Surrendering in the River of God


Ezekiel 47 : 1 – 12 (The Healing Waters and Trees)

1 Then he brought me back to the door of the temple; and there was water, flowing from under the threshold of the temple toward the east, for the front of the temple faced east; the water was flowing from under the right side of the temple, south of the altar.

2 He brought me out by way of the north gate, and led me around on the outside to the outer gateway that faces east; and there was water, running out on the right side.

3 And when the man went out to the east with the line in his hand, he measured one thousand cubits, and he brought me through the waters; the water came up to my ankles.

4 Again he measured one thousand and brought me through the waters; the water came up to my knees. Again he measured one thousand and brought me through; the water came up to my waist.

5 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.

6 He said to me, “Son of man, have you seen this?” Then he brought me and returned me to the bank of the river.

7 When I returned, there, along the bank of the river, were very many trees on one side and the other.

8 Then he said to me: “This water flows toward the eastern region, goes down into the valley, and enters the sea. When it reaches the sea, its waters are healed.

9 And it shall be that every living thing that moves, wherever the rivers go, will live. There will be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters go there; for they will be healed, and everything will live wherever the river goes.

10 It shall be that fishermen will stand by it from En Gedi to En Eglaim; they will be places for spreading their nets. Their fish will be of the same kinds as the fish of the Great Sea, exceedingly many.

11 But its swamps and marshes will not be healed; they will be given over to salt.

12 Along the bank of the river, on this side and that, will grow all kinds of trees used for food; their leaves will not wither, and their fruit will not fail. They will bear fruit every month, because their water flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for medicine.”



Similarly, the last Chapter of the Book of Revelation also talks about The River of Life.

Revelation 22 : 1 – 5 (The River of Life)

1 And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb.

2 In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

3 And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him.

4 They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads.

5 There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever.



From the passages above, we can firstly see that the river of God has certain things attached to it:

  • It brings healing
  • It brings life
  • It brings a refreshing spirit

Everywhere it touches, there’s life.

Everything that encounters the river of God, comes alive.

In a nutshell, the river of God represents the presence and the power of God.

The river of God also brings breakthrough and healing to the nations.

The river of God is powerful.



In the Christian faith, there are people who goes through a certain level in the river. Among these are four levels of faith among Christians.

#1 Ankle-deep Christians

“…he brought me through the waters; the water came up to my ankles.” Ezekiel 47:3



Ankle-deep Christians are those who have made the decision to step out into faith, and into the waters of salvation, but they have never gone beyond ankle-deep water.

Generally, they live in fear and control, afraid to be vulnerable. They worry about the possibility of being attacked or harmed.

Thus, they live cautiously although they enjoyed the little refreshing of waters at their ankles.

Ankle-deep Christians worry about going any further into the river of God.

Let’s not be like Ankle-deep Christians.

#2 Knee-deep Christians

“Again he measured one thousand and brought me through the waters; the water came up to my knees.” Ezekiel 47:4



Knee-deep Christians go a little deeper with God in the river as compared to the Ankle-deep Christians.

However, they also have some control issues as they do not want to be too vulnerable to the things of God.

They desire to have stability in their own ability instead of letting God take them into a place of vulnerability.

Knee-deep Christians live their Christian walk in the river of God with some blessings, but only up to their knees.

Let’s also not be like the Knee-deep Christians.

#3 Waist-deep Christians

“Again he measured one thousand and brought me through; the water came up to my waist.” Ezekiel 47:4



Waist-deep Christians enjoy the water up to their waist.

No doubt they can feel the current and the presence of God. They can also feel God moving. But it only leaves them feeling half refreshed.

They are not completely vulnerable.

They are still in control but a little bit more mature and hungrier as they have developed more courage than the Knee-deep and Ankle-deep Christians.

However, Waist-deep Christians still have not completely surrendered to God, and they still live a life of half blessing.

The river of God brings life, healing and blessing — but only half of their lives have been touched by it.

Let’s not be Waist-deep Christians either.

#4 Totally-in Christians

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. Ezekiel 47:5



Totally-in Christians are those who choose to get fully immersed into the river of God.

They desire to be consumed by God until they lose all their stability and control.

Their ability comes from the flowing river, where God’s spirit is moving.

They no longer consume just part of God, but all of God — and He’s taking them to places that will blow their minds.



Totally-in Christians let God to be in control of their lives.

When they give, they are not worried because God is in control.

When they pray, they are not worried because God is in control.

They praise and worship like they have given their all because God is in control.

They are now in a place when they are no longer worried or anxious anymore.

Totally-in Christians have been caught up with God and consumed with God that literally He is taking them to places that they could never imagine before.



Being in the river of God doesn’t mean you have to have it all figured out.

Relax, because all you need to do is to come to Him.

If you’re thinking that you have nothing to give or nothing to offer Jesus right now, it’s okay — that’s exactly where He wants you.

He wants your dependency, your trust; He just wants you, your all.

Although I can’t imagine what you are going through right now — challenges, trials, suffering, heartache, pain.

But I can tell you that whatever it is, it’s not too big for God.

His grace can cover it, and your heart can be made new.

During those times when I felt like I was drowning with uncertainties, anxieties and fear, I thought God was off in a distant land. However, I realized that’s when He is most near.

And He’s near you too.



I heard a story back about a group of friends who went swimming in a river. One of the guys jumped in and got caught in the river current, and was taken to the dangerous part of the rapids.

One of his friends on the shore was a lifeguard, and all the other friends looked at him to do something.

However, he just stood there, though, not moving, just staring at his drowning friend.

The others began to panic. They yelled at him and told him to go save his friend!

Still nothing.

They looked out into the river and saw their friend struggling desperately.

In an instant, though, the struggle stopped. That friend could no longer fight the current and began to drown.

When that happened, the friend who was a lifeguard jumped in and with a few swift strokes, rescued the friend and brought him to shore.

The group yelled at the lifeguard, “Why didn’t you jump in earlier? He could have died!”

He calmly looked at them and said, “I had to wait until he fully gave up. Unless he stopped fighting with the river current, he would have dragged me under and drowned me with him. But the minute he gave up, I could save him.”


When I heard of this story, it reminded me of my phobia towards swimming. I would literally panic when my feet could not touch the ground. I enjoy being ankle-deep, knee-deep or even waist deep in the water, as long as my feet could touch the ground.

But Jesus wants us to be totally-in Christians in the river of God. He just wants us to surrender — and when we do, He comes and gets us out from being drowned.

The waves might be crashing over our head, but in that moment, when it looks like we might die, His grace scoops us up and brings us life.

And because when we finally give up, we know it was Him who did all the saving.

The river of God is powerful.

Now the challenge is, will you surrender and be totally-in Christians in the river of God?

❤ xoxo

Adapted from:
Russell Evans, “The River of God”, Planetshakers Church.
Jefferson Bethke, “Jesus > Religion”.

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