Have you felt frustrated lately, almost as though you are on the edge of a new dimension in your relationship with God, and yet you feel as though you have come up against and invisible wall? In 2004, I had been struggling with this for months. As I prayed and continued to seek God about this, I realized that if I was going to experience a new breakthrough in my life that it would take a serious time of consecration and soul searching. In other words, I had to really get serious with God.
I began a 30 day fast, and every day I struggled with my flesh. God continually showed me areas in my heart that I hadn’t yielded completely to Him. I found out that I still had a self-willed, rebellious and stubborn nature, and spent much time repenting. I kept compromising and breaking the fast that I knew that God had called me to. The more I determined to fast, the harder it seemed to get, until I finally came to a place of surrendering my will.
I made a commitment to My Lord that I would continue to fast until I had victory. In spite of my failing and weakness, God began to show Himself to me in a mighty way. I felt compelled to go away and be alone with Him and began to re-gain an insatiable hunger for His word and His presence. As I did this His voice became clear and strong once again in my spirit. It was as though I came alive again in areas that I didn’t realize were dead. My vision and destiny, which had become somewhat cloudy, suddenly was crystal clear once again.
It is so easy to become complacent, or to desire to receive something from God that we haven’t really paid the price for. He did the work of salvation for us on the cross, but then it’s our job to align ourselves with Him in obedience. This often hurts because we have so much baggage in our lives when we come into the kingdom of God, and this baggage can interfere with our relationship with God and the fulfillment of our destiny.
God has a great destiny for each of us, but first we need to get rid of the baggage we carry, and that begins by immersing ourselves in the River of Life that flows from the throne of God.
Then the angel showed me a river with the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb. It flowed down the center of the main street. On each side of the river grew a tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, with a fresh crop each month. The leaves were used for medicine to heal the nations. Revelation 22:1-2 (NLT)
He asked me, “Have you been watching, son of man?” Then he led me back along the riverbank. When I returned, I was surprised by the sight of many trees growing on both sides of the river. Then he said to me, “This river flows east through the desert into the valley of the Dead Sea. The waters of this stream will make the salty waters of the Dead Sea fresh and pure.
There will be swarms of living things wherever the water of this river flows. Fish will abound in the Dead Sea, for its waters will become fresh. Life will flourish wherever this water flows. Fishermen will stand along the shores of the Dead Sea… Ezekiel 47: 6-10 (NLT)
The interesting thing about these two passages is that the description is almost identical, except that one refers to the throne of God, and the second refers to the earthly temple. Since we are the temple of the Holy Spirit, the same river of life that flows from the throne of God is supposed to flow from His throne through our earthly temple.
On the last day, the climax of the festival, Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, “Anyone who is thirsty may come to me! Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.'” John 7:38 (NLT)
His water will refresh us, then it should flow out of us, bringing life to everything it touches. We are supposed to be the trees on each side of the river that bear fruit for food and leaves for the healing of nations.
…In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the LORD has planted for his own glory. Isaiah 61:3 (NLT)
We should also be as the fishermen on the banks of the river, pulling up our nets with multitudes of souls.
Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!” Matthew 4:19 (NLT)
So what happened? Why does the Living Water not flow freely through us, bringing salvation, healing, and refreshment everywhere we go?
Our rivers have been dammed up with stones. The stones are things in our life such as sin, unhealed wounds, unforgiveness, strongholds, disappointments, mind-sets, etc. Some of us may have a trickle or a measure of living water flowing over the top, while others may be completely blocked up. Isaiah 62:10-12 talks about preparing the highway of holiness by removing the stones. The stones have to be removed, then not only will the river of living water flow through us, but we will receive the full measure of healing as well.
When I first realized this, it was great news to me, but when I thought about all of the stones that I would have to remove, I almost got depressed thinking about it. The task of removing the stones would seem to be too much. Then the Holy Spirit showed me something very exciting.
It’s up to us to choose to consecrate ourselves to God and allow Him to set us apart for Him alone, and to say, “Yes, Lord. Reveal my heart to me”.
Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life. Psalm 139:23-24 (NLT)
As we search our hearts and allow God to show us how to stay on His path, we place the burden back in God’s hands and then a wonderful thing will happen. The first few stones will be removed, one at a time. Often this happens painstakingly during trials and difficult circumstances. Stay in His presence and let His living water continue to flow into your spirit, because something amazing will take place when the pressure from all the water presses in on the weak spot.
Once the first stones are removed, the entire dam will weaken, and as the pressure builds, a few more stones will become loose and fall away. We will see an increase in the flow coursing through us, but we still haven’t experienced the full release that we have waited and agonized over.
If we continue to stay in the place with the Lord where He can continue to deal with our hearts, pretty soon the pressure will build to a point where it is almost unbearable. This explains why many have felt such an uncomfortable pressure lately, like we are on the verge of something tremendous; yet did not really understand what was blocking that elusive explosion of His glory in our lives.
Keep pressing through. The biggest breakthrough in your life is about to come! The Holy Spirit has been putting pressure on that dam in your life so that you will be compelled to come to a place of breakthrough. Suddenly the pressure will be so great that the entire dam will burst and the water will come pouring through! All the remaining debris, all the stones–everything that is in the way will be removed in an instant. That is the majesty of our Lord at work. All we have to do is yield ourselves to Him and He will move mightily on our behalf.
His power and greatness is about to be revealed to us, in us, and through us in a way that we have only dreamed of and hoped to see. Think of Niagara Falls and the great power of the water that flows there. Nothing can ever stop the flow of the water, and the power that is generated from it is tremendous.
And he also said, “It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega—the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty I will give freely from the springs of the water of life. All who are victorious will inherit all these blessings, and I will be their God, and they will be my children. Revelation 21:6-7 (NLT)
Consecrate yourselves, my brethren, and prepare for your dam to burst. Drink from the fountain that flows from His throne. Allow Him to lead you to victory, and you will inherit all of His promises! It is time for your healing. It is time to bring in the harvest. It is time to let the river flow through you to bring healing and refreshment to the nations!