It is by way of Ezekiel that we have received reports of many strange dreams, visions and creatures! It was he, you recall, that reported a vision of a wheel in the middle of a wheel! It was Ezekiel, who reported a vision of strange beasts that had the form of a man with four faces and four wings! It was Ezekiel, who took us along with him as the hand of the Lord was upon him and sat him down in a valley which was full of dry bones! Now, in this text, Ezekiel shares with us his experience of wading in the water which flowed from the Temple.
Yes! Here, Ezekiel shares with us an experience in which he was led through water that got deeper and deeper. But, before we go with Ezekiel into the water, I think it would do us well to see where the water was coming from. Ezekiel said, “I saw water coming out from under the threshold of the temple!” This water was seeping from beneath the door of the temple. Biblically speaking, water is symbolic of life, refreshment, the Spirit of God, and the Word of God. So then, it is of interest that the water was seeping from beneath the door! The door was not open so that it could flow out. No, the door was closed, yet the water could not be contained! It seeped out from beneath the door! Oh! My brothers and sisters, most churches that I know of, have an unofficial closed-door policy concerning the word of God! Although many of us say that we are “Missionary Baptist,” the truth of the matter is, that in many cases, our name should be changed to “Stationary Baptist!” We specialize in proclaiming the word within the door! Our best Christian behavior, most of our witnessing and testifying, occur within these doors! But, bless God today! Just like the water which Ezekiel saw seeping from beneath the temple door, the word of God cannot be contained between these four walls or behind the closed church doors: Somehow or another, the word gets out! Yes! The word seeps out, in spite of our closed doors and closed mouths!
Another thing of interest is the progression of the depth of the water. The further it went away from the temple, the deeper it got! Now, this is just the exact opposite of what happens with most of our churches today! It seems that with us, the farther the word goes away from the church, the swallower it gets! Oh! The word is deep on Sunday morning! All you can hear is “Brother this” and “Sister that,” “The Lord says this” and “The Lord says that!” But, the farther we get away from the church, the farther we get from Sunday morning, the less we speak and hear God’s word!
Perhaps this is true because many who claim to be followers of Christ have not had Ezekiel’s experience of progressively wading in the water! Many have only gone part of the way! Perhaps they have only gone into the water to ankle depth. Ezekiel said, “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.” The ankle is a basic and quite necessary bone in the body. It supports the body’s weight and enables us to stand on our feet. You couldn’t stand up without your ankle! Being ankle-deep in the water is symbolic of foundational religion: It is basic and elementary! Now, mind you, you need to have a good, basic and solid foundation for your faith! But ankle-deep is too swallow, it’s too superficial! That’s why the Hebrew writer wrote: “Therefore, leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection, and not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,” (Heb. 6:1 KJV). If all you know about is being “born again” your religion is too swallow. You need to wade a little deeper in the water; for being born again is not the end of the journey, it’s just the beginning of the journey! It’s essential, but it’s basic and elementary, it’s too shallow, you need to grow in knowledge and in faith! You need to wade a little deeper in the water!