WHAT IS FELLOWSHIP?
Fellowship means an association of people who share common beliefs, activities and status. It is derived from the word “fellow”, which means belonging to the same class as another.
Therefore, having fellowship with God means being in His class!
With this definition, I am tempted to ask if we can really have fellowship with God? Especially considering what John said in 1John 1:3
“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 John 1:3 (KJV)
John had been having meetings with these people whom he called “my little children” (1 John 2:1). But he says “that you may have fellowship with us”. What could this mean? He has been having meetings with these people but not fellowship!
So it is possible to have church meetings yet not have fellowship. You come to church, I see you, you see me, and we interact and possibly exchange pleasantries yet not have fellowship! Fellowship is deeper than meeting! Can we really have fellowship with the Father if it is possible to meet yet not have fellowship with man?
I can imagine believers meeting under a tree and a dog, perhaps seeing the owner there, lies at his side. Certainly, the dog, though there could not be said to have fellowship with the people. Why? It is not of the same nature with man! Man’s ways differ from the dog’s, so no matter how close they can’t have fellowship.
God’s ways differ from ours.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” – Isaiah 55:8-9 (KJV)
God’s nature differs from ours; His is a nature of Spirit and righteousness. Man, through Adam, lost this nature, acquiring the nature of sin, wickedness and lie. Consequently, natural man cannot have fellowship with God. Nothing of man can have fellowship with God!
But this is the reason God made man, to have fellowship with him. He desires it and so, calls Man to share or partake in His divine nature.
“Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” – 2 Peter 1:4 (KJV)
Despite this awesome invitation, many even in the household of Faith – the Church, still fall short because of worldly pleasures: the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life.
It is possible for you to be at table, having a sumptuous meal and I come visiting; sincerely from the depth of your heart you invite me to share, join or “partake” in your meal, and for one reason or another I decline the offer. God desires to share His nature with us but for various reasons this offer is being declined, though we still go to church: singing, dancing, preaching and teaching nevertheless, no fellowship with God.
John made this statement because like Paul, he had turned his back on the world and all it could offer. He had “tasted” God, “seen and handled” and come to a level where he could truly share God’s nature and so could fellowship with the Father.
…..to be continued.
“For the LORD hath redeemed Jacob, and ransomed him from the hand of him that was stronger than he. “ – Jer 31:11 (KJV)
Our text suggests that Jacob was in trouble.
He had sold himself to people more powerful than he is and would ever be. Either by indebtedness or by any other means, he had mortgaged himself, his life forever without any possibility of him being able to save himself.
God decides and declares that he has come to his rescue. The word redeem from where we got redeemed, means to recover by an expenditure of effort or by a stipulated payment.
Jacob served Laban, his father-in-law because he had no money to pay dowry and other expenses. One can, like Jacob in such a case, buy back himself by serving if he does not have the cash to do so.
And the word ransom implying the same means money demanded or paid for the release of a prisoner. The only difference in this is that the person (prisoner or slave) is not directly responsible for his freedom. It takes another, a guarantor, a bailiff, to deliver him. In either case, Jacob needed the intervention of another.
In this case, however, God was not referring to physical issues such as we have between Jacob and Laban, but between Jacob himself and the spiritual forces that made him “Jacob”, sup-planter, cheat, etc. He was up against forces that no amount of physical labour could quantify to pay for his release.
I remember a story I read about a horse that a man bought for a member of his family. They all fell in love with the horse, but it was not in the compound most times; always found in the lawn of their neighbour whose family had also fallen in love with the animal. In the fear that the horse might stir up a cold war between the man and his neighbour, the owner sold her to a Jockey.
When both families heard the horse was to compete in a race, they went to the race course to cheer the horse. Both men found themselves at the side of the Jockey who had mounted the horse, enabling the horse one more time to hear their beloved voices which I believe spurred her not only to clear all the hurdles set before it but also to beat all the other horses to return first.
The following day, the man woke to see the horse in his compound. Both families rejoiced at seeing the animal but that was before the Jockey came looking for it. The horse had to be bought back from him, even twice the amount they sold it to him. Why? The worth of the horse had appreciated!
The devil is the accuser of the brethren. We all know this. But one thing we do not all know is that in accusing us the devil puts us up in the spiritual slave market, to hand us over to the taskmaster that promises the most gruesome persecution and pain. That was exactly what happened to Joshua the high priest.
“And the LORD said unto Satan, The LORD rebuke thee, O Satan; even the LORD that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire? Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel.” – Zech 3:2-3 (KJV)
Joshua was “a brand plucked out of the fire”. He was on fire, burning for God, Who makes His angels wind and His ministers a flame of fire.
“Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire.” – Psalms 104:4 (KJV)
“And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire.” – Heb 1:7 (KJV)
He was in the spiritual state of godliness, with the fear of the Lord in him yet the devil “plucked” him out of that state and clothed him in filth, in rubbish and shame! The filthy garment certainly would have been upon him by a demon making his life miserable. Oh, let him that thinks he stand take heed!
