My Prayer for You!

You’re special so take good care of yourself.

I’m praying that you’ll take good care…

very good care… of a very special person – you.

Come unto me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28)

Life is strenuous. See that your clock does not rundown.

~Lettie Cowman

Why “Read Your Bible and Pray” is Inadequate

Why hearing God’s voice is as big as the universe and “read your Bible and pray” comes up short.

read the bible

Before you have a conniption fit let me say clearly:

I read the Scriptures regularly, meditate on them, and study them. I teach the Scriptures and am a person of prayer.

There are different kinds of prayer talked about in Scripture:

  • supplication
  • intercession
  • thanksgiving
  • fellowship, etc.

Prayer for a Christian is like breathing. 

But I still believe prayer and Bible-reading are lacking. Although the Scriptures are extremely important Len Sweet says, “The Bible is a roadmap and compass that escorts us to a Person, the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Some Christians have canned answers for everything. Have you ever heard, “read your Bible and pray?” I’ve said those words to my embarrassment.

For instance, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

How do I do that exactly and the typical answer is, “just read your Bible and pray.” 

What about this one? “Jesus said that His sheep hear His voice. How do I hear the Lord for myself? You got it, “just read your Bible and pray.”

“Read your Bible and pray” is not practical or specific enough. I know people who tried to follow this formula without success and as a young believer, I tried to follow this advice.

But when it came time to apply the advice I didn’t know where to start. The fact is to “read your Bible and pray” has left many believers frustrated and living in denial.

Conversational Prayer and hearing God’s voice in comparison is the difference between day and night. That’s why hearing God’s voice is as big as the universe but “read your Bible and pray” comes up short.

But despite that, I want to leave you with two practical thoughts to ponder. I don’t have all the answers but I’m learning just like you.

First Thought

The Apostle Paul solves part of this problem for us.

“The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.” (Romans 8:6, NIV)

When your mind is governed by the Spirit you experience life and peace within. The effect of hearing His voice within will often be rest, peace, joy, and encouragement.

The reverse happens, when we step out of God’s revealed will. We have a sense of death on the inside. You will feel troubled and disturbed.

But Conversational Prayer is experienced by life and peace.

Second Thought

Finally, since Christ lives in you by the Spirit, you now have a new awareness beyond just human thought. It’s not as easy as just saying“Read your Bible and pray” because there’s a learning curve to hearing God’s voice. But the benefits are worth it.

 

I’m Praying for You

im praying for you 5

I’m praying you’ll remember that God loves you.

“For the Lord is always good and ready to receive you. He’s so loving that it will amaze you— so kind that it will astound you! And he is famous for his faithfulness toward all.
Everyone knows our God can be trusted, for he keeps his promises to every generation!”
( Psalm 100:5 NLT)

We do not need to beg Him to bless us; He simply cannot help it. -Hannah Whitall Smith.

Pass it on!

1 – Pray John 17 (and Learn How You can Thrive in Your Relationship With Jesus)

To fully comprehend the power of the blessing and prayer in chapter 17, we must first understand the very name Jesus came to reveal.

How can you be close-knit with someone if you don’t know what his or her name is? 

pray john 17

Pray John 17 is a devotional and leads you through the prayer of Jesus in John 17. As you pray along with Jesus, you will experience an impartation of the Holy Spirit upon you, your family, friends, and the world.

But right from the start, before you begin to pray through John 17, you need to look closely at the name of the Father Jesus keeps pointing to in John 17.

To fully comprehend the power of the blessing and prayer in chapter 17, we must first understand the very name Jesus came to reveal. How can you be close-knit with someone if you don’t know what his or her name is? 

As you will see, Jesus didn’t just want us to know information about His Father, He wants you to truly know Him and encounter the Father’s presence just like He did.

To truly know God the Father’s name we need to go back to the Old Testament. I don’t know about you but I was taught years ago you could not find any mention of the heavenly Father in the Old Testament because the heavenly Father was only revealed in the New Testament.

Since praying John 17 and receiving revelation from the Holy Spirit I see the heavenly Father is mentioned many times in the Old Testament.

 When you talk about God to others, I wonder what God they think you are talking about. Did you ever think about that? Warren M. Marcus, a Messianic Jewish believer and an avid student of the Bible says, “The English words God and Lord do not define who the one true God of Israel is.

For instance, Buddhists refer to Lord Krishna and Lord Vishnu. The Hindus worship some thirty-three million gods and goddesses.”

When you begin to understand who your heavenly Father truly is by the revelation of the Holy Spirit, and begin praying to the Living God of Israel, (your heavenly Father), you are praying to the one true God of Israel.

“For you have not received the spirit of slavery again to fear. But you have received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we car, “Abba, Father.” ~ Romans 8:15

Abba is the Hebrew term for “Daddy.” When was the last time you called your heavenly Father “Daddy”? It’s OK to see yourself as a little child when you go before your heavenly Father.

