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THE JOY OF FELLOWSHIP

THE JOY OF FELLOWSHIP

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According to the Bible, one of the crowning benefits of our redemption is the restoration of our fellowship with God. In the new covenant, our fellowship is with the Father, with the Son and with the Holy Spirit (I John 1:2-4; II Corinthians 13:14). Second, it’s with others in the body of Christ who are walking in fellowship with God (I John 1:3).
Today, we have a better covenant, which is established upon better promises, than they did in the Old Testament. That means what the new covenant provides us is better than what they had in the old covenant. 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 God. In the Old Testament they could know about Him, but we can commune with Him and know HIM (John 17:3). We get to know God through His Word but also through fellowshipping with Him.

Summonsed To Fellowship

If any believer will look inside, they’ll recognize there is a summons to fellowship with God in their heart. It came into them when they were born again because when the Spirit came into them at the new birth, He began to call, “Come, drink of the waters of life freely” (Revelation 22:17). We read in I Corinthians 1:9 that fellowshipping with God is actually something we are called to.
I Corinthians 1:9
God is faithful, by whom YE WERE CALLED UNTO THE FELLOWSHIP of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
What does it mean to be “CALLED” to fellowship with God? A call is a summons. To be called to fellowship means there is a summons within the heart of every believer to fellowship with God. That summons creates a hunger for God’s presence and fellowship within the heart of the believer. They may have misidentified what they are longing for on the inside, or drowned it out with other things, but that summons is there none the less.
The word “fellowship” in the original Greek means to share something in common with another. The summons inside the believer is to come and share in, partake of and enjoy what is on the inside of God.
The greatest privilege of every believer is to fellowship with God. God’s desire for it has sent a summons out which has landed in your heart--calling you to commune with Him. Everything you’ll ever need for the rest of your eternal existence can be found in Him—AND GOD IS READY TO SHARE IT! As God’s children, we are not to be so duty-minded that we neglect fellowshipping with the One we are serving.
Many Christians have substituted duty for fellowship and are missing out on the joy God intended to accompany their service to Him. Our duty, which is also revealed in Genesis, is to take dominion down here on the earth, but our responsibilities will only be carried out with joy if they spring from rich fellowship with God.

God Seeks Fellowship

Let me ask you a basic question. Why do you exist? Why are you here? We get a clue in Genesis chapter 3. After God created man, we find Him coming regularly to Adam seeking fellowship. We were created because God wanted fellowship! Whoa, that is powerful!
God is not selfish. The Bible says, “God is love.” So, all that He has, He wants to share. And, when God wants to share--you and I should be available! In other words, we shouldn’t be too busy to fellowship with Him when God calls us to Himself.
Yes, we are authorized--even invited--to initiate this fellowship with Him, because God has made the way for us to come to Him. I just want you to see that God Himself longs for your fellowship and is calling you to it.
In Genesis, we see that God created man in His own image, very capable of fellowshipping with Him in spirit. Adam and Eve fellowshipped with God in the morning and evening of every day. Why? Because God came seeking it. Think of it--God wanted man’s fellowship. It was through that fellowship and hearing the voice of God that man was able to maintain a rich measure of His divine presence throughout the day to meet his every need.

The Joy of Fellowship

Listen friend--God is still the same today. The reason there is fullness of joy in the presence of God (Psalm 16:11) is because of what it says in Job 33:26. Speaking of the coming Mediator who would restore man’s fellowship with God, Job 33:26 says,
He (redeemed man) shall pray unto God, and he (God) will be favourable unto him: and he (God) shall SEE HIS (MAN’S) FACE WITH JOY: for he (God) will render unto man his (God’s) righteousness.
Notice that because you are reconciled to God through faith in Jesus the Mediator, God sees your face with joy! Whoa! In other words, He rejoices to see you coming to fellowship with Him. That’s what the blood has done for you! He loves your fellowship.
When going to God to fellowship with Him is also YOUR exceeding joy (Psalm 43:4), He rejoices. It’s like two people who enjoy one another’s company being thrilled to see each other when they get together. It’s the joy of fellowship!

What’s It Worth to You?

