Living in the Flowing Waters

Then he brought me back to the door of the temple, and behold, water was issuing from below the threshold of the temple toward the east (for the temple faced east). The water was flowing down from below the south end of the threshold of the temple, south of the altar. Then he brought me out by way of the north gate and led me around on the outside to the outer gate that faces toward the east; and behold, the water was trickling out on the south side.”    Ezekiel 47

I don’t know about you, but every time I hear this Scripture proclaimed, I try to visualize the temple and the water flowing… But it’s pretty hard to do. All those sides of the Temple, all that water. It gets confusing.

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Yeah. Not so helpful is it. Fortunately, it’s not a must to understand the origin or flow of the water. It’s really all about the water itself.

There’s healing and life-giving water flowing out of the Temple, it can’t be contained. Well, what can contain God? We all live and splash in this water of life, flowing naturally from His throne.

And here’s some more good news: You are God’s Temple too.

Before we were born, our lives were planned and decorated, waiting for the moment we would be loved into being. At just the right time, we are born, and a new grace-filled temple comes to live on earth.

In Ezekiel’s dream, the temple didn’t just leak water. Oh no. This was rushing, life-giving water in super-abundant amounts.

We all have a share in this abundant life, roiling and sloshing in and around us. This healing grace will not be kept captive. It pushes and shoves, eager to escape and share itself in never-ending supply.

Like waters that spill over a dike after a rainstorm, grace grows and expands in us as God’s Temple. Once it fills, it can barely be held back, restless and pressing, finally cascading out of us and onto our brothers and sisters.

Have you ever met someone who needed help, and felt compelled to step in? That’s the nudge that comes from the swelling grace inside you. It’s always looking for a place flow, a situation to heal, a person to support.

I’ve seen it in action in children. I have four-year-old and two-year-old granddaughters, and those two are always tussling over something. A favorite doll, a book. “I WANT IT!”

Yeah. Well. She had it first. (I’m sure you all know the drill.)

But there are many times, I’d see one or the other sister wait about three seconds after her sibling ‘requested’ the toy she was holding, and then cheerfully hand it over. “Here you go!”, she’d say.

What can this be but grace? This little Temple spilling over with the loving power of God.

So, who cares what direction or what door the grace flows from? The most important thing is, it’s flowing.

And truly, that’s a beautiful and powerful sight.

Surrounded by the Spirit on Facebook

Linking today with Tracy at Winsome Wednesday

66 thoughts on “Living in the Flowing Waters

  1. Thanks for the drawing of the temple – I do try to picture it and still don’t get it!
    I love what you shared about the water/grace from us. That I do get! What a great thought!

    • Hi Mari! I know exactly what you mean! I hear this Scripture proclaimed at least once a year and I’m always confused by the direction of the water. But after thinking about it some more, I believe that’s not the important thing. It’s that we are so blessed to have the flow of God’s grace in and around us, in HUGE quantities.

      At least I understand that!
      Blessings,
      Ceil

  2. Absolutely! The most important thing is that all that water or love is flowing! Yay. Thank you for simplifying this for me. And I realize His love filling us up to be more like Him is always the most important thing! Wishing you a week full of blessings.

    • Hi Mary! I had to simplify it for myself, so I’m glad you see some value in the meaning I was able to understand from this passage.

      It is a beautiful image of overflowing grace and presence. Who wouldn’t want that?
      Have a great week too, and hope your Passover was a lovely celebration with family and friends 🙂
      Ceil

  3. I had to think about this one Ceil… I’m a bit uncertain if I’ve understood, but this is what came to me after I read it.

    I’m always being laughed at because I seem to draw people to talk to me when I’m out. As conversations continue I generally begin to realise it’s a troubled or lonely individual. My husband says I must smile at them and encourage them – But I’m sure I don’t.

    Last year though, I was in a supermarket when a woman in her thirties came up from behind me. She put her hand on me and said she had been drawn to me as she felt I needed help. She never said anything religious at all so I’m sure she wasn’t trying to recruit me!