“And because you are sons, God has sent forth into our hearts the Spirit of His Son, crying, “Abba Father!” ~ Galatians 4:6

“I made the earth, formed it, and set it in place. My name is the LORD. This is what the LORD says: Call to me, and I will answer you. I will tell you great and mysterious things that you do not know.” ~ Jeremiah 33:2-3

What we see here is that the hidden sacred name of the one true God is actually in the original Hebrew Scriptures. In the above scripture, God calls out to us to seek Him and speak to Him in prayer.

Well, how do you call out to someone if you don’t know his or her name? A good question isn’t it? Say my husband and I get separated in a large room packed with other people, and I can’t find him, what do I do?  I call out his name, “Dick, where are you?”

In the same way, if we say we have a close-knit relationship with the one true God, (our heavenly Father), yet we don’t truly know His name, how intimate can that be?

I must confess since praying through John 17 and seeing Jesus manifest the Father’s character and the indwelling Holy Spirit, my life has changed like never before.

Before I pictured God my heavenly Father sitting in heaven on a great BIG throne, far-flung out in space and hard to approach directly. But as I continued my search over the years, and praying John 17 I have discovered that His desire is to make Himself known to me.

He wants me to know Him in a close-knit way. He’s always reaching out to me, desirous to communicate with me face-to-face, longing to impart His very person, His character, His power and authority upon me in a supernatural way.

Jesus knew the Father’s name when He said,

“Truly, truly I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what he sees the Father do. For whatever He does, likewise, the Son does.” ~ John 5:19

“For I have not spoken on My own authority, but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak.” ~John 12:49

What I want you to see is that Jesus was the living character of God the Father for us to see! Remember we are yoked to Jesus and He will not be mad with you, abuse you, or have a short fuse with you.  Since you are yoked with Jesus you have the covering of the name of the Father over you and in you by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Marcus, a Messianic Jewish believer says, “In Hebrew thinking, a name isn’t a label or a tool merely used to distinguish one person from another.

A person’s name is viewed as equivalent to the person himself. A person’s name signifies their person, worth, character, reputation, authority, will, and ownership. Everything they have and everything they are is reflected in their name.”

Jesus came to reveal the name of the Father. So who do we go to, to know the Father’s name? I came across this Scripture years ago that answers that question.

“All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” ~ Luke 10:22

So I’ve come to know Jesus is the one who shows us who the Father is because He knows the Father’s name. He didn’t learn it out of a book. He was with the Father before the foundation of the world. How do I know that? Jesus tells us in John 17. Oh what glory,

“THE GLORY I HAD WITH YOU BEFORE THE WORLD WAS” (John. 17:5)

Awesome isn’t it?

Since writing this book in 2016, I see something else the Holy Spirit is drawing my attention to. It is the Priestly Prayer of the Blessing in Numbers 6:22-27. My eyes have been opened to see Jesus is the fulfillment of this blessing. You will come to see this too as you pray through John 17 with Jesus.

THE PRIESTLY PRAYER OF THE BLESSING

priestly blessing

In verse 22 the Lord said to Moses “Say to Aaron and his sons, you shall bless the people of Israel: you shall say to them,

I want you to notice who the SOURCE of the blessing is. Who is the blessing from?

Is it from Aaron?

Is it from Moses?

No!

Why this is so important to know is, that when we come to John 17 we can ask the same question. When Jesus begins to pray and bless His disciples He uses the very same terms as God told Moses to tell Aaron and his sons to use. That’s fascinating, isn’t it? You’ll see what I mean later.

You can see clearly that Aaron didn’t say, “Hey Moses, I have great this idea, this formula, that I think the children of Israel would be happy with.” The Priestly Prayer of the Blessing in Numbers 6:22-27 was not man made!

IT’S 100% GOD MADE!

So now you can see why Jesus our High Priest could use the Priestly Prayer of the Blessing when He blessed His disciples which included you – and every disciple then and NOW is included in this blessing.

And there’s more! As believers, we are called

“a chosen race who serve as Priests for The Kingdom, a holy people, a redeemed assembly; you should proclaim the praises of him who called you from darkness into his excellent light” (I Peter 2:9).

Now if you are not supernaturally experiencing the blessing of Jesus your High Priest yourself, how can you as Priests for The Kingdom pronounce this Priestly Prayer  Blessing over yourself and others?

That’s why I believe I was led to write this book, Pray John 17. I believe many will see John 17  with new eyes and begin to function in a level of Kingdom power and authority like never before.

Yes, because you are God the Father’s representatives on earth today and the Holy Spirit is indwelling you, as you speak out loud over yourself as you Pray John 17, it will be your voice speaking, but it will be Jesus Himself (our Great High Priest) speaking it through your mouth.

