This week we are covering "reference posts"...posts that will be referenced during the rest of this month when we look at "Men with Women".
Today's post deals with the topic of Fellowship. We have covered the background to this topic in these posts:
Fellowship With God
Today, I will make two HUGE points about Fellowship that are being added to Modeling God's Wills this month.
HUGE POINT #1: The objective of Fellowship is to be deeply known and to deeply know another person.
A lot of the links above on the background to Fellowship dealt with deeply knowing someone else...asking them questions...getting them to share. However, Fellowship is just as much about being deeply known...initiating sharing on one's self.
HUGE POINT #2: In order to remain in Fellowship with God you ought to be growing in Fellowship with someone who is in Fellowship with God.
The First Command is Fellowship with God...loving God with ALL your heart, mind, body, and spirit. It is deeply knowing God and deeply being known by God.
Remember, the First Command is a CAUSE and the EFFECT is the Second Command...loving your neighbor as yourself.
Doing the Second Command as a CAUSE is a work and will only wear a person out. If we do the First Command, then God will lead us to do the Second Command and it won't take ANY effort...because it is God doing it through us.
Notice, being in Fellowship with God would lead us to be in Fellowship with someone who is also in Fellowship with God.
This leads to a subtle point...
Fellowship is deep sharing in all areas...Fellowship REQUIRES a continuous exchange. There is NO FINISH LINE. You don't share a certain amount, declare yourself in Fellowship...and don't share any more.
So, here is the subtle point: if you are not GROWING in Fellowship with someone, you are no longer in Fellowship.
It is possible for us to continually grow in Fellowship with God. However, since we are human, we are going to fail at this eventually...we are going to have periods of our lives where we don't grow in Fellowship with God.
However, if we are ALSO growing in Fellowship with at least one other person who is growing in Fellowship with God, we will be able to remain in Fellowship with God during our moments of weakness. How does this work?
When you are in Fellowship with someone who is in Fellowship with God, they are going to be led by God to share with you. They are doing the Second Command as an effect of the First Command. What is coming through them TOWARDS you is from God...it is a second way to have Fellowship with God.
In addition, this person will be led to ask you questions. When they do this, they are drawing on God THROUGH you. The result is that you are exchanging with God and continuing Fellowship with God while answering their questions.
So there are three ways you can grow in Fellowship with God IF you are growing in Fellowship with someone who is in Fellowship with God:
1) You do the First Command
2) Your friend does the Second Command TOWARDS you
3) Your friend draws on God THROUGH you.
The Bible says in Eclesiastes 4:
"11 Again, if two lie together, then they have warmth; but how can one be warm alone?
12 And if a man prevail against him that is alone, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken."
All it takes is ONE person for you to continually stay in Fellowship with God because you now have three ways to exchange with God. Notice, the above verse alludes to people being married (lie together)...and God meant for marriage to be between two people who are each growing in Fellowship with God.
Too many people give advice that asserts you can stay married if you do the Second Command as a CAUSE...if you do the Second Command in your own strength...which is justifying yourself instead of God...which is idolatry. Why do people still listen to this advice? Because it appears to work in the short-term...because it is "better"...but this is the definition of IS. This post has presented OUGHT.
Over the past year, every time I have seen someone fall out of fellowship with God, he did so because:
1) He stopped growing in Fellowship with someone who was in Fellowship with God
2) He grew in Fellowship with someone who was NOT in Fellowship with God