    She said she knew I was a good person (not sure about that!). We talked for ages and it appeared that she lived nowhere near, but had been on her way to London when her car broke down and it was in a garage. She’d gone in the shop to kill time.

    The thing was…at the time I was feeling low… and quite invisible really. It seemed a very chance encounter – but whose to know? Entertaining angels unaware…. Love X

    • Hi Andrina! I have a saying on a piece of wall art that says: “don’t look for cherubs playing harps, golden winged and crowned…but consider the unlikely stranger…there are angels all around.” D. Morgan

      I think that’s what happened to you! We all can be God’s angels on earth, and how beautiful that the woman you met felt comfortable enough to approach you. I am very sure that you are a good person!

      Thank you for sharing this encounter with me. This is definitely an instance of God’s grace overflowing on to you.
      Blessings,
      Ceil
      PS I only got this comment once. Worked out fine!

  4. Grace overflowing . . . I loved all your images here, Ceil, and the beautiful message of those grace-filled waters filling us and spilling over into the world as we journey through life.
    And the analogy of the little grands is a great one, too, and one I’ve witnessed on both sides of the “flow” with Virginia and Savannah. Is this a photo of your grandchildren? If so, they are as cute as can be!
    Blessings!

    • Hi Martha! No, this is a stock photo. My grands are awfully cute though. I’ve had some pics of them on other posts.

      Thank you for your kind words about the post today. Water is such a good image for grace. It’s clear, abundant, overflowing…all the qualities of God’s gifts to us in his presence and power.

      Have a great Monday!
      Ceil

    • Hi Lulu! Thank you my friend. The idea of overflowing water from God’s Temple (both heaven and us!) is such a powerful one. And easy to understand!

      Happy Monday 🙂
      Ceil

  5. Ceil, beautiful imagery. I also like word pictures and want his living Water to flow in me and then out of me like a waterfall that splashes on those all around me-opening their eyes to Life.
    Thanks for sharing!
    Blessings,
    Noreen

    • Hi Noreen! I think we both have the same desire! I really like the idea of being filled and covered with grace, the flow never stopping. Who wouldn’t love that?

      Thank you for your kind words about the post today my friend.
      Blessings,
      Ceil

  6. I can’t quite wrap my head around the flowing water either. But, I guess that is the way it is with a lot of things with God-beyond our human limitations! Interesting that you wrote on Grace today. A pastor sent me this prayer very recently: I pray that, in the midst of complexity with us and around us, you will have even greater sensitivity and grace and follow Jesus in the simple, practical, applicable and personal ways that He has for you.
    May you continue to have that grace sensitivity Ceil, following God’s promptings in all that you do, including your ministry here.

    • Hi Lynn! Thank you for sharing that prayer with me, I needed it! I can get very tied up in wondering what God wants for me, or if I’m doing what he wants. This short prayer really brings it all down to ‘simple, practical, applicable’. I love that!!

      Your last sentence is really beautiful too. I will pray that for myself, and for you too. May we always be covered in God’s holy grace.
      Blessings,
      Ceil

  7. The fact we are God’s temple is truly amazing news. I have to remind myself often of this. It really does change everything :). I love the thought of grace overflowing from us. Thank you for that visual, my friend. Such a beautiful concept!

    • Hi Candace! Being God’s Temple is a fact that I often forget. I think my body is, well, my body! But it truly is the place where my God dwells, creating the beauty of my soul. We can be so powerful in spreading the grace we’ve been given! It just makes sense to let those waters flow out of us 🙂

      Have a great Monday,
      Ceil

  8. The thing to remember, I think, (I do a lot of thinking somehow); anyway … as I was saying before I interrurpted myself. The thing to remember is that at the time of Jesus, or even at the time of Ezekiel, people were living in what was generally arid country. Water was scarce and tehrefeor every valauble. That’s why we have a lot of water references and imageries in the Bible. Christ asked the woman at the well to give Him water to drink. He told her whoever drinks from His well will never thirst. He told His disciples to go to town and there a man carrying a jar of water will meet them. They should follow him to a house and ask its owner to prepare a room for the Last Supper. This is significant because at the time it was women’s work to go to the well and draw water to fill the jar. At the wedding in Canna Jesus turns water into wine.