Have you ever thought, “who am I to call down a blessing upon someone?” Then I realized there’s nothing dependant on the “blesser” or the one pronouncing the “blessing”. But it’s “Him from whom all blessings flow”! We need to keep that in mind because,

GOD IS ALWAYS IN CHARGE OF BLESSINGS!

This blessing above was given by God Himself to Moses. It is the only recorded prayer given to us by God Himself. People will say, “But what about the Lord’s prayer?”

That is different from the Priestly Prayer of the Blessing. The Lord’s prayer is Jesus teaching His disciples how to pray to God. As you can see above, God told Moses to tell Aaron, the high priest, and his sons, to speak it over the children of Israel every day.

And they did this for 40 years. By doing this, God would place His name (His very person, His holy character, His power, and authority) supernaturally upon them. For forty years, as the children of Israel wandered in the wilderness, they received God’s favor in the way of supernatural provision, divine health, and angelic protection.

The more I understand the Priestly Blessing, the more I see the heavenly Father’s favor and how much He desires to bless His people. Not only do you see how the Living God of Israel (the heavenly Father) desired for the children of Israel to enter into a supernatural, experiential, and intimate relationship with the Him, Jesus desires the same for you.

I know you know that all the Old Testament and the teachings, in particular, are just shadow pictures of what was to come in Jesus – Colossians 2:17 and Hebrews 8:5 and 10:1.

So, I set out to see if the terms of the Priestly Blessing have found their fulfillment in Jesus. In other words, has Jesus fulfilled the Priestly Prayer of the Blessing found in Numbers 6:22-27?

As you pray through John 17 you will come to see that what was ordained by the living God to be regularly and ritually spoken over the children of Israel in the Old Testament, was fulfilled once and for all in Jesus our High Priest and recorded in the New Testament.

As you pray through John 17 you will see Jesus prayed and blessed His disciples and included YOU in the Priestly Blessing and its effects have not diminished throughout all generations since the night He spoke to His disciples.

I CALL THIS PRAYER AND BLESSING THE GREATEST PRAYER OF GRACE EVER PRAYED!

Pray John 17 leads you through the prayer of Jesus in John 17. As you pray along with Jesus, you will experience an impartation of the Holy Spirit upon you, your family, friends, and the world.

Jesus’ prayer changes your heart – transformation will come – Christ Jesus promised it!

I know believers who desire to experience daily dialog and face-to-face friendship with the living God because that’s what we are created for –  intimate fellowship with the Father in the here and now.

Not too long ago I came across the amplified Hebrew-to-English translation of the Priestly Prayer of the Blessing in Numbers and I felt like jumping for joy!

The reason being, it reinforced my study in John 17,  that Jesus is the fulfillment of the blessing of God (the God of Israel, the one true God)!

Jeff A. Benner of the Ancient Research Center site says many people don’t understand the word “bless”. These people will say, “the heavenly Father will never bow before a man, literally or figuratively.”

Benner goes onto say, “if we think of (the God of Israel, the one true God) as a Supreme Ruler sitting high upon a throne, then I would agree, your heavenly Father could never kneel before another. However, this is not the heavenly Father I read about in the Bible.

The one true God, your heavenly Father that I read about walks among his people like a father does with his children, and when a child looks up at his father with a question or comment, wouldn’t father kneel down before his child and get eye to eye with him and talk with him?

This is a father that shows respect to his children. Kneeling before another is not a sign of submission, but instead, a sign of respect, which we could say is a blessing to his children.”

Don’t you love the picture Benner just painted of your heavenly Father and how He loves to “bless” His children? When I read that quote by Benner not only did I remember the Priestly Prayer of the Blessing in Numbers 6 but also Jesus prayer and blessing in John 17.

Below is the Amplified Hebrew-To-English Translation of the Priestly Prayer of the Blessing. As you pray through John 17 you will see how John 17 is connected to Numbers 6:24-26.

Numbers 6:24-26 – The Amplified Hebrew-To-English Translation

 

by Warren M. Marcus

THE LORD BLESS YOU. . .

May YHWH kneel before you (making Himself available to you as your heavenly Father) so He can grant or bestow upon you His promises and gifts.

THE LORD BLESS YOU AND KEEP YOU. . .

May YHWH, your heavenly Father) guard you with a hedge of thorny protection that will prevent Satan and all your enemies from harming your body, soul, mind, and spirit, your loved ones, and all your possessions.

THE LORD MAKE HIS FACE TO SHINE UPON YOU. . .

May YHWH, your heavenly Father) illuminate the wholeness of His being toward you, continually bringing to you order, so that you will fulfill your G-D given destiny and purpose.

AND BE GRACIOUS UNTO YOU. . .

May YHWH, your heavenly Father) provide you with perfect love and fellowship, never leaving you, and give you sustenance, provision, and friendship.

