Thursday, March 07, 2013
Who Is God In Relation To Me?
Ezekiel 47 offers a vivid picture of fruitfulness, one that instructs and encourages us. In last Friday's reflection, I focused on the first part of this chapter and its vision of a river flowing from the Temple in Jerusalem to the Dead Sea. This fresh water of the river transforms the salty deadness of the Sea into a body of water filled with fish. As the river flows from the Temple down to the formerly "dead" Sea, it nourishes "all kinds of fruit-bearing trees." Unlike normal trees, these will not wither or stop being fruitful. Moreover, their "fruit will be for eating, their leaves for healing" (47:12).
Why are these trees so fruitful? Why will they never wither? Because, as the Lord says to Ezekiel, "their water comes from the sanctuary" (47:12). The sanctuary, more literally the "holy place," represents the presence of God on earth. It is the place God lives, so to speak. Thus, the life-giving river in Ezekiel 47 flows from God, the source of all life. Extraordinary fruitfulness comes when trees are blessed by God's own nourishment.
The implications for us are obvious. If we want to live fruitful lives, we need to be consistently fed by God. We need to "eat" his Word and "drink" in his Spirit. We need God's gifts and wisdom. We need the fruit of the Spirit. When we try to live productive lives apart from God, we soon run out of energy and our leaves begin to wither as our branches stop bearing fruit.We so often think life with God is like having a pal walk with us, but it is so much more. It is having an engine inside of us that gives us power, and it is having a sculptor seeking to shape us.
Mostly it is having a lord at whose feet I should humbly sit. And yet I so often insist on going about doing "my Lord's business" without ever asking Him what that business should be
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