Many people think ending the new year means partying, counting down and watching the ball fall in New York City. It’s such a blessing that we are gathered here for a spiritual party that is pleasing to the Lord, giving thanks for everything God has done this past year and holding on to God’s covenant as we begin the new year. Many people have struggled in their finances and health, breaking their backs working every day, living for something. We think we can be happy if we have good health, wealth, career or home, but unless God builds it, all of it will be in vain.
We are the most blessed because we have God’s covenant of world evangelism. Let’s reflect on why God brought us together as one church. God will provide everything we need because he brought us together for his greater plan of world evangelism. We need to pave the way for the future remnants. How? We need to realize just how blessed we are as God’s children and God’s mission for us.
Psalms 127:1 Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.
Let’s begin this new year going into the stream of God’s flowing word. It’s exhausting swimming against the current, but when you’re swimming with the current, it’s so easy. In Ezekiel’s vision, he was able to easily move when the water was at ankle or knee length, but when the water came up and was deep enough to swim in, he could no longer move around freely. Wherever this river flowed, trees, and fish came to life.
1. Life Giving Water - The Word of God
Verse 9 of the scripture reading says that the water was “fresh”. Wherever the water flows, life is restored. In that same way, only the word of God can revive, heal and save us. When God’s word comes into our hearts and we are revived spiritually, then everything around us will be revived. Do we hear as God’s word as just a “lesson”? How we hold on to God’s word determines everything? As we listen to and read God’s word, we need to receive this word as not just a lesson but God’s complete answer and direction for our lives. We need to come to the conclusion that it is only the word of God that can save us, our field and our church.
2. The Levels of Stream
There are three levels of the height of water in the scripture reading: ankle, knee and waist deep. When we’re ankle deep in God’s word, then we’re still caught in our own thoughts, and we live according to our own desires. When we’re knee deep in God’s word, we still live with our own strength. When God’s word is waist deep, and are unable to cross the river, we have no choice but to follow the stream of God’s word and live by God’s strength alone. Our lives need to be captured by God’s word, meaning every message we hear must be an answer, resulting in peace, strength and assurance. Every time we hear God’s word, we must hear it as the navigation for us to follow as we go through our field. God’s word is also our weapon in the spiritual battle against Satan. Let’s reflect on how we hold on to God’s word and how deeply we stand in God’s word.
Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Hebrew 4:12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
3. Nobody - Everybody
Nobody can help us. When Ezekiel and all the prophets proclaimed God’s word to the Israelites, not all Israelites held on to God’s word. They were all alone but the Triune God was with them. It seemed like nobody could help them but they had the background of the heavenly throne. In that same way, we may seem so weak and unable to be helped, God’s Holy Spirit is within us and his heavenly throne is our background. We are not alone.
1 Corinthians 3:16 Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?
To be waist deep in God’s word, we need to have a specific word and prayer topics. To do so, we need to organize God’s word, and personalize it. Unless the word is ours, it is useless. Writing down prayer is an especially effective method, clarifying our thoughts and helping us communicate and connect with God. In the morning, have summit time, enjoying the blessing of the throne of heaven. In the daytime, have saving time, reviving yourselves and your field. In the evening time, have healing time, reflect upon the day and hold on to the word as you fall asleep.