THE LORD LIFT HIS COUNTENANCE UPON YOU…

May YHWH, your heavenly Father) lift up and carry His fullness of being toward you (bringing everything that He has to your aid), supporting you with His divine embrace and His entire being.

AND GIVE YOU PEACE…

May YHWH, your heavenly Father) set in place all you need to be whole and complete so you can walk in victory, moment by moment, by the power of the Holy Spirit. May He give you supernatural health, peace, welfare, safety, soundness, tranquility, prosperity, perfection, fullness, rest, and harmony, as well as the absence of agitation and discard.

This translation of the Priestly Prayer of the Blessing in Numbers is taken from “The PRIESTLY PRAYER of the BLESSING – The Ancient Secret of the Only Prayer in the Bible written by GOD HIMSELF” – by Warren M. Marcus.

Finally, the most important thing to see is how this word “bless” is used in John 17. We can’t make “bless” mean what we want it to mean but what the Father says it means is the all-important thing.

If you miss His meaning of the word “bless” the rest of John 17 will not have much meaning for you personally. As you Pray John 17 you can expect your heavenly Father to meet you in a supernatural, intimate, and experiential relationship you’ve always desired.

A TRANSFORMATION WILL COME  CHRIST JESUS PROMISED IT!

Ready? Let’s begin to know what’s in a NAME!

Prayer

My Father, enlarge my capacity to spiritually understand Your name.

Conversational Prayer (because He Calls You His Friend)

He is saying to you, 

Have I really got all your heart? I know all about your weaknesses and your failures, but, really, is your heart on my side?

In this post you will learn:

1. Jesus calls you friend

2. What’s the nature of this friendship

3. What’s the proof of this friendship

4. What’s this friendship based on

he calls me friend

Do you know Jesus calls you friend?

You are my friends. . .

“I’ve told you these things for a purpose: that my joy might be your joy, and your joy wholly mature. This is my command: Love one another the way I loved you. This is the very best way to love.

Put your life on the line for your friends. You are my friends when you do the things I command you. I’m no longer calling you servants because servants don’t understand what their master is thinking and planning. No, I’ve named you friends because I’ve let you in on everything I’ve heard from the Father.” (John 15:13-16 Message Bible).

In this post you will learn:

  • Jesus calls you friend
  • What’s the nature of this friendship
  • What’s the proof of this friendship
  • What’s this friendship based on

 

1. Jesus Calls You Friend

Conversational Prayer is about being His friend. It’s mind-boggling, isn’t it? Wherever you find a healthy relationship, you find friendship. Even in a happy marriage a husband and wife can be best friends.

What a great thing to hear a Father say, not only my son but my friend. Likewise, when Jesus said, you are my friends, He meant more than You are My disciples’ and you are My followers.

He could have said, you are my acquaintances. But when He said, you are my friends He went beyond anything else. I think that the Lord Jesus found joy in His heart when He used that phrase. Can’t you see the satisfaction of His heart in this word, friend?

What must the disciples felt when they heard, Ye are my friends? You can’t go any deeper in a relationship than to come into friendship. How rich and how precious to hear these words, you are my friend!

Think about the picture of the new Jerusalem at the end of the Bible when it says: “The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with all manner of precious stones” (Revelation 21:19).

I see the foundation of that city is most precious, and I sense the most precious foundation of life is friendship. The new Jerusalem will be built upon the foundation of the friendship between the Lord Jesus and His own.

Finally, do you see the connection of the foundation of the city and  Conversational Prayer in Revelation 21:19?

2. What’s the Nature of This Friendship? 

We have it in John 15, “No longer do I call you servants, for the servant doesn’t know what his lord does, but I have called you friends: for all things that I heard from my Father I have made known unto you.”

Friendship makes it possible to open your heart fully, nothing hidden; and to have confidence you can trust the other person with all that is in your heart.

Jesus said, “All that the Father has shown Me I have shown you. I have kept nothing back from you. I have put perfect confidence in you. I have had no suspicions of you and have not been afraid to say just what was in My heart.”

How wonderful is that?!

But look at the Gospel of John and Chapter two. “Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, during the feast, many believed on his name, beholding his signs which he did.

But Jesus did not trust himself unto them, for that he knew all men, and because he needed not that anyone should bear witness concerning man, for he himself knew what was in man” (John 2:23-25).

Jesus knows all men, so He doesn’t commit Himself to them… “Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus” (John 3:1), and you see that Jesus knew Nicodemus and He did not commit Himself to him. Nicodemus was not in the place of a friend yet. 

Before the burial of Jesus Nicodemus wasn’t his friend but afterword something had happened to him by that time. Jesus means in effect, Before I can commit Myself to you, Nicodemus, you must be born again.

Once you’re born again your friendship with Jesus begins. Yes, Jesus tells us that the real nature of friendship is to commit yourself to Him. Isn’t that precious?

