We were travelling with our two children, then aged 8 and 5 years old. Our theme for that particular trip was “River to the Nations” and for fun, whenever we passed by or crossed over a river during the long hours of traveling, we would all shout “River!”
To this day, when my husband Malcolm and I are driving through the countryside on our way to minister in a church, we have an urge to call out “River!” when we pass by a river (and sometimes do!)
Amazing Bible Facts about the River of Life
1. A river flowed out of the Garden of Eden, the place where God communed with Adam and Eve.
This river separated into four headwaters, sending out life-giving waters through the land. (Gen 2:10-14) In this way, our Father prepared a means of sustenance and life to nations and peoples before they were even in existence.
2. The Bible begins with an earthly Eden and an earthly river, and ends with a Heavenly Eden and a Heavenly river.
In the last chapter of the Bible, we read of the river of life flowing from the throne of God: “On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.” (Rev 22:2)
It is the final page of Scripture, and we again see God’s heart for nations and peoples.
3. Healing is associated with the River of Life.
Ezekiel also had a vision of a River with life-giving properties flowing out from the temple, after God’s glorious Presence had returned there. Trees surrounding the river bore fruit for food and leaves for healing. (Ezek 47; 43:2-5, Rev 22:2)
4. The River of Life brings a harvest.
Where once there were no fish, fish abound, and fishermen spread their nets for an abundant catch. (Ezek 47:9-10) The harvest on God’s heart is souls—people from every tribe and tongue. (Matt 4:19, Rev 7:9)
5. The River of Life is a source of joy.
The Psalmists say:
- “There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells.” (Psalm 46:4)
- “[People] feast on the abundance of your house; you give them drink from your river of delights.” (Ps 36:8)
6. The River of Life flows from God’s Presence
Consistently, we see that the River of Life flows from the very seat of God’s Presence: the place He inhabits and reigns. (see above scriptures and also Joel 3:18)
The River of Life is Personal
“Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive.” (John 7:38-39a)
Jesus said that when we drink from Him, receiving His life, and are filled with His Holy Spirit, rivers of living water flow out from within our lives.
The River not only flows from His Presence—it is His Presence—His Holy Spirit. And from the River of His Spirit flows salvation, healing, transformation and the joy that comes from knowing and partaking of God Himself.
A look at the Gospels and the book of Acts demonstrates this, as Jesus and His followers go about announcing the Good News, and healing and miracles flow.
(The invitation of God to someone reading this right now is—step into this River by faith).
Do You Feel Dry?
A river has movement, inflow and outflow. The River of God has a source—the intimate Presence of God—and an influence, bringing salvation, life and healing to people.
But if we stop partaking, and we stop receiving, we may begin to feel spiritually dry. We stop “spilling over.”
People around us are not being drawn by God’s Presence in our lives. We stop speaking out about God’s goodness because we ourselves are living in pain, discouragement or doubt. When this happens, we need to reconnect with God again.
The River of Life and the Dead Sea.
There may be times when we continue receiving from God, but for some reason stop giving out, and releasing His life to others.
The Dead Sea is a lake in Israel that has no inflow—and no outflow. It is rich in mineral wealth but cannot sustain life.
I don’t want to be a “Dead Sea” Christian—someone who attends church on Sundays, receives lots of rich teaching, enjoys the Presence of His Spirit, but does not impact the lives of others.
The River of Life—Receive and Release
In Ezekiel 47, the Prophet sees that the River of Life hits the Dead Sea. And when the River collides with the Dead Sea, the salt water becomes fresh. As it does, the Dead Sea becomes a host to life once more.
If you are feeling dry today, or long to see fruitfulness in your life again, the River of God’s Spirit can flow once more through your life.
The invitation of Jesus to “come and drink” is not a one-off invitation, but His life and Presence is continually available to you.
The Apostle Paul said, “Do not get drunk on wine… Instead, be filled with the Spirit.” (Eph 5:18) The Greek words translated, “be filled,” are in the continuous present tense.
And Ezekiel’s vision of the River of Life that went deeper, measure by measure tells you that no matter what you have experienced of God’s life and Spirit, there is always more. (Ezek 47:3-6)
When you reconnect with God, start to share about what He is doing in your life. Look for God-appointed opportunities to encourage or pray for people. Because in doing so, the River of Life will flow out to others.
And the ripple effect of what God is doing in your life may impact nations.
© Helen Calder Enliven Blog – Prophetic Teaching
Enliven Ministries: in the David McCracken Ministries family