If the River Leaves You, You Die

If the River Leaves You, You Die

If the river leaves you, you die.

At one time, Rodney, Mississippi was the largest port between New Orleans and St. Louis. You would never know it today because there are only a few reminders of a past of greatness. It is actually called a “Ghost” town because it has been forgotten and left by time. In doing a little research about this area of Mississippi, I found out the history of this forgotten place. Below is what I read, and it seemed as an epitaph in the cemetery of time.

“Around 1870 the Mississippi River, which had flowed past Rodney, began a gradual change of course. By 1940, Rodney was a full three miles inland from the river. Cut off from the river and hurt by the decline of the cotton trade after the Civil War, the town slowly began to die. Along with it died the congregation of the Presbyterian Church. ”

It struck me, “If the river leaves you, you will die.”

What followed that thought was the scripture where Jesus said, “He that believeth on me as the scripture hath said out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.”

What happens when faith ceases and the river leaves you? Slowly but surely the River that once flowed through your heart, soul and body has slowly, because of resistance to it’s influence, went around you and find yourself miles away. What once was the source of all the joy that you once had can be gone and forgotten.


This prayer sprang from my heart, “Lord let my Faith in you be sharpened…. let the flow of the river be directed down the center of my being and not just beside where I am.”

The scripture is replete with the imagery of our spiritual walk and our survival being connected to our proximity to “The River”. Ezekiel’s vision of the river that flowed from the Temple of God illustrates this beautifully. The further I walk in that river that originates in the temple the deeper and more engulfing it becomes. Our pursuit should not be how to keep the river out, but how to keep the river in. We must resist the natural tendency to try to protect ourselves from it’s influence, to channel the river along our border. Here should be our goal instead, to seek that it’s banks would be curbs of our main street. If the river moves, we move with the river, we extend our border as “The River” may meander and move along as rivers do.

Jesus gives us a clear hint to our proximity of the river.

“He that believeth on me as the scripture hath said out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.”

His answer should be our pursuit. We must strive to sharpen our Biblical understanding of Jesus so that our faith in him can be expanded. It is safe in saying that the more we know about him from scripture, the more we can know about him in experience.

Knowledge and experience are connected. If you know little, or if what you know is obscured, your relationship will be limited.

“ But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.” 2Corinthians 4:3-7

We live in a “religious culture” that everybody claims to “love” Jesus, while not really knowing very much about him. Beyond some cursory understanding gained in Sunday School or what they heard about him from some other person, they have a very limited view of Jesus from the Scripture. On the other side of this we have many professing Christians that have been told so much about what others think about Jesus, that the Jesus they know barely resembles the Jesus of Scripture.

Lack of understanding or misinformation can cause someone to not fully appreciate the experience and power that is in Jesus.

However I have seen in my own life that as I grow in my understanding of Jesus, my appreciation of who is, what he did and what he has provided opens a door of possibility in the here and now.

For example the scripture tells us that Jesus is our Intercessor with the Father. The example of this would be Moses pleading the cause of Israel when they had exasperated God in thier lack of faith, disobedience and rebellion. Moses stood in the gap and pleaded for mercy and they were spared. When we understand that the Resurrected Christ functions even now in heaven pleading the cause and asking for mercy on our behalf, we are able to be more able to “come boldly before the throne of Grace”. How can we do that? We are able to do that because of Jesus Christ. His Body that was broken for us.

His blood that was shed for us.
His death that was died for us.
His resurrection that is the hope for us.

Jesus is the center and circumference of all that we as children of God hope in. To think that when I am less than I should be, Christ is pleading my cause as my intercessor. That when the enemy would come and extract from my life the penalty of Sin, there is a Covenant of Water, Blood and Spirit that says I belong to Christ. These three agree in One. The record on earth has power in heaven.
If every week you chose a particular role of Christ described in scripture to study, pray and mediate upon, I am not sure how long that journey of study and discovery would go on, however I can assure you that each week that past, your faith in Christ would be increased and the corresponding experience would grow.

The direct connection of our faith in Christ to the scriptural record can only impact our experience to the better. Jesus told the lady at the well that the Father sought worshippers to worship him in “Spirit and in Truth.” This is the connection again between our experience and our understanding being linked together.

This morning I feel the call of the River, to walk out in the river.
To allow the river to flow through me in prayer and communion with God.
To pour out of my heart my every care and concern.
To bring the needs and care of others to the throne of Christ.
To be sure that nothing is resisting the flow of the Spirit of God in my life.

Life is where the River is. The River is where I want to be. I can do a few things to ensure the river is flowing. Rejoice and Worship Christ in what I know about him and further to open up the word of God and find out a little more I may not fully grasp right now.
This started today in the negative, “If the River leaves you, you will die.”

My goal has been to emphasize the positive, if you are in the river and the river is in you then you can enjoy all the life that is in Christ and all the Christ that is in life.

I want to know and appreciate Jesus that in a whole new way. Reading and believing his word and let the river continue to flow.

In Him, By Him, Through Him,



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