There is all the difference between conversation and fellowship and commitment. Friendship means that you have committed yourselves to one another – you have really put yourself into the hands of the other person.

Jesus said friendship means: “All things that I heard from my Father I have made known to you.” This is Conversational Prayer at it’s finest!

Just think that the Son of God should do that – that He would be willing to commit Himself to some people.

3. What’s the Proof of This Friendship? 

First, it’s committing yourself to Jesus.

So when Jesus said this, “Greater love hath no man than this. That a man lay down his life for his friends” is the proof of friendship. How much are you prepared to sacrifice, to suffer and to put up with?

“A man lays down his life for his friends.” What does that mean? Does that mean physically dying in some way for your friends?

There are a thousand ways of laying down your life for your friends. It’s a matter of laying down our lives all the time – not just some big act of physically dying for our friends. 

Letting something of ourselves go, letting some personal interest go and just saying, That is not so important – it is for my friend. Friendship makes everything else unimportant.  

Finally, what is laying down our life? There’s many ways of laying down our life. It’s understanding that nothing is too valuable or important to be kept from our friend. It does not matter what it costs, or how painful it is – friendship makes it possible.

There’s only one man in all the Bible who was called God’s friend. “Abraham… the friend of God” (James 2:23). What a wonderful thing to be said of any man – “Abraham, my friend.”

How could God call Abraham His friend? What made Abraham a friend of God? “Take now your son, your only son, whom you love… and offer him” (Genesis 22:2).

Did Abraham say? You’ve got to be kidding me. Isaac is too precious. He is everything to me. No way, I can’t offer him!

No, Abraham did not talk like that. I don’t think Abraham started out being called God’s friend but as he journeyed with God a deep friendship developed.

How precious when it says, “And Abraham rose early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and he clave the wood for the burnt offering” (Genesis 22:3).

I don’t know about you, I bet that if you were faced with the decision to offer your only son you wouldn’t get up early in the morning!  Why could Abraham do it?

Why not put it off and stay in bed as long as possible? But it says, “Abraham rose early in the morning.” What was he about to do? He was about to enter right into the heart of God in giving his only begotten son, and enter right into fellowship with the passion of God’s heart.

“God so loved… that He gave His only begotten Son.” It was because Abraham was God’s friend. He had entered right into the heart of God and counted nothing too precious for friendship with God.

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends”, and his act of offering Isaac was proof Abraham indeed laid down his life.
4. What’s the Basis of This Friendship? 

Jesus knew what was going to happen to Him in the coming days, and it was getting near to the day when they would all leave Him, and yet, knowing all that, He said, Ye are my friends.

More was happening than meets the eye. Jesus was looking beyond the Cross, and seeing the day would come when these men would stand firmly on the ground of the Cross and resurrection.

Jesus knew what was going to happen in the next few days, but He was always speaking to them about afterward. Human failure is never the last thing and was not going to be the end of everything.

Remember Peter’s failure? Poor Simon Peter, “Simon, stay on your toes. Satan has tried his best to separate all of you from me, like chaff from wheat.

Simon, I’ve prayed for you in particular that you not give in or give out. When you have come through the time of testing, turn to your companions and give them a fresh start.” (Luke 22:32 Message Bible).

You are going to have a terrible fall, but that is not going to be the end. You will turn again and you will have a great ministry afterward.

But Jesus also saw something else. He knew that before long they would receive the Holy Spirit and would be governed by Him.

And when the Holy Spirit has full possession a person can be trusted. These men could not be trusted without the Holy Spirit, but when He came in, then Jesus could depend upon them.

Jesus’ disciples wouldn’t be governed by personal interests, but they would live by the Spirit and not by the flesh. And Jesus said, “Based on the fact you are My friends, and that day is as though it is now. You are My friends because I know that you are men standing on the firm foundation of the Cross and resurrection.”  

This is the basis of friendship. If we live on your own human resources then the Lord will never be able to depend upon you, but if you’re governed by the Holy Spirit, the Lord has all that’s necessary for Him to say, You are my friends. That makes me want to shout for joy.

Many times we don’t know how weak we are, but He knows. Yes, the disciples were men of many weaknesses and many failures and often they didn’t have a clue what was going on. They said the wrong thing and many times did the wrong thing, but Jesus knew that He had their hearts.

Has He captured your heart? Do you have a heart for Him? You may have made mistakes, but He knows all about that, and He knows if you have a heart for Him.

They had a heart for the Lord, and that is the basis of friendship. And He is saying to you too, Have I really got all your heart? I know all about your weaknesses and your failures, but, really, is your heart on my side?

Finally, the Holy Spirit is not somebody who came at Pentecost many years ago. He’s here today and can be in you, and if He really has the control of your life the one thing which concerns you most is, How does my life affect the Lord Jesus? Are you His friend?