What worthless things people substitute for the joy of fellowshipping with God. Christians become occupied with so many things at the expense of the joy of getting to know Him. If they only knew the supreme advantage of knowing Him, they would count so many things they hold dear as worthless (Philippians 3:8 AMPC).
Philippians 3:8 (AMPC)
Yes, furthermore, I count everything as loss compared to the possession of the priceless privilege (the overwhelming preciousness, the surpassing worth, and supreme advantage) of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord…
When Adam and Eve lost their fellowship with God because of sin, He sought for a way to get it back! He accomplished the restoration of our fellowship with Him through the blood of Jesus! That reveals the value God puts on man’s fellowship—how much He wanted it back. Oh, hallelujah! We now have a royal invitation to come into His presence and fellowship with Him.
Ephesians 2:7
That IN THE AGES TO COME he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
God wants to share His very own self with us FOR ETERNITY!  He wants to share what and who He is with us. The Lord wants to declare, disclose and transmit Himself to us, so that we’ll know Him. Fellowship is the vehicle through which He does it, but we must respond to Him in this.

Eternal Life Is Knowing God

Friend, this is what eternal life is all about. It’s not about just having a legal standing with God, or even just about enjoying all His blessings. It’s about knowing Him--the giver of all those blessings.
John 17:3
And THIS IS LIFE ETERNAL, THAT THEY MIGHT KNOW THEE the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
Eternal life is not just about going to heaven. It’s not even knowing ABOUT Him, because we read about Him in the Book He wrote. It’s not about knowing Him through other people who fellowship with Him and tell us what He’s like. It’s about coming into His presence and communing with Him for ourselves. It’s about a life of walking with God in close fellowship.

Using Your Faith to Fellowship

Hebrews 11:5
BY FAITH Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.
I don’t think Enoch was believing to be translated to heaven. I believe he was using his faith to know God, walk with God and fellowship with Him. Genesis 5:24 (AMPC) says,
And Enoch walked [in habitual fellowship] with God; and he was not, for God took him [home with Him].
In Hebrews 11:5, we have God’s own commentary on Genesis 5:24, where God brings out an important key to us having good fellowship with God. That truth is this—it takes faith to fellowship with God. It takes faith to walk into an empty room and talk into the air and believe God will talk back to you. Fellowship is not a one way street. It’s not a monologue…just you talking TO God. It’s a dialogue. It’s talking WITH God.
Right after the verse that talks about Enoch using his faith to walk with God in close fellowship, we have Hebrews 11:6.
Hebrews 11:6
But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
This verse comes alive to me when I combine two other translations together and consider that the context of this verse is Enoch using his faith to fellowship with God.
Knox says, Nobody ever reaches Gods presence until he has learned to believe...
Taylor says, Believe that God exists, and that HE REVEALS HIMSELF to those who sincerely look for him.
To fellowship with God in His presence, you have to believe He will reward you when you seek Him. What does that mean? I mean you have to believe God will reveal Himself to you, and you’ll learn to know Him better. God will make it worth your while to seek Him by making Himself known. And the more you know God, the more you will be able to trust Him, because you can’t trust someone you don’t really know.

Getting To Know God

Here’s one of the reasons people struggle in faith. They get mechanical with the truth that faith comes by hearing the Word of God. Yes, it’s true that faith comes by hearing, but someone said those words--and you can personally know the One who spoke them.
God is a person. The Bible talks about Him being grieved (saddened), quenched, resisted and so forth. That describes a person. You've got to get to know the Person if you’re ever going to be able to trust Him. The better you know God, the stronger your faith will be because, as I said, you can’t trust someone you don’t know.
II Timothy 1:12
…I KNOW WHOM I have believed…
Paul didn’t say, “I know what I believe.” That’s important but he said, “I know the One I’m trusting.” How do you get to know God? Through His Word of course, but also through fellowshipping with Him. Fellowshipping with God is the lifeblood of faith.

Faith is the result of knowing God, and fellowship is the fertile soil in which faith grows. Anything that hinders your fellowship hinders your faith. So, guard your fellowship with God fiercely.

Written By: Jay Eberly // July 27, 2021

© 2021 Jay Eberly Ministries. All rights reserved.

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