God’s desire for you this New Year is to bring you to the Next Level of life. What does the Next Level mean or imply? The Next Level is not another buzzword catchphrase; but means a progression towards God; a movement to a higher level of spiritual relationship with God. It means moving from one level of experience or knowledge to a higher level. There is a higher level of experience, understanding and knowledge of God we must come into this New Year.
The Next Level is attaining a relationship or intimacy with God (Acts 13:2). It is a growth in holiness and fruitfulness, it means growing in the fear of God and power encounter with God.
The Next Level for some of us may mean a change in direction this year, a relocation, it could mean making a vital decision, a promotion in ministry, a breakthrough in business, getting closer to God’s destiny for your life, or, a future place of glory, etc.
Ezekiel 47:1-12 is one text in the Bible that illustrates what it means to move to the Next Level of life. In this passage, Ezekiel is shown a river of life-giving water flowing from God’s sanctuary. Notice it is a flowing river, not a static river; it is also a river and not a stream. This means it has some form of force and intensity.
Observe the similarity of this river to the river of life described in Revelation 22:1-2; Psalm 46:4,5 and John 37:7-8. In the Bible, a river symbolizes the flow or movement of the Holy Spirit.
Ezekiel was led or escorted through the river by an angel. He simply cooperated with the angel. The angel led him through four levels in the water of life. Each level represents a different experience of spiritual relationship with God. Then the angel measured the first one thousand, the water got to his ankle. In the second measurement, the water got to his knees and in the third measurement, the water got to his waist. Then when he got to the fourth level we read, “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).
After this the angel brought him back to the bank of the river and asked him this question, “He said to me, “Son of man, have you seen this?” This is one question that does not require a hasty answer, but a deep reflection. In my view, this question has several plausible answers. First, God was asking Ezekiel if he paid attention to what he had seen or gone through. Second, it also means that God wanted him to determine what level of water of life he wanted to settle in. This is a choice we all have to make this year.
By spiritual analogy, this is a powerful picture of increasing progress and depth in our spiritual life. It illustrates a progression from the ankle, to the knee, to the waist, to the depths where one can no longer touch the ground and must swim. God’s people are called to go deeper. They shouldn’t stop until they are swimming, carried along by God’s currents and comfortable in that place. If we must get to the next level of life this year we must go deeper in God.
Let us start the New Year seeking God for Holy Spirit encounters that will immerse and sub-merge our entire being.