As we shared last week, one of the crowning benefits of redemption is the restoration of our fellowship with God. One thing about the new covenant that is better than the old is that our spirits have been made alive to God, and we can actually KNOW Him. In the Old Testament they could know about Him, but in this new covenant, we can commune with Him and know HIM (John 17:3).
As I said last week, the word “fellowship” in the original Greek means to share something in common with another. It’s through fellowship with God that we can share in, partake of and enjoy what is on the inside of God. This is to be a rich part of our prayer life--the very source of life itself.
We also said that if any believer will look inside, they’ll recognize there is a summons to fellowship with God in their heart.
Relationship vs. Fellowship
To further understand what fellowship is, we must understand there is a difference between our relationship with God and having fellowship with Him. Our relationship with God is the legal union we have with Him through the new birth, but our fellowship with God is the vital, experiential side--where we share together in all that is inside the heart of God.
The Scriptures talk about the communion of the Holy Ghost (II Corinthians 13:14). We could almost say that God sent Jesus so we could have a relationship with God, and He sent the Holy Spirit so we could have fellowship with Him.
A believer can have a relationship with God but not have any rich fellowship. Christianity is a relationship with God that has rich fellowship because of the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit.
As a believer, God is your Father, and you are legally united to Him--but fellowship with Him means you are getting to know Him. Your legal relationship with God is important to understand, but what use is any relationship without good, rich fellowship?
To help you understand what I mean by the difference between relationship and fellowship, let me give you an illustration. A married couple may have become one legally according to the records down at the courthouse, but they may not have had any good fellowship for years. You get my point.
Fellowship: The Wellspring of Life
In John chapter 15, Jesus illustrates the truths of our fellowship with Him using a vine and its branches. The life of God comes into our spirit through the new birth. This connects us with the One who is the source of life; Jesus, the Vine. But, what many believers miss is the absolute fact that the life that comes into our spirits at the new birth MUST be maintained through continuing to draw on the source of that life in fellowship. This is particularly true if we’re going to have sufficient life flowing THROUGH us to bear much fruit.
Without ongoing, rich fellowship with God, you may still have His life WITHIN you because of the new birth, but you won’t have sufficient life flowing THROUGH you, whereby you’ll be able to produce any fruit. That kind of life-flow only comes through rich fellowship with God.
Now, let’s talk about some things that will enhance your fellowship with God.
How to Enhance Your Fellowship with God
Just like in any human relationship, believers have varying degrees of fellowship with God due to things they have or haven’t worked out with Him that have tried to get between them and God (Philippians 2:12). This truth reveals one way to enhance your fellowship with God—work out the things that God doesn’t agree with you on. And remember, if you and God don’t agree on something, meaning He doesn’t like something you’re doing or saying--He’s always right. Fellowship with God is only possible according to how much you have in common with Him or how much you agree with Him.
Can two walk together, except they be agreed?
We know agreement is necessary concerning our fellowship with other people. Some people just aren't interested in what we are interested in.
For example, you can’t enjoy rich fellowship with people over the valuable truths of the Word you hold so dear if they have no knowledge of, interest in or love for those truths, as you do. All you seem to be able to talk to them about is the weather and their kids.
The same thing is true concerning your fellowship with the Lord. If your interests, affections or loyalties are in a different place than the Lord’s, it will affect your fellowship with Him.
Fellowship: An Exchange of Love and Joy
In John 15, Jesus shared another thing that will enhance your fellowship with God and other believers. As I said, Jesus gave us the illustration of the vine and the branches to teach us about fellowshipping with God. I want to point out one huge clue He gave us concerning how to enhance that fellowship with Him. After Jesus shared many rich truths with His disciples about maintaining a living connection with Him through fellowship, Jesus made this statement in John 15:11.
These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
In that statement, Jesus is teaching us a principle of rich fellowship, whether it be with God or other believers. That truth is this—sharing joyful things enhances fellowship. What do I mean?
Someone who always brings up problems, hurts, trials, complaints, criticisms, etc. hinders their fellowship with God or even with other believers, whether they realize it or not. Rich fellowship is centered around sharing joyful things.