 

I’m Praying for You

praying-for-you-3-e1546624063242.jpg

I prayed for you today, knowing that God is always ready to help you. Your job is to let Him.

“If you bow low in God’s awesome presence,[a] he will eventually exalt you as you leave the timing in his hands.

Pour out all your worries and stress upon him and leave them there, for he always tenderly cares for you.” (I Peter 5:6-7)

God is trying to get a message through to you, and the message is: “Stop depending on inadequate human resources. Let me handle the matter.” -Catherine Marshall

Part 4 – God Wrote a Book About You (and Your PROMISED Life in Christ)

new life in christ

Ezekiel 47:1-12 is what your life will look like as you live and are obedient to what God wrote in His book about you.

In Part 3 I dealt with the strongholds of the mind but now it’s time to see your promised life in Christ. 

Envision enjoying a day-by-day experience with Christ Jesus that fills you to overflowing. What if you could hear God’s voice like Jesus did?

What’s more, imagine a scenario where you wake up morning by morning to His voice. Well, that’s exactly what He does.

“The Sovereign Lord has given me a well-instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed” (Isaiah 50:4).

You may wake up with a song going through your mind, or a Scripture comes to your attention or somebody is placed on your heart you should call.

What God wrote in His book about you is lived only one way, and that way is living in the Spirit’s flow. You are aware what the Holy Spirit is saying to you as you fellowship with Him. Conversational Prayer is God communicating with you.

Let’s look at a vision Ezekiel received from God which shows what the Spirit-filled life looks like. Even though this vision was given thousands of years ago it still speaks to every believer today. It shows us the role of the Holy Spirit and where we are as we participate with Him.

Ezekiel’s vision is full of symbols and the Bible will interpret those symbols for us so we can spiritually understand God’s message to us about the ministry of the Holy Spirit for 21st century followers of Christ.

Interpretations of Ezekiel’s vision may vary, so I want to offer what I believe the Spirit has revealed to me. I pray you’ll see and understand some of the same things I see.

I love how the Holy Spirit speaks to us, sometimes from the Scriptures, sometimes through dreams and visions but, everything He reveals to us, is confirmed by the Scriptures.

Also as we look at this vision other Scripture passages may come to your mind that will confirm what you believe you’re seeing and hearing. Let’s ask the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth to open our eyes and ears in the Spirit so we can be sensitive to His meaning of this vision. Read through this passage now.

1 The man brought me back to the entrance to 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.

2 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 trickling from the south side.

3 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.

4 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.

5 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—a river that no one could cross.

6 He asked me, “Son of man, do you see this?” Then he led me back to the bank of the river.

7 When I arrived there, I saw a great number of trees on each side of the river.

8 He said to me, “This water flows toward the eastern region and goes down into the

Arabah, where it enters the Dead Sea. When it empties into the sea, the salty water there becomes fresh.

9 Swarms of living creatures will live wherever the river flows. There will be large numbers of fish, because this water flows there and makes the salt water fresh; so where the river flows everything will live.

10 Fishermen will stand along the shore; from En Gedi to En Eglaim there will be places for spreading nets. The fish will be of many kinds—like the fish of the Mediterranean Sea.

11 But the swamps and marshes will not become fresh; they will be left for salt.

12 Fruit trees of all kinds will grow on both banks of the river. Their leaves will not wither, nor will their fruit fail. Every month they will bear fruit, because the water from the sanctuary flows to them. Their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing.” Ezekiel 47:1-12

Symbols everywhere! “I can’t make heads nor tails out of them,” you may be thinking. This is where we need to ask ourselves some questions?

  • What is the main symbol?
  • What are the other symbols?
  • Are there any other Scriptures that speak about these symbols?
  • How does the whole vision make me feel?

What follows next is the interpretation of a dream I had on January 9, 2017, that put Ezekiel’s vision into perspective for anyone who desires to walk in ALL the will of God.

In addition, Conversational Prayer came into clearer focus for me like never before after understanding Ezekiel’s vision.

And you will see, God’s PROMISE of Life flows out of you to touch those around you and Ezekiel’s vision is a picture of a person maturing in Christ and influencing those around them.

First, the main symbol is the river. Two Scriptures confirm the meaning of the river.

“He who believes in Me as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water,’ but this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those that believed in Him were to receive. . .” John 7:38-39a. Jesus clearly identifies the river as the Spirit.

The second reference is Revelation 22:1-7,17, 

“And He showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb, in the middle of its street. And on either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, bearing its fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. . . And the Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who hears say, ‘Come.’ And the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.”

Now let’s apply Ezekiel’s vision to your life. The unmistakable evidence of the Spirit in a believer’s life is: increasing depth, freshness, fruitfulness, gives life, and helps others heal.

Ezekiel 47:1 starts with Ezekiel getting a tour of a house and was brought to the door. In Scripture Jesus identifies Himself as the door, John 10:9.

