A Need For Fellowship
Communication is vital to any healthy relationship. When we open our hearts and share our needs, hopes, desires, and fears with others we give intimacy permission to take root.
Not only did God create mankind in His own image, but He also designed us with a need for fellowship. We have been wired with a need to connect with others.
“That which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.” 1 John 1:3 (NKJV)
“And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:24-25 (NKJV)
When we connect with others in the Body of Christ, we will find encouragement, help, strength, wisdom, and strength. We are told to comfort others with the comfort we ourselves have been given through Christ Jesus. Relief is often found through others who have walked through similar circumstances and prevailed.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-5 (NIV)
God enjoys our fellowship. Although He is never lonely (think Deity), Genesis 3 mentions that He walked in the garden during the cool of the day. Was God in the habit of visiting Adam and Even on a regular basis? Randy Alcorn, the author of Heaven, seems to think so.
“And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.” Genesis 3:8 (NKJV)
“There’s no definitive proof, but the passage’s implication seems clear to me. I think it would be odd for God to first come walking in the garden with Adam and Eve only after they had sinned. God walking with people normally suggests closeness and intimacy and fellowship. The natural connotation, to me, is that God often did this, perhaps daily in the ‘cool of the day,’ but what was remarkable this time was that man was afraid, because he had sinned. That God would withhold his presence before they sinned, but then come down among them only after they sinned, seems counter to the biblical teaching of God drawing near to the righteous and drawing back from the unrighteous. ~ Randy Alcorn
Our fellowship with God happens as we abide in Him. To abide means to live, continue, and remain in Christ. Our thoughts are always directed heavenward. He is sprinkled in our conversations throughout the day. When we are abiding in Him we are always aware of His presence. Communication with Him is through our prayer life.
“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. ‘I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” John 15:4-5 (NKJV)
Sadly, so much of our prayer life is spent uttering long lists of wants and needs to God. Although He is always happy to listen to our petitions, He also wants us to listen to Him. God is not interested in one-sided conversations. He wants to speak to His children. He actually wants to confide in us!
“The Lord confides in those who fear Him; He makes His covenant known to them.” Psalm 25:14 (NKJV)
Too often, we go to a friend with our concerns before laying them at the feet of Jesus. We should make it a habit to approach the throne of God with our petitions before seeking help from others. Yes, fellowship with other believers is vital but never neglect God’s care for you! He longs to be our shelter and provider. He wants us to lean on Him. May your Christian walk be enriched by a deeper relationship with God and from the fellowship of other believers.
“My voice You shall hear in the morning, O Lord; In the morning I will direct it to You, and I will look up.” Psalm 5:3 (NKJV)
“The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry.”
Psalm 34:15 (NKJV)
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” Revelation 3:20 (NKJV)
“For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” Matthew 18:20 (NKJV)
“God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” 1 Corinthians 1:9 (NKJV)
“That they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.” John 17:21 (NKJV)