    Water at the time was very precious. So to have an imagery of water flowing from a temple portarys God’s love and bounty for His people.

    Anyway … that was me thinking. I might be wrong; as I am often, I am told.

    I’ll stop thinking now; although I must say, having looked out of the window it is raining steadily and will save me having to water the plants.

    God bless.

    • Hi Victor! I think you have a very good point here. Most of the Old Testament seems to have been lived in very arid, dry, desert-type land, and water that abundant would have been a miracle! God is all plenty, all giving…what better way to describe it then in a precious, life-giving commodity like water.

      Water is such a great image for God’s grace. Powerful and rushing, peaceful and clear. May we all be flooded with it!
      Monday blessings,
      Ceil

  9. That is a beautiful image of God’s love and grace flowing everywhere. I love this: “This healing grace will not be kept captive. It pushes and shoves, eager to escape and share itself in never-ending supply.”
    And it’s amazing to think that we get to be part of it- that as we know God’s love and grace more for ourselves it will flow from us and make an impact on others.

    • Hi Carly! You are so right about the privilege of participating in the stream of grace. How powerful it is! And we are the people God calls to be his vessels of this power. Wow!

      Thank you for your kind words about the post too. I appreciate it 🙂
      Monday blessings,
      Ceil

    • Hi Cecelia! I’m glad you liked it my friend. It used to just confuse the heck out of me! I think the point is less the direction of the flow, and more about the generosity and power of the grace.

      Have a wonderful day!
      Ceil

  10. “Here you go” – I’m sure those are words that not only parents, but also God, would love to hear from us more often. 🙂

    “What can this be but grace? This little Temple spilling over with the loving power of God.” Yes, that’s a beautiful thing, Ceil!

    • Hi Lisa! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been amazed by the sudden generosity of one of the grandkids. It’s such a surprising turn-around, what could it be but grace?

      I know God wants me to give over all my selfishness and human ideas and say “Here you go! Instead, I’ll wait to share your generosity in any way I can.” That would be beautiful 🙂

      Have a great week,
      Ceil

  11. “This healing grace will not be kept captive. It pushes and shoves, eager to escape and share itself in never-ending supply.” This is such a hope-filled truth, Ceil. It makes me think of the intense desire God has and the powerful action He takes to fill us with His limitless grace. Thank you! Have a blessed week!

    • Hi Trudy! Grace in all it’s abundance can’t help but want to flow out of us. It probably takes more energy to stop it up then to just let it go!

      Thank you for your kind words about the post, I really appreciate them. It’s a grace to me 🙂

      Wishing you a powerful week in the Lord,
      Ceil

  12. Beautiful refreshment here on a gray Monday. Grateful for every refreshing drink of water He pours into our hearts, Ceil.

    Let the healing streams roll.

    Amen …

    • Hi Linda! I’m all for that! Refreshing water with it’s healing streams, to us and out from us too.

      That is such a powerful image, isn’t it?
      Happy Monday!
      Ceil

  13. Now I know why I don’t spend time trying to understand prophecy other than Jesus is coming back. 🙂 That first picture (the baby) sure looks like my oldest when she was born. Refreshing water is needed here for sure.

    • Hi Bill! Now I know why too! I never really got a grip on the message of this passage, until I decided to focus on the water.

      How fun that the baby photo looks like family! Newborns are just so small and beautiful, a little package of potential and grace.