I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

Ezekiel sees that water (the Spirit) is flowing from under the threshold of the temple, the unending spring of the Holy Spirit is flowing. Immediately I thought of the Boiling Springs swimming pool.

My friends and I swam there every summer and what made the pool so special was where the water came from to fill the pools. On a hot steamy day, the water is always crystal clear, refreshing, and invigorating because the water comes from the natural artesian well springs located in and around the town.

As we continue our journey of faith, we can see ourselves in this picture, in the temple. As we come to faith in Christ we welcome Him to make our body into the temple of the Holy Spirit.

“Do you not know that your body is the temple (the very sanctuary) of the Holy Spirit Who lives within you, Whom you have received [as a Gift] from God? You are not your own, you were bought with a price [purchased with a preciousness and paid for, made His own]. So then, honor God and bring glory to Him in your body” (I Corinthians 6:19-20).

 The Scriptures help us to interpret this vision of the temple. We are that temple where the Spirit dwells, he never leaves us because He comes to stay.

But there’s more, this vision is only beginning to unfold. But I was like so many, I was saved and indwelt by the Holy Spirit and was content to stay there not knowing there was so much more to experience.

Remember Ezekiel’s taking a tour of the temple, and now his tour guide takes him outside the temple to see the waters representing the Spirit flowing from the south side of the altar toward the outside of the temple. We need to see the invitation to us is to progress in the ministry of the Holy Spirit after regeneration (new birth).

At our new birth the Spirit comes to live in us and we start our journey of an ongoing living relationship with the Lord. As we fellowship with Him, He equips us for service, and ministry to others.

There’s many still on the bank, meaning they haven’t yet experienced the new birth -Christ living in them. But others choose to step into the water that’s “ankle-deep,” verse 3.

This is a picture of a new believer, they are saved but that’s all they know. They are still in the infant stage and only know that when they die they will go to heaven someday to be with Jesus. It could be that no one has discipled them or strongholds are still hindering them from maturing spiritually.

In the next growth stage, you are beginning to mature and are led through “knee-deep water,” verse 4. You are growing and becoming more like Christ.

Next, you are led through “water that is waist-deep,” verse 4. You are maturing and beginning to understand how to cooperate with the indwelling Holy Spirit and how to hear His voice and You are now beginning to experience the flow of God’s river.

As you continue to mature you find it’s now “water that’s risen and too deep to swim in—a river that no one can cross,” verse 5. You begin to understand the Lordship of Christ in your life.

You are no longer in the driver’s seat because He is now ruling and reigning in your life. You are beginning to see the Kingdom of God for what it is. Instead of the Kingdom of self in control, it’s now King Jesus on the throne of your life; and you are becoming more submitted to the ministry of the Holy Spirit as you continue to mature spiritually.

In verse 6 the man in Ezekiel’s vision asks, “Do you see this?” Sometimes we see but we don’t see.

Meaning we don’t have clear spiritual understanding until the Holy Spirit opens up our understanding to see what He means. We can see the symbols but do we understand what the symbols mean? The only way to understand what the symbols mean is to receive the Holy Spirit’s meaning. We can’t make them mean what we want them to mean.

Ezekiel saw a “great number of trees on each side of the river,” verse 7. As we are assured in ALL the will of God we are like firmly planted trees along a river bed.

“Most blessed is the man who believes in, trusts in, and relies on the Lord, and whose hope and confidence the Lord is. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters that spreads out its roots by the river, and it shall not see and fear when heat comes; but its leaf shall be green. It shall not be anxious and full of care in the year of drought, nor shall it cease yielding fruit” (Jeremiah 17:7-8).

Spirit-filled believers are those trees, deeply rooted in Christ and attuned to the Spirit’s voice. We are not stationary trees like in the natural but spiritual trees firmly established, grounded and walking in the power of the Holy Spirit.

“This water flows toward the eastern region and goes down into the Arabah, where it enters the Dead Sea. When it empties into the sea, the salty water there becomes fresh,verse 8.

Meaning wherever you go (not just in church Sunday morning) you bring freshness because you are like a breath of fresh air and you are like a refreshing drink of cold water to those around you.  

I remember when our family moved to New York in 1978 for my husband Dick to go to Bible School. He was refreshed every day by other Spirit filled believers at school.

But for me the first year away from home was like being in a desert. The Arabah means dry, depressed, hot, barren and an unfruitful desert. It never occurred to me before leaving Carlisle that I’d find myself in such a dry place spiritually.

I missed our close-knit fellowship we’d enjoyed and here I was in a place where I knew no one. But it was in that dry place I learned to fellowship with the Holy Spirit and found refreshment as I communed with Him.

Don’t be surprised if you experience your own dry place. It’s part of learning to walk in the Holy Spirit. We tend to think only outside things can bring refreshment but He’s preparing us to find out that our refreshment and fruitfulness comes from within.

