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. 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.
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. 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. 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.
When I read this section I always think of those going to the beach or a lake, where you find several different kinds of swimmers.
There are the non-swimmers, never getting a toe wet. There are ankle waders at the edge of the shore, the knee-deep waders, those that go waist deep, and those that get in over their head.
Each represents a different kind of people and their relationship with God.
On the shore – those that never get involved with God. They don’t get saved and never go to church.
Ankle deep – believe in God but keep close to shore (the world). These are carnal Christians which Paul spoke about in 1 Cor 3.
Knee deep – church goers but little else. They show up, sit, listen, and leave.
Waist keep – these are committed to God but don’t get in over their head. They are in deep enough to swim. They sporadically read the Bible, almost on a weekend for a crash course for Sunday school. In the service, they are hopeful about their lives in Christ and think about doing more but never really get any deeper.
Over the head/Can’t touch the bottom – these Christians are fully committed to God in every way. They are far away from the shore (world). They are prayer warriors. They testify of what God is doing in their lives. They voraciously read the word and learn from it. They are fully consumed with a love for Jesus.