      Thanks for visiting today!
      Ceil

  14. My mom just had an experience of “grace flowing.” Her long time neighbor Lee has been really sick. The other evening as Mom prayed for Lee she felt the overpowering urge to take several ladies from their quilting group to visit Lee the next day and have a little church service. Although Lee couldn’t speak, her eyes told them she was thrilled to have them. About three hours later Lee’s son-in-law stopped in at my mom’s to tell her Lee had just passed on. Talk about God’s grace flowing out–just when Lee needed it!

    • Hi Pam! What a beautiful story! I’m so glad that your mother followed the promptings of her heart, and that so many followed with her. What a gift to her neighbor!

      Having faithful people around you at any time is such a gift, but especially in the hard times. Your mother was that beautiful gift to Lee.
      Thank you for sharing this story of love of neighbor and of God,
      Ceil

  15. Hi Ceil, Thank you for sharing this perspective on the Temple and water in Ezekiel. Every time I’ve read through Ezekiel, I’ve struggled to get a picture in my mind of what it looked like. Water in this context does seem to heal, cleanse, and more–much like the waters of baptism. (By the way, I really enjoy reading through the prophets: major and minor.)

    Blessings,

    Kim

    • Hi Kim! It was so nice that you are familiar with this passage. It really is challenging to picture it all, isn’t it? Even the two plans I was able to find don’t really shed a lot of light on the subject. At least not for me!

      It does seem to be like baptism, I agree with you. And I think it’s wonderful that you enjoy reading through the prophets. I’m sure you’ve thought of this passage, and knew it was about baptism. That’s such a great insight!

      Monday blessings,
      Ceil

  16. I love the description of grace as water spilling over. So much that nothing can contain it. I am not sure I understand the flow of water in the temple at the time of Ezekiel but I can picture the image of grace overflowing. I know I have been a recipient before and I’m sure I will be again. Thank you for teaching us so well. Love coming here!

    • Hi Mary! Thank you for your kind words about visiting here, I really appreciate them 🙂

      The image that grace has to come pouring out like water is such a good one. I don’t think anyone would have a hard time understanding it. God knows just how to craft his dreams to the prophets to help us all. Like you, I don’t follow the whole direction thing, but I sure do understand the flooding grace.

      Have a peaceful evening,
      Ceil

    • Hi Karen! I think it all boils down to that. The Lord keeps that river running out of us, and over us. That is a huge gift of grace!

      Have a great day,
      Ceil

  17. I love the idea of us being a grace-filled temple with life-giving water gushing in and out of us. It’s so easy to become introspective like toddlers. But when we give of that river inside us, man, it’s a beautiful thing to see what happens. Great reminders!

    • Hi Crystal! How nice to see you today 🙂

      I like that visual of being an introspective toddler. That is wonderful! I suppose that’s how we all start out, wanting to understand everything. Then it becomes so true that giving doesn’t need to be understood. Giving is being like Jesus!

      Have a peaceful afternoon!
      Ceil

  18. The Lord showed me that his love is also like the ocean–forever flowing toward the shore, never stopping. We are the shore, and he will not give up on us.

    Thanks for your thought-provoking posts, Ceil!

    • Hi Jen! That surf is constant too, just like the Lord. What a beautiful and gentle way to teach about his love. Thank you for sharing with me, it’s another great way to think of grace and love like water.

      Have a blessed Tuesday!
      Ceil

  19. In BSF we just ended our time in Revelation and your post made me think of this verse… “Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2 down the middle of the great street of the city.” Revelation 22:1-2

    Oh how it will be flowing when we are in heaven with Him.

    But good words, friend, because what we know about our future with Him should inspire us for wholeheartedly living for Him now.

    Blessings.
    xoxo

    • Hi Beth! Water is really such a key image in Scripture, isn’t it? And it’s always flowing, moving…can’t stay still! I think that’s a great indicator of how we are supposed to react in the waters of grace. Take it in, and spread it!