“Swarms of living creatures will live wherever the river flows. There will be large numbers of fish, because this water flows there and makes the salt water fresh; so where the river flows everything will live,” verse 9.

Instead of the culture around you squeezing you into its mold, you are a positive influence wherever you go, not because of how good you are but because of Christ living in you.

“Fishermen will stand along the shore; from En Gedi to En Eglaim there will be places forspreading nets. The fish will be of many kinds-like the fish of the Mediterranean Sea,” verse10.

“En Gedi means ‘the fountain of the kid’, (‘kid’ being the young offspring of either a goat or an ibex) refers to the mountain goat that roams so solemnly onto the steep cliffs of the desert.

En Gedi was originally the name of a moderate fountain in the very center of the oasis, a tiny pastoral spot that now renders its name to the whole surrounding region. The two big steady rivers all yielding a remarkable flow of cool, drinkable fresh water to the heart of the harsh, dry desert, brimming with the saltiest basin of water on earth.”

This is humanity being supernaturally refreshed by the Spirit who brings life and healing wherever He flows.

First we were drawn by the Holy Spirit, next, we experienced the new birth, then He equips and prepares us. Now it’s time to go fishing!

“Come, follow Me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.”

Any good fishermen knows how to draw different kinds of fish to themselves by the bait they use. The fish will be of many kinds-like the fish of the Mediterranean Sea,” verse 10.” This speaks of God’s desire to draw people from all nations and languages.

We might be tempted to stay in “knee-deep” water because it feels safe there but in verse 11 we have a warning. “But the swamps and marshes will not become fresh.”

Who wants to be known as a “swamp dweller” or “marsh dweller.” I don’t. I confess I didn’t know I was refusing to move with the Holy Spirit because it can be very subtle. We can camp out on old experiences and little by little we rely more on past experiences then trusting on the fresh work the Holy Spirits wants to do in us.

Have you ever seen a stagnant pond? Not a pretty sight! We don’t want to get bogged down in the “swamps” and “marshes” of stinky, stale religion. So how can we tell if we’ve become a “swamp dweller”? The dead give away is there is NO fruit.

“Fruit trees of all kinds will grow on both banks of the river. Their leaves will not wither, or will their fruit fail. Every month they will bear fruit, because the water from the sanctuary flows to them. Their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing,” verse 12.

The life-giving spring continually bubbles up for all who would answer Jesus’ call to drink of the waters that will never run dry. In other words there will be evidence of the Spirit living in you.

WHAT KIND OF FRUIT IS COMING FROM YOUR LIFE?

There is a stark difference between what we can produce on our own and the “fruit of the Spirit.”

“The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law” (Galatians 5:19-24).

Jesus made it clear that a person’s spiritual condition would be seen by the “fruit” of his behavior (Matthew 7:16-23).

As you deal with your own unmet needs, unhealed hurts, and unresolved issues (strongholds) as needed, you are now able to help others grow and heal too. Instead of staying in a dysfunctional lifestyle you are becoming healthy and you are thriving in your relationship with Christ. Now you can start to help others grow spiritually.

Ezekiel 47:1-12 is what your life will look like as you live and are obedient to what God wrote in His book about you. This is His dream for every person in His family, to live like His eternal Son, Jesus Christ. That’s the reason He’s given you the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Now ask the Lord where you are in this vision, and take some time in His presence and let Him show you where you really are. God sees you as complete in Christ because this is what He wrote in His book concerning you.

Maybe you are still a seeker and not yet born again, you are still welcome and the Father is happy to be with you in your journey. If you have read this far I believe the Holy Spirit is drawing you to Himself.

If you are already a follower of Christ maybe you are maturing and you see yourself in different stages of spiritual growth. You may have experienced “ankle-deep” water or “waist-deep” water and drawing daily on the life-giving flow.

Or you might realize you are stuck in the “marshes” or in a dry desert place or you may be bearing fruit under the waterfall at En Gedi, wherever you are be honest and acknowledge it to God.

Now ask yourself the question, “Where do I want to be?” Remember you can be as deep in the river as you want to be because this is what God wrote in His book concerning every follower of Christ.

May we never forget what God’s eternal purpose is:

“Christ in You the Hope of Glory” – All of Him in All of You!

In closing hear the Spirit’s invitation to fulfill what God wrote in His book about you. As you deal with the strongholds in your life; and drink freely of the kingdom’s crystal clear, River know that He’s called you, equipped you and is now sending you to fulfill All the will of God.

You can now change how you think about your future because of what God wrote in His book about you. Hallelujah!

Now unto Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above
all that we ask or think, according to the power that
works within us, to Him be glory in the church
and in Christ Jesus to all generations
forever and ever. Amen
Ephesians 3:20-21