The Fellowship of God — Real, Possible, Essential
What does the term “fellowship” entail? It includes a sense of dialogue, walking in the same direction, resonating with the other person, enjoying each other’s company, accommodating the other’s preferences, participating in the same activities, having something in common. On the human level it is hoped that everyone can have a number of others in their lives with whom they can have fellowship.
But! Is it possible to have fellowship with God — our God, who is the Creator of everything that is and who is beyond us in understanding and beyond us in the space-time continuum!
It is Real in history!
It is helpful to cast our minds back to the fellowship that Adam and Eve had in the Garden walking and conversing with God. Then came their fall from grace and banishment from the intimacy that they once shared with God. However, somewhat later came Enoch, of whom it was said that he “walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.” Continuing onward, we read the stories of Abraham, Moses, Gideon, Elijah, David, Job, the prophets such as Isaiah and so many more. The take home message is that God, from the start of history, has been reaching out to humankind despite the Fall. Then comes the pivotal point in all of human history: the Advent, Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus. Jesus epitomizes the unwavering concern and love that God has for humanity. And it is that extension of love and grace which has made possible for each of us to have fellowship with God.
Read 1 John 1:1-7 The writer, John the disciple/apostle, confirmed the substantive relationship that he and the other disciples had with Jesus Christ, God incarnate.
It is Possible for us — by invitation!
Isaiah 55:1,3 “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost …. I will make an everlasting covenant with you…” The word covenant derives from the Latin word “con” meaning with and the infinitive “venire” meaning to come or to move towards another. That’s God’s invitation!
Isaiah 57:15 “For this is what the high and exalted One says—he who lives forever, whose name is holy: ‘I live in a high and holy place, but also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.”
Jesus invites us to be close to him in Matthew 11:28,29 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” And in John 15:5 Jesus says, “I am the vine and you are the branches—he who abides in me will bring forth much fruit.”
It didn’t end there. Jesus promises to those who enter into his life, the Holy Spirit who is described as being our counsellor and comforter. It is the Holy Spirit who empowers us to live rightly in God’s grace and breaths the spirit of Jesus into our lives. Now, that’s fellowship!
It is Essential!
In John 14:6 Jesus says, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life — no one comes to the Father [God] except through me.” Not all religious roads lead to God. Jesus’ statement is unequivocal. It is only through him that we can establish the fellowship with God for which we were created.
Fellowship with God means redemption and forgiveness for our sins. It means access to our heavenly Father. It means a renewal of our lives as in 2 Corinthians 5:17, it means a new outlook and a new pathway to an eternity with unhindered fellowship with our Creator.
Without fellowship with God through Jesus Christ, we have none of the above. Rather, we will flounder through life and end in an eternal darkness away from the One who loved us and called us and allowed us access to himself. However, God never forces himself on anyone. The choice is ours.
What Fellowship with God looks like
Read Psalm 131, 1 Thessalonians 5:17, Philippians 4:6,7, Ephesians 5:18b-20
These Bible passages show that there is a real-time connection that we can and should have with our God. That connection engages our minds, hearts and the full scope of what our souls are capable of. The focus is not a religious, once a week, sort of thing. It is a continual real-time association with the living Christ. it includes worship, humility, conversation, petition and a quieting of our innermost being before him.
Consider the free download entitled “The Practicing the Presence of God” from <https://www.gutenberg.org/>. This booklet gives a glimpse into the man that we know as “Brother Lawrence”. He cultivated the Presence of God for forty years and it changed him in demeanour, visage and behaviour and many came to him to find his secret!
You might also find inspiring the accompanying selection on Home Page today which is a brief preaching excerpt by a black preacher by the name of S.M. Lockridge.
Our fellowship with God starts with discerning the wonder of who He is!