Fellowship with God
“That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you that ye also may have fellowship with us and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ”.
1 Jn. 1:3
Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines fellowship as “companionship, company looking for the fellowship of friendly people.” Fellowship, therefore, means to be in companionship with God (i.e. spending time with Him)”.
God yearned so deeply for fellowship (i.e. companionship, relationship) that He created man then left his abode in heaven to come down and fellowship with him (Gen.3:8). Through disobedience, man betrayed this relationship and broke fellowship with God, Immediately the Father put in place a plan of restoration through the work of redemption by Jesus Christ, in order to bring man back into fellowship because our God is a God of relationship!
Even today, God yearns for man (us) to be in fellowship with Him; He loves when we spend time praying, fasting, studying His word, and worshipping Him! He longs for us to retreat as individuals and as a corporate body in order to put our focus on Him.
As our example is Enoch, a man whom “God fell in love with” due to the close fellowship they shared; while still alive, God took Enoch to heaven in order to continue their fellowship! Gen. 5:24 says, "And Enoch walked with God and he was not, for God took him."
Additionally, David was “a man after God's own heart”, because of his special relationship with God! David spent so much time in fellowship with God that the Psalms attest to the depth of this relationship! Psalm 42:1 says, “As the heart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, o God.”
Testifying to their close relationship with God was:
*Abraham who was called “a friend of God”
*Moses who saw God “face to face”
*Paul, the Apostle
More than service, God desires (yearns, craves, longs for) our fellowship! Does this mean that service is not important? No. Jesus reprimanded Martha because she neglected “the important things” (i.e. service instead of fellowship). Luke 10:38-42 paints the picture; "Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus feet, and heard his word. But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? Bid her therefore that she helps me. And Jesus answered and said unto her,
‘Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: but one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part (i.e. fellowship), which shall not be taken away from her.’
The bible reveals that those who were called to serve Him were FIRST CALLED TO FELLOWSHIP with Him! Jesus called the disciples UNTO HIM FIRST, THEN TOLD THEM TO SERVE. Mark 3:14 states, “And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach." Without fellowship with God, it is impossible to succeed in ministry or in life.
As believers we must be in fellowship with God FIRST through daily prayers, worship, studying His word, etc. As believers our power and strength emanate from fellowship with God; and the devil knows this all too well. He will attempt to abort our efforts to make time for God by distracting and encumbering us with the cares, concerns, and obligations of daily life (remember Martha)? The moment we break or lose fellowship with God, we are prone to sin, shame, and temptations; we become apathetic and no longer excited about the things of God. Akin to Adam, we can become vulnerable, allowing the devil to take a foothold in our circumstances. And like Peter, our faith can become compromised when we are "afar off" from God (Luke 22:54-62).
So how do we benefit from fellowshipping closely with God?
1. We get to know Him and His will for us (Eph. 3:16-19)
2. We discover our true self (Isa. 6:5)
3. We are transformed (Acts. 11:26)
4. We gain insight and understanding of the secrets of God (Rev. 4:1, Jn. 13:21-26)
5. God takes on our battles (Acts. 16:25-34, 2Chro. 16:9)
Beloved, sincerely ask yourselves, “What is the state of my relationship and with God today?” Are you like Adam and Eve, hiding from God because of sin and shame (Gen. 3:8-10)? Is the altar of your relationship with God broken down and needing repair like the children of Israel (1King. 18:30)?
Brethren, are you feeling more encumbered by “being in service to God” or are you feeling strengthened and empowered by “being in fellowship with God”? If you feel encumbered, then perhaps you need to re-evaluate the ‘good part’ of your fellowship with God! Like in the days of King Saul, “let us bring the ark of our God back” (1 Chronicles 13:3)!
This month God is calling us to a greater and deeper relationship with Him Let us repent of our sins and come to enjoy the benefits of personal fellowship with Him as we welcome in our prophetic month of deeper and sweeter “fellowship with God."
Pastor Tope Dosumu