      Thank you for visiting today 🙂 I’ll email you soon!
      Ceil

  20. Hi Ceil, wow I can just imagine that abundance of water flowing. For me it symbolizes renewal, cleansing, blessing, grace, mercy. You have left me with a very powerful visual. Great post
    God bless
    Tracy

    • Hi Tracy! I like your list of water-blessings. I didn’t think of the cleansing aspect, just the refreshing, renewal and strengthening. I love your comment because it gives me something else to be joyful about 🙂

      Have a wonderful Wednesday!
      Ceil

  21. “Like waters that spill over a dike after a rainstorm, grace grows and expands in us as God’s Temple. Once it fills, it can barely be held back, restless and pressing, finally cascading out of us and onto our brothers and sisters.” When I read these words I immediately thought of the Divine Mercy image.

    Beautiful post, Ceil. I hope the rest of your work is filled with abundant graces flowing in and out of you!

    • Hi Patty! That’s another great image of grace, so I can see why you thought about that.

      Thank you for your lovely prayer for me. It is a wonderful thing to think about…God’s merciful flow of grace, like water, filling and surrounding us. I love that!

      Happy Wednesday 🙂
      Ceil

  22. I love the pictures. I just did a study on this scripture but could not quite get a picture in my mind. Wish I would have had them. Now I can visualize the passage better. Beautiful relation to overflowing grace.

    • Hi Mindy! I’d love to sit and pick your brain about what you learned studying the passage.

      It is really hard to picture though, I agree with that. My thought was that it’s not about the logistics, but about the endless, overflowing grace.
      So nice to meet you today!
      Ceil

  23. What a beautiful message with beautiful pictures today sweet lady. I love how you have put this all together. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

  24. I love the images toi portray of the overflowing grace and water..Im always captivated by the water images in acripture and have been thinking much this week about bursting out grace. I love your atory about ypir darling granddaughter s..what blessinga..and such a vibrant blog today. Your words refreshed me!

    • Hi Kathy! Thank you for your kind words today. I love the water image too. It’s such a layered one, with water there is refreshment, power, cleansing and a bunch more things I haven’t thought of yet!

      May you be bursting with the Spirit today 🙂
      Ceil

  25. Swelling grace, spilling over. Now that is a beautiful image!! Yes, there are times when I can sense the *cup overflowing* in my life. Times when the Lord’s presence fills me in a way that I can almost physically feel it. Of course, there are other times when I feel dry and withered. But, even then, the Living Water flows.

    “I will make rivers flow on barren heights, and springs within the valleys. I will turn the desert into pools of water, and the parched ground into springs.” (Isaiah 41:18, NIV)

    My new little one just had a first birthday. And I am always touched when she reaches out her hand to give something to me. Even though we know that we’re born in sin, there are still times when the Spirit shines through even at the earliest age. We’re all made in the image of the Grand Giver. Let’s keep the floodgates open to His grace, flowing in and through us to others.

    GOD BLESS!

    Happy Mother’s Day, dear friend!!

    • Hi Sharon! Happy Mother’s Day to you too!

      The scene with your little one must have been so lovely. It really is fun to interact with our grandchildren. They teach me a lot. And thank you for that Scripture passage, it goes right with the thoughts I had about this post.

      May the Grand Giver bring you a weekend of joy and love 🙂 Thank you for visiting, it’s always good to see you!
      Ceil

  26. OH Ceil, this truly inspires me today. Thank you for reminding me that His Holy Water pours out of me- and I can honestly choose to open the dam and let it overflow, or close it up and refuse to allow His Love and Grace through.

    What an incredible image to behold- each and every day I wake. And now it will be included in my morning prayers… “Lord, let your waters rush through me and out into this world.”

    • Hi Chris! I really like your prayer! And I think it’s right in line with what God would want us to pray. He gives and gives so we’ll be filled to spilling over. It’s a great mental picture for me when I think I don’t have much of value to give.

      Thank you for visiting today, and commenting on two posts. You are such a faithful and encouraging blog-friend 🙂
      Ceil

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