Water to Swim In

water to swim in

Do you enjoy swimming? To me there is nothing as refreshing on a hot day as getting into the swimming pool and just letting the water totally cover you! It seems like every part of your body is refreshed and cooled.

I remember when we were kids we lived just a little ways from the river. In fact, you could see the Eel River from our back porch. We would spend as much time as possible at the river playing, hunting, and fishing. However, we were never allowed to swim unless we had an adult with us. For some reason my Mom is terrified of water. My Dad didn’t learn how to swim. He said his Dad threw him in the creek and told him to swim out! He sank to the bottom and walked out. He and his Dad repeated this a few times and finally his Dad gave up.

When we could talk Mom into taking us swimming, which would happen only one or two times a summer, she was very rigid in what we could do. We were never allowed to get in the water past our knees. Really! If we went out past our knees she would panic and make us come back.

Now the problem with this is simply it is hard to get wet and have a great time in knee deep water. You can’t swim! You can’t really float! All you can do is splash around a bit and maybe lay in the water, moving around with your hands on the bottom. It is not really fun, but it is better than nothing.

I will never forget the summer when I was able to go without Mom’s permission. A couple of friends and I went to a swimming hole and I learned to swim. One of my friends had some ski belts which we put on. We climbed up on this log and jumped into about 12 feet of water. It was so awesome! This is how I learned to swim. I loved it because I found out that water that is over your head enables you to do so much more and have so much more fun.

It reminds me of the passage where Ezekiel speaks of being taken out into the water. It started out shallow but eventually he was led into water that was waters to swim in. I remember my Dad preaching from this passage many times a message called “Wade out into the Deep!” He would preach about our relationship with God and how some people are happy to stay close to shore just kicking around in shallow water. We need to venture out into the deeper waters that we are able to swim in.

The same is true in our worship. Many times we are content to splash around in the shallow waters. I want to be very careful because I have no intention of making light of any sacrifice of praise that is made to the Lord, so please stay with me. Yet we go home and have never left sight of the shore. We have not gone far enough to get into the water to swim in; we have hung around the shore, that which is safe and familiar.

Let me give you an example that I have seen happen many times through the years. We come to Church really excited about the service. We are remembering past services and the touch of God we have received upon our lives. We begin to sing praises to Him. We sing of His mercy and grace. We sing of His name and heaven. At first it is just “our self” that is doing it but soon we begin to feel a little something! The more we praise Him the better we feel and others are feeling it too. Someone might begin to jump up and down a bit! Someone might break into a run or a dance! There are times when this might go on for a time period of great praise to the Lord.

How many times do we stop there? How many times do we stop and catch our breath and say, “We could go home now. We have already had Church?” Many times we do just that. My question is simply this, what would happen if we pressed on into deeper waters. What would happen if we would wade on out until we were in waters in which we were totally submerged in the Spirit? Let’s think about this for a moment.

The word “baptize” is used five times in the New Testament in three different scriptures. In three of those scriptures it is quoting John the Baptist prophesying that Jesus would come and baptize us with the Holy Ghost. We know that baptism only happens when you are totally submerged. We know that the Holy Ghost is the Spirit of God. I do not believe the baptism of the Holy Ghost to be only a one time event in our life. I do believe that God wants to baptize us repeatedly with His Spirit. We have to wade out into the swimming waters in order for this to happen.

Every day we deal with life. We deal with hurts and disappointments. We deal with anger, pain, bitterness, abuse, fear, deceit and all of the other things that life throws our way on a daily basis. Being emotional we feel these pains and our soul filters these emotions. After awhile the filter will become clogged with the debris of life. At that point we come to the place where we feel we can’t take any more. We become overwhelmed!

However, when we push past the familiar in our praise, we begin to allow God to do a work in us. Let me share this thought. There are seven words in the Old Testament for praise, I won’t take time to go into all of them, but I noticed many of them were words, powerful words, which just speak of a commitment of our relationship with God, whether or not we are feeling anything special. They speak of raising our hands, being thankful, shouting, playing music, to boast, and to celebrate. All of these are wonderful and I love them, they are so much a part of who we are. Yet I also noticed that in part they are a testimony to others, as well as God, of how we feel about God and His goodness. There is also one word that is a little different and it speaks of blessing the Lord from a prostrate position.

Now I am not bringing about a new doctrine, I am just sharing a thought that has been on my heart for a while. If you look this word up in the scripture you will find that it is the same word that is used when God blesses us. Let’s take a look at a couple of Psalms where it is used.

O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker.”

Ps 95:6

This is more of a positional type of worship, whether physically or spiritually and emotionally, we bow before Him. It also speaks of adoration. So the reason we bow before Him is because we adore Him. Let’s go a bit further.

“Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.”

Ps 100:4

This speaks to me of going further than praise and thanksgiving, which seem to be the starting point. This speaks to me of entering into a worshipful attitude that is deeper. With this thought in mind, check this out…

“Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits

:” Ps 103:1-2

The rest of the Psalms list the reasons to adore Him, all of reasons we should adore Him. This is, to me, speaking of wading into those waters where you totally become submerged in the Spirit of God, waters to swim in. You are worshipping Him with all that is within you! Every part of your being adores Him.

Consider this! Jesus takes a little side trip to Samaria. There He meets a lady and begins to talk to her of Spiritual things. She spoke to Him of His being a Prophet and of places to worship. Jesus said there would come a time when worship would not be required to happen in a certain place. He went on to say that it was time when those who worshipped God openly would do so in spirit and in truth.

He then makes this statement which I will quote because of the power of it:

“…for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”

John 4:23-24

The words used here speak of worship meant to adore. It also means to kiss like a dog licking his master’s hand. It means to prostrate your self before Him in adoration. It goes on to use the words spirit and truth. Spirit speaks of God’s Spirit, entering into a realm beyond our spirit to where the Spirit of God is one with ours. Truth speaks of verity or something real, true, genuine. Men will worship Him in unity with His Spirit in a real and genuine manner. The most powerful part of everything Jesus says to the woman is this, “God is looking for us to worship Him in this manner.”

This is worship that cannot take place in the shallow water; this is when you get out in the waters to swim in. This is when you have lowered yourself and exalted Him in your adoration. This is when you magnify the Lord and exalt His name. You adore Him!

Let’s go back to the filter we spoke of earlier. Jesus stood on the last day of the Feast and said if any man is thirsty he can come to me and drink. If He believes on me scripturally out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water. Then the writer makes sure we understand that Jesus was talking of the Holy Ghost. When we begin to worship God as a true believer, one who adores Him, the Holy Ghost is going to flow through our heart. All of the debris that has been caught in our filter is going to be flushed out by the power of the Holy Ghost. There will be a flowing of the Spirit. Our emotions will be cleaned as our spirit communes with the Spirit of God.

Paul tells us to be filled with the Spirit of God. He is telling us to come under the influence of God’s Spirit. He tells us to allow the Spirit to control us. Could I go as far as to say, to wade out from our comfort zone into the swimming waters!

Just a thought! God Bless.


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