In fellowship there is an exchange of love and joy. And, if you want to have richer fellowship either with God or others, cut everything else out of your conversations with them.
Sharing joyful things enhances fellowship. Talking about problems all the time makes people not want to fellowship with you. The Lord is the same way. He wants to share His joy with you. And then, He wants you to share back the joy you got from what He shared with you!
If He shares a joyful Word with you that addresses your problem, and you respond back with a complaint or more talk of your problem, you have just hindered ongoing fellowship with Him.
Some people are deficient spiritually because they are not very skilled at fellowshipping with God or other believers for this very reason. When people are always complaining, criticizing, bringing up problems, etc., they cease participating in fellowship and become a ministry project. We understand that ministry is proper and needed at times. But, my point is--it’s just not fellowship.
Fellowship is an exercise in giving and receiving. When someone stops sharing anything that blesses and enriches others, fellowship ceases. It’s no longer a two-way thing; not a sharing together. It becomes a one-way thing—ministry.
A person who is ALWAYS needy is selfish. They aren’t thinking about the fact that the person they are talking to has needs also. In fact, they’re not even able to rejoice in the blessings of the one they are fellowshipping with. They’re too self-centered—which also hinders fellowship.
If the one you are fellowshipping with has needs but has chosen not to talk about those needs, it’s because they have learned to look to God as their source. They have also learned that rich fellowship with others is one avenue God will use to get those needs met. And, they don’t want to hinder the flow of fellowship by being selfish or complaining.
If you will learn to not look to another person to get your needs met, you will find that it opens up an opportunity for God to use other people. But, you won't push people away from you in the process of God using them by being all needy. Your eyes are on the Lord; your faith is in Him, not a person.
The same principle is true when it comes to learning to fellowship with God. If the only time you go to God is to bring your problem to Him, you will do so at the expense of having much rich fellowship with Him. If you want enriched fellowship with God, go to Him like Jeremiah.
Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart:
Jeremiah found the Words of God that addressed his need, and they thrilled him on the inside. He went to God with His newfound thrill and shared it with Him in fellowship. Learn to do that. Learn to go to God with the joy you found in His Word and go over it and over it with Him in fellowship--not over and over your problem.
Share your joy with Him that He shared with you in His Word. You’ll find the level of your fellowship with Him will go through the roof!
Don’t keep going to God with what the devil said or how you feel. That’s being dishonorable towards what God said in His Word. Learn to go to God with rejoicing in your mouth over what He said. That’s being honorable towards God. You’ll find the Spirit will come and bless that and usher you into greater fellowship with God.
When you practice the same principle with other believers, you’ll find the anointing will begin to manifest as you fellowship with them, and God will use them to give you your answer. If you find yourself not getting much good fellowship with other believers, check up on how much of a complaint you have in your mouth when you’re with them.
Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name. And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels;
The word translated, “jewels” in this verse means rich, rare treasures. These verses are telling us that it’s a precious treasure to the Lord when we get together to talk about the good things of God. He values it so much that He gets in the middle of it and blesses it with His presence. The anointing shows up! I’ve gotten MANY good things from God during these times of fellowshipping together with people of faith and of the Spirit. My spirit craves it.
I’ve had a number of rich times with other ministers where the anointing began to manifest in a strong way as we fellowshipped together around the Word. A few times, I became so aware of how precious it was to God, I said to the person I had been fellowshipping with, “This conversation is being recorded in a written record in heaven to be preserved for all eternity.” I believe the reason was so those in heaven could be enriched by it as well or even possibly to bring God glory for eternity.
Did you ever notice that although God made man in the garden of Eden for fellowship with Himself, He still said, “It’s not good that man be alone?” He was saying that fellowship with God was not enough--God gave man other believers to fellowship with. Direct fellowship with God enriches our spirits greatly, but God has also given us others who know Him to fellowship with--so we can be even further enriched in our fellowship with the Lord. Don’t be an island all to yourself.
Learn to seek out the fellowship of other God-filled, faith-filled believers!
Written By: Jay Eberly // August 3, 2021
© 2021 Jay Eberly Ministries. All rights reserved.
share this post
stay in touch on social