During the "Men with Women" Series I wrote "reference posts"...posts that would be referenced during the rest of the Series. The following post draws heavily from one of these reference posts: Three Way Fellowship.
At the time of that post, I presented the positive aspects of "Three Way Fellowship". However, this month, God has revealed to me through others, personal experience, and Bible study there is also a negative aspect of "Three Way Fellowship".
Today's post will cover background and conclude with a presentation of this fresh revelation. The rest of the week, we will look at the Bible for support, understanding, applications, and even implications. I believe this revelation will bring greater understanding to specific Bible passages...especially those included in this year's Series: The Gospel According to Matthew.
Today's post deals with the topic of Fellowship. We have covered the background to this topic in these posts:
Fellowship With God
Here are some HUGE points about Fellowship that we learned last year in addition to the posts mentioned above...
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...
HUGE POINT #3: 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.
(Notice, there is no minimum requirement on "rate of growth". This would ONLY be seen if a person was given the opportunity and chose not to share at all. Also, the person could still be in Relationship...and that is NOT wrong...it is just NOT Fellowship.)
Now, it is time for the previous revelation...
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.
We will NOT be:
1. willing to share something with God AND/OR
2. hearing what God is sharing with us.
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 alluded 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
If a person can HELP us be in Fellowship with God, then people can HINDER us from being in Fellowship with God.
It would be unjust to think people can ONLY help us be in Fellowship with God.
Tomorrow, we will look more closely at HOW/WHY people are able to HINDER our Fellowship with God.