3.11.05

Staying Close to Stay Full

One last observation (for now) from the river in Ezekiel 47. As I mentioned before the river flows from underneath the temple. It comes from the presence of God. To stay in the river, we have to stay close to God.

We can see this in another portion of scripture that talks about baptism:

For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers, that our forefathers were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. They were all baptised into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. (1Co 10:1-2)

We often pick up on the fact that the passage through the Red Sea was a picture of water baptism. But Paul also states that being under the cloud was also a picture of baptism.

Now we know that the cloud represents the presence of God. And it was this presence that led them for forty years in the wilderness.

In all the travels of the Israelites, whenever the cloud lifted from above the tabernacle, they would set out; but if the cloud did not lift, they did not set out--until the day it lifted. So the cloud of the LORD was over the tabernacle by day, and fire was in the cloud by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel during all their travels. (Ex 40:36-38)

If "baptism in the sea" represents water baptism, what can "baptism in the cloud" mean except baptism in the Holy Spirit: the presence of God within us.

It is interesting, in this case, to notice again the difference between these two baptisms. For although they passed through the sea as a one-off, they stayed under the cloud for the entire duration of their pilgrimage to the promised land. Baptism in the Spirit does not mean a one-off filling, but a life continually led by the Holy Spirit. If we are baptised in the Spirit we should be leading lives that are continually led, guided and prompted by the stirrings of the Holy Spirit within us. As we obey these promptings and stay close, we stay in the river, and so we stay full. As it says in Galatians 5:25:

Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.

3 comments:

KevC said...

Chris, this gives a whole new meaning to living your life with your head in the clouds!

anna said...

thts really interesting esp. the whole image of the pillar of cloud and fire, also the fact tht they moved as the pillars moved, talking of moving on according to the leading of the Spirit rather than our conveniences.

Gavin White said...

Ezekiel is an excellent book, really enjoyed reading your revelation and insight into the book - very encouraging, excellent stuff and well meaty! - like it!