Revelation 22:1-2 declares, “And he showed me a river of water of life, bright as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb in the middle of its street. And on this side and on that side of the river was the tree of life, producing twelve fruits, yielding its fruit each month.” Like much in Revelation, the river and tree are spiritual signs. The Spirit is the real river of water of life and Christ is the real tree of life. For our Christian life, we need to focus on Christ and the Spirit.
The Colossians were distracted from Christ and from a direct relationship with Him by many things, including philosophy, traditions, rituals, self-generated lowliness, and ascetic practices (v. 2:8-23). To be occupied with these things is to be “carried off as spoil” and “not according to Christ” (v. 8), is caring for shadows rather than Christ (v. 17), and causes us to be “defrauded” (v. 18). May we not be distracted by so many things. Instead, let us appreciate all that we have in Him (v. 2:10), thank Him for all that He accomplished in His death (v. 2:11-15), live together with Him (v. 2:13), hold Him as our Head (v. 2:19), live in the reality of our death and burial in Him (v. 12, 20), and seek and set our mind on the things where Christ is (v. 3:1-2). By these practices we will all become “full-grown in Christ” (v. 1:28). Such growth unto maturity will bring us into the reality of New Jerusalem.