In the last little while, the Lord seems to keep drawing my heart and mind back to a particular area in my walk with Him. Whether it is through songs sung, verses read, or things that others share, this thought, this area, keeps coming to the forefront.
This area is directly linked with the earlier post on complacency, and it has to do with one’s relationship with the Lord.
As I was reading in 1 John awhile back, a verse that was read caused me to pause and examine it more closely:
“Indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son, Jesus Christ” (1 John 1:3b).
When looking up the word ‘fellowship’ in our concordance, it was found that it is translated from the Greek word ‘koinonia.’ Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary defines ‘koinonia’ as “communion, fellowship, sharing in common.”
Noah Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language defines the word ‘fellowship’ as “communion, intimate familiarity.”
Both definitions use the word ‘communion’ in them . . . this word is better understood by looking at some of its synonyms which include unity and spiritual union. The defining words of “intimate familiarity,” as used by Noah Webster’s dictionary, indicate a very close and deep relationship from the inmost part of ones’ being.
With these definitions, we see that the very word ‘fellowship’ bespeaks relationship; but not just any kind of relationship. Fellowship is deeper than knowledge and richer than acquaintance. It is the very heart (or spirit) of the person in communion with another . . . and in this case, it is with the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.
While not directly related to what is being shared here (believers in Christ growing in their fellowship with the Lord), principles that clearly apply can be found as we look further in 1 John chapter one. In verses 6-7, we find that fellowship has a relation to our walk with Christ.
It is stated: “If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:6-7).
In verse six, we see that walking in darkness would mean one not having fellowship with the Lord. Verse seven contrasts this by saying “but if we walk in the Light . . .” (1 John 1:7). As believers in Christ, we “are Light in the Lord” (Ephesians 5:8) and are exhorted to “walk as children of Light” (Ephesians 5:8).
And as we walk in the Light, this increases a believer’s fellowship with the Lord. As we grow in Him, seek to love Him more, seek to submit to Him, and come to know Him more and more through study of Scripture and prayer, the fellowship cannot help but to increase, broaden, and deepen.
The life of a follower of Christ is indeed a journey. We embark on it as infants with just the beginnings of knowing and having this close relationship of fellowship with Christ. With time, study and prayer, combined with a heart that is seeking to submit to the Lord and to grow in Christ, maturation will come through the working of the Holy Spirit. And with this maturation, comes a deepening in this fellowship, this intimate familiarity, with the Lord.
A true and increasing fellowship with the Lord is not something that can come by living in apathy or complacency. It is the same as with any other relationship . . . it takes effort, time and commitment on our part. It is a relationship that grows and develops by walking closely with the Lord; by walking in the Light; by practicing His truth; by drawing close to Him in prayer; by studying and meditating upon His Word; by applying His Word to our lives.
When thinking of this fellowship, thoughts come to mind as to how this fellowship would be in part expressed: When difficulties arise, we run to the Lord in prayer seeking His guidance. When trials enter in, we first go to His word for His wisdom and counsel. In heart-rending or trying circumstances, we trust in the all-knowing and loving God.
When blessings come, our hearts immediately lift in praise and thanksgiving to the One from Whom those blessings flow. When questions and doubts stir in our minds, we turn to the Lord for true answers and for His strength.
Intimate fellowship with Christ such as this grows from the heart of one who has their mind “set on the things above, not on the things that are on earth” (Colossians 3:2); from a heart that is tuned to ‘hear’ the Holy Spirit’s guidance and direction. From one whose life is consecrated to God seeking to know Him more, seeking to follow where He leads, and seeking, because of their love for Him, to grow in obedience to Him (John 14:15).
God is near . . . always near and ready to teach, guide and direct us in His ways. He is near to comfort and to give us strength. He is near to bestow upon us the richness of His love, kindness and wisdom. He is there for us to have this true fellowship with Him as we seek His face.
May each and every one of us earnestly desire and seek after growing in this true, abiding and lasting fellowship with the most holy God, the One who has bought and redeemed us through the blood of the Lamb. What joy and blessing can come through having such an intimate and close relationship with the Lord!
-Posted by Sarah