Swimming in Ezekiel’s River


“Again he measured one thousand, and it was a river that I could not cross; for the water was too deep, water in which one must swim, a river that could not be crossed” (Ezek. 47:5, NKJV).

If anyone found out how real the river of God is, it was Ezekiel. The “man” who showed it to him had him wade in it: ankle, knee, and waste deep… and then beyond where wading was possible. I love the urgency in Ezekiel’s wording: “water in which one must swim (emphasis mine).

If we are to thrive as sons and daughters of God, we must swim in His river, as Ezekiel did. We must go beyond analyzing and theorizing about His river. We must get into it… all the way in. Into the depths of His swell… where we relinquish control to Him and allow Holy Spirit to carry us along in His current, wherever He desires.

Obviously, this river is real. Elsewise, Ezekiel would not have been able to experience it in such a tangible way. Remember, he wasn’t simply seeing a visual picture of a river. He was inside the river. This means, he was feeling the cool water slide past his skin. He was in direct contact with the living waters that flow from the throne of God.

The river Ezekiel experienced is a spiritual river. Holy Spirit gives us this vivid description of the prophet’s experience because He wants us to grasp how real the spiritual realm is. “Spiritual river” does not mean “theoretical river.” It does not mean a river in someone’s head. It’s real. So real that you can’t cross it. It’s much more real, even, than the last river you set your physical eyes on.

The “man” wanted to make sure Ezekiel was paying attention to this experience of spiritual reality. So right there in the middle of the river, he asked him, “Son of man, have you seen this?” (v. 6, bold emphasis mine). Holy Spirit earnestly desires that you and I would pay attention to heavenly realities, too. They are accessible. They are here. They are for us, right now. This story is in the Bible, not to inform you of some faraway mystic’s experience, but because this river is for you.

How do we experience His river? By using our spiritual senses. Hebrews tells us that the mature “because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil (Heb. 5:14, NASB, bold emphasis mine). Obviously, this verse is not talking about our physical five senses. We don’t discern good and evil with the eyes, ears, and nose featured on our head. We discern, perceive, hear, taste, see spiritual realities with our spiritual senses. Just like our bodies have five senses for taking in the world around us, so do our spirits.

Don’t miss the key phrase here: “because of practice.” Tuning into the spiritual realities available to us does not come automatically. It takes practice. Extensive practice. Eager practice. Persistent, determined practice. This verse is telling us that our spiritual senses actually need to be “trained.”

Here’s a training exercise for you. Close your eyes. Ask the Lord to anoint this moment with the power of His Spirit, and to speak to you. Believe that He will. Now, focus with your spiritual senses on the river of God. See yourself stepping into it. Don’t stay at the edge. Go in deeper.

As you do, feel the refreshing, the effervescence of the water, its tug as it draws you into itself. Breathe in the pure air emanating from the cool surface; smell its wholesome fragrance. Now submerge your whole being. Let go. Begin to float. Let Him carry you where He will. Immersed in His water, drink it in to your very core. Taste its lifegiving sweetness. Listen to the cadence of His current as it dances around, through, past, and over you.

Yes. His river is real. “And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely” (Rev. 22:17, NKJV).

“Everything will live wherever the river goes” (Ezek. 47:9, NKJV).


Did you try it? If so, I’d love to hear what you experienced! What do you think about having a spiritual sense of sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch?

10 thoughts on “Swimming in Ezekiel’s River

  1. Years ago I saw a wave of water wash over me, I knew it was the Holy Spirit when it receded my hair was white. I did not not know why my hair was white at the time. But I beleive is was due to experiencing the rush of God.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Just this past weekend I felt what it was like to be without God following my own whims and desires. I read no scripture, skipped church, didn’t sleep enough, and spent most of my weekend playing video games. The spiritual emptiness was evident come Sunday evening.

    The benefits of being with God and letting myself be completely immersed in the holy spirit is so real, yet I still choose sometimes to go the other way. Thank you for these reminders, and encouraging us to dive deeper, and let ourselves be guided by Him. I know I am in a far better place when I do. ♥

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Good Morning,

    I wasn’t planning on sharing this but felt led to share…

    I saw myself walking in the water, and it wasn’t long before I swam underwater where it was a deep blue and then I couldn’t see anything… but as soon and I went under the water where I couldn’t see, I swam back to the top of the surface, and then went right back underwater from the light blue to the deeper blue,…and I felt the Spirit say this ” As long as you can see you are still only touching the surface, it’s when you cant’s see that you are are in deep.” I feel God calling me deeper where I am not led by what I see but by the presence of His Spirit.

    Hope this makes sense…


    Liked by 1 person

    1. It absolutely does, Zakiyyah! Thank you so very much for sharing such a special moment that you had with Him! This is powerful, and I know it will help other people too. May God bless you as you go deeper and deeper into His Spirit and the life of faith. (Slow reply because I was on vacation!)


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