The Power of Water

I recently returned from a much needed week long family vacation in CA and am excited to feel so energized and refreshed! We had a blast visiting family…Disneyland and CA Adventure…and 3 different beaches on 3 separate days!

On one particular day at the beach, the waves were so outrageously big that unfortunately we couldn’t even go in the water. The lifeguard mentioned they were on higher alert because a hurricane near Hawaii was causing these waves to be so big. And trust me…they were gigantic!

My boys…however…were completely content building a sand castle and digging in the sand. As I watched them work hard making their sand castle, a huge wave crashed and the water traveled all the way up to the where the boys were building their sand castle. And in an instant the sand castle disappeared. Completely gone…just like that!

Watching these huge waves crash…wave after wave…and seeing it’s powerful impact on my boys’ sand castle, I began to think about the powerful nature of the ocean and the powerful nature of our God who created it.

We see the powerful impact of water in our world today whether it’s the strength of the ocean washing a human life away…the devastation of a flood wiping a city away…or the tragedy of a tsunami demolishing a coastline.

Water is certainly powerful and even though these unfortunate negative effects of water are present in our world today…God created water and actually uses the symbolism of water in the Bible to demonstrate powerful and significant benefits for us as Christians.

“Water” is mentioned 722 times in both the Old and New Testaments.

That is less than “God” … “Jesus” … “heaven” …or “love” …but many more times than “faith”… “hope”… “prayer”…or even “worship”!

So interesting! Clearly there is significance in understanding the symbolism of water!

Now…in the Bible even though water may symbolize troublesome times in life that can and do come to human beings…especially God’s children (You can check some of those verses out on your own Psalm 32:6, Psalm 69:1-2,14-15, Isaiah 43:2) …Water also does symbolize powerful positive benefits for us as Christians.

There are many parallels made with “natural/ physical” water and with the symbolism of “spiritual” water.

Water is first mentioned and created by our Almighty God in the book of Genesis.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. Genesis 1:1-2 NIV

And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that has life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. Genesis 1:20 AKJV

1.Just as water is symbolic of life in the natural/ physical, it is also symbolic of life…eternal life…spiritually. Water is symbolic of God’s salvation and eternal life which God offers us all through faith in His Son.

This thought in Genesis is again repeated in the New Testament in John 3 when Nicodemus…a ruler of the Jews…is asking questions of Jesus.

Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. John 3:5 ESV

Notice here…the water birth (physical) comes before the Spirit birth (spiritual).

We see the reality of this when a woman is in labor and the baby is about to be born. We wait for the ‘waters to break’ which surround the baby until birth. We cannot be spiritually re-born until we have first been naturally born.

Have you been “born again” and accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior?

2.Just as natural water is used for cleansing and washing…water is symbolic of spiritual cleansing that comes with the acceptance of God’s offer of salvation.

Let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water. Hebrews 10:22NLT

Water also symbolizes cleansing of our hearts and conscience through water baptism.

and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also–not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ. 1Peter 3:20-21

Have you been water baptized?

3.Just as water is refreshment to our bodies…so too is water symbolic of spiritual refreshment. Water symbolizes the Holy Spirit and is referred to as “living water”.

On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. John 7:37-39 NIV

But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life. John 4:14 NLT

Do you rely on the Holy Spirit to refresh you when you are feeling weary and tired?

4.Just as water is necessary for the purification and nourishment of our bodies…water is symbolic of God’s Word which also purifies and gives us spiritual nourishment.

…to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word. Ephesians 5:26 NLT

As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. Psalm 42:1 NIV

The Word of God is the pure water for which our souls thirst.

Do you feed and nourish yourself with God’s Word on a daily basis?

Water is powerful!

And just as the power of water is seen in our natural/physical world…so too is the power of water and its spiritual symbolism seen in the Bible.

Water has such great symbolism in the Bible and God uses this symbolism to demonstrate powerful and significant benefits for us as Christians such as salvation/eternal life…cleansing and washing through baptism…refreshment from the Holy Spirit…and purification and nourishment through God’s Word.

Reflection Points:

  1. Have you been “born again” and accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior?
  2. Have you been water baptized?
  3. Do you rely on the Holy Spirit to refresh you when you are feeling weary and tired?
  4. Do you feed and nourish yourself with God’s Word on a daily basis?


Action Points:

1.Jesus wants us to come to Him just as we are. If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and savior…it’s as simple as Romans 10:9.

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 

2.Water baptism is a public pledge of a good conscience toward God. Please note: Being baptized does not save you. Jesus was water baptized by his cousin John the Baptist and since Jesus is our model we too should get water baptized.

Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:38

3.When we feel weary or tired, we can rely upon the Holy Spirit who will strengthen us.

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28 NLT

3.It is so important that we are feeding and nourishing ourselves with God’s Word on a daily basis. Just as we wouldn’t think about not feeding our body physically each day, we should be disciplined in spending time reading God’s Word and praying on a daily basis.