In my vision of the throne room of God, I saw the essence of God Enthroned flowing out from his presence to all who surrounded his throne, filling them with life then returning back to God in eternal praise. This essence of God is:
- The energy that manifests the universe.
- The Glory of God’s ever abiding presence.
- The Divine Will and Purpose for all things visible and invisible.
It is manifested in:
- The Word of God through whom all things are created and sustained.
- The consolation of the Holy Spirit that gives us awareness of God’s presence.
- The Love of God that is his Divine Will and Purpose for us all.
To experience this power in our lives, we must be in the flow of this Divine Energy.
This flow is most commonly referred to in Scripture as “the river of God.”
This river is alluded to as early as the Eden story as the origin of all rivers. The four rivers named in the Genesis epic tell the story of the flow of God.
- The first river is the Pishon which means “the overflowing of living water.” It relates to the Hebrew word pashur that means “prosperity everywhere.”
- The second river is the Gihon from the Hebrew word giyah that means “to break.” From Eden, man’s relationship with God as friend and companion was broken.
- The third river is often named the Tigris. However, in Hebrew the river is named the Hiddekel from the verb hadak, which means “to prick with thorns.” Our Savior was crowned with thorns as he purchased our redemption.
- The fourth river, often named the Euphrates is actually the Parat in Hebrew which means “the bitter water has been made sweet.” Our relationship with God as friend and companion has been restored in Christ.
The river of God is viewed by Ezekiel who saw in a vision a trickle of water flowing from the eastern side of the temple, where Christ was crucified. As the trickle flowed it grew bigger until it was a great and powerful river. Then, when the river reached the ocean, it transformed the ocean from salt water that no one can drink into fresh water that quenches the thirst of all in the earth. Ezekiel was viewing the ministry of Christ in the earth, what we now refer to as his Body, the Church. Through his Church, Christ quenches the thirst of all.
Finally, the river of God is viewed by St. John the Divine recorded in the book of Revelation.
And he showed me the river of water of life. It was clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb. It divided the central street of the city, and on both sides of the river, was the tree of life. The tree of life bears twelve fruits, continually bearing a crop every month. And the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall no longer be any curse whatsoever. Because the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in the city, and his servants shall serve him. They shall see his face, and his name shall be on their foreheads. Night shall be no more. They shall not need the light of the lamp, nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God shall be their light. And they shall reign with him forever and ever. Revelation 22:1-5
I remember when I was younger swimming in the San Marcus River in Texas. It is not a huge powerful river like the Mississippi, but you cannot swim against the current for long without becoming discouraged and exhausted. If you are going to enjoy being in the river, you need to go with the flow. When you go with the flow you are strengthened and carried along by its awesome power.
Everything that is, exists in the flow of God.
Pursue God with joy and find him in peace. He is not far from any of us, for in him we live, and move, and exist. Acts 17:27-28
The flow of God entered our universe the moment he separated light from darkness in that beginning spark of creation we commonly refer to as the big bang. The flow of God continues unabated till this day and will continue into eternity. Even though this universe may one day grind to a halt in icy stillness, the flow of God will continue in that realm of pure light we commonly refer to as heaven.
To experience the love, peace, and joy of God’s presence, we must live in the flow of God.
The immature believer wants to bend the flow of God to his own perceived needs and desires. He prays, “God, do this for me. God, perform a miracle for me. God, make everyone I like happy and healthy. God, change the people who frustrate me. God, make my life easy.” The mature believer only desires to be in the flow of God and so surrenders to God’s perfect authority and will. He prays as Jesus taught him, “Your kingdom come. Your will be done.” The mature believer surrenders everything he has or desires to the flow of God. The Blessed Mother gives us an example to follow when she prayed, “Let it be done to me according to thy word.”
It is a great blessing to shift our prayer life from constantly seeking something from God, and simply to seek God himself for his own sake. When we do that, we find ourselves in his magnificent flow. He carries us and fulfills in us his purpose for us. And, as Jesus promised, we find rest for our souls.
We also find the miraculous power of God in our lives. There is a story of a young boy who was troubled by an evil spirit that the disciples were unable to drive out. Jesus comes and comes and commands the evil spirit to leave. The disciples asked Jesus, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” Jesus replies, “This kind only comes out by prayer.” (Mark 9:13-29) I’m sure the disciples thought to themselves, “What do you think we were doing?” It seems that Jesus was using the term “prayer” in a different context than we generally consider. I’m sure the disciples were asking God to cure the boy, but something must have been amiss in their motive. St. James teaches us:
Where do the wars and arguments among you come from? Are they not from your selfish desires, which wage war inside yourselves? You covet and you do not possess. You kill and envy but cannot obtain. You argue and fight but come up empty. You don’t have because you do not ask God. You ask but don’t receive because you ask with wrong motives, seeking only personal gain or pleasure. James 4:1-3
Could the disciples have been motivated by a desire for personal recognition rather than glorifying God? We see their desire for recognition elsewhere in the gospels. Perhaps here as well. Perhaps they were competing to be the one who drove out the evil spirit. But regardless of the underlying issue, it is clear that the disciples were not ministering in the flow of God. So, their prayer was ineffective.
True prayer is not asking or demanding that God does what we want him to do but submitting to the flow of God. Even Jesus said that he could do nothing by himself, but only what he “sees his Father doing.” (John 5:19) We should follow Christ’s example and not demand from God but, with spiritual sight, see what the Father is doing. Then, in that knowledge, step into the flow of the Father’s work. Allow God to be God through our prayer. And all thanks and glory go to God, none to us his humble servants. For all we do is submit to the mighty flow of God.