God intervened by sending His angel to rescue him because he was valuable to God. If you were put up for sale in the spiritual slave market, how much would you be worth to God? Would God so value you, that He would give lives, or kill people just to redeem or ransom you? Would God readily give nations for your sake?
“For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee. 4 Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life.” – Isaiah 43:3-4 (KJV)
Generally, God loves us all; and this is recorded in John 3:16. God is not partial and does not take sides. He is not committed to people, race, colour or language. He cannot be bribed or bought over either with our tears, words, thought or deed. However, He is committed to Jesus.
….to be continued.
“According to all that I shew thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it.” – Ex 25:9 (KJV)
Car gears differ; Mercedes, Volkswagen, Volvo, Toyota etc. Every manufacturer knows his product. We destroy the cars when we want them to function like another.
We destroy our businesses, marriages, health, and finance, when we try to run them like other people’s own.
Moses was told to build according to plan. God has a plan for you, your home, and your job. Stop comparing yourself!
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” – Jer 29:11 (KJV)
“For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. “ – Jer 29:11 (NASB)
His plan for you existed before you were born.
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.” – Jer 1:5 (NASB)
“Before I formed you …… I have appointed you!” This is awesome!!! You were chosen, appointed, consecrated, and empowered even before you were born! Make requisitions (prayers) and build, according to God’s plan.
“And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, See, I have called by name Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah: And I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, To devise cunning works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, And in cutting of stones, to set them, and in carving of timber, to work in all manner of workmanship. And I, behold, I have given with him Aholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan: and in the hearts of all that are wise hearted I have put wisdom, that they may make all that I have commanded thee; The tabernacle of the congregation, and the ark of the testimony, and the mercy seat that is thereupon, and all the furniture of the tabernacle, And the table and his furniture, and the pure candlestick with all his furniture, and the altar of incense, And the altar of burnt offering with all his furniture, and the laver and his foot, And the cloths of service, and the holy garments for Aaron the priest, and the garments of his sons, to minister in the priest’s office, And the anointing oil, and sweet incense for the holy place: according to all that I have commanded thee shall they do. “ – Ex 31:1-11 (KJV)
Imagine Aholibah, a fine artist and fashion designer going to the store room in the spirit realm to ask for a billow and an anvil!
The store keeper will refuse him those things because they are to be given to Bezaleel. No matter his good intention and fervency. He would be asked to build according to plan!
Be unique! Build your home, your job, your life according to His plan!
Jesus rode on a donkey into Jerusalem to fulfill “need”.
“And if any man say ought unto you, ye shall say, The Lord hath need of them; and straightway he will send them.” – Matt 21:3 (KJV)
The plan of God for Jesus as recorded by Isaiah.
“All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass.” – Matt 21:4-5 (KJV)
This was God’s plan for Jesus even before He was born! Follow God’s plan for your life!
The things God has need of for you and all you represent, have been sent to the spiritual store bearing your name!
Every plan of God has its provision and timing. Certain things you asked in prayer are not denied but await their timing. When the need meets God’s time, it becomes manifest! Until it becomes a need for God in your life, it will not be supplied!
“He hath made every thing beautiful in his time.” – Eccl 3:11 (KJV)
It has to be a need to Him, not to you! Don’t forget He is the one working in you to do His plan!
“For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” – Phil 2:13 (KJV)
“But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” – Phil 4:19 (KJV)
Whatever the request, it has to be a need in your life to fulfill God’s plan for you in Christ Jesus!
How do you know what He needs?
(1) Stop using head knowledge!
“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” – 1 Cor 2:9 (KJV)
The natural man cannot know the mind or plan of God and consequently cannot know what to pray for!
“Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought.” – Romans 8:26a (KJV)
(2) You need the Spirit.
“But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.” – 1 Cor 2:10-12 (KJV)
His plan is already written in your heart but you cannot know it until the Holy Spirit opens your eye of the spirit!
“…….. also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.” – Eccl 3:11 (KJV)
Only the Holy Spirit can tell us the mind of God.
“Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.” – John 16:13-14 (KJV)
Build a strong relationship with Him. Talk to Him; He has emotions and, He feels!
“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forward to those things which are before,” (Philippians 3:13)
When the great Apostle Paul said the above, he was still under training.
The great Revivalist Elijah who shut up the heavens for three and half years, underwent further training at the brook Cherith and at Zarephat before the mount Carmel experience.
Whatever the Lord is taking you through now is training for something ahead. Elijah pulled upon the Brook and Zarepath trainings to stand victorious at Carmel. You will need the experience, for all things work together for good to them that love God, to them that are the called according to His purpose! (Romans 8:28)
It may be through the valley of the shadow of death, or high up on the mountain of success, He is not only with you, His grace is also with you and will sufficiently see you through!
So even as you are doing the work of the Lord, you are still undergoing training! Don’t be weary of studying.
Rather, “Study to show thyself approved to God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15).