The Value Of Fellowship
We know that the Body of Christ in the earth today is a spiritual entity, but we must see that it is also something real and practical. It is not something mystical and imaginary. We often hear those who do not value fellowship say, “Of course we are all one in Christ; of course we are all part of this church that God is building”. It is true, but what is important is to see the ground reality of that statement? We are to stand on the ground reality of the Word. It is not enough to say that we are one in Christ; we must enter into the value of that expression. When people say that they are all part of His church, many may say it in a flimsy way.
Consider a company of saints where there is a vision of the fullness of Christ and God’s purpose. Though the truth is being ministered, yet it is not realistic in many lives. We are to enter into the ground reality of that which is ministered through the Word. There is a great challenge to come into the value of the words that we hear. We need to come into those values definitely and deliberately. That is the challenge. Fellowship is not imaginary or unrealistic; it is not just spiritual or heavenly, but it is also real and practical. We must enter into fellowship carefully and deliberately. The Holy Spirit will bring us into a greater practicality in our lives. Many times people take this as something spiritual in the sense of not being practical, but fellowship is so practical and real that life will flow in through fellowship. Many a time we have not been conscious of the value of fellowship.
Beloved, many times I have been saved from evil things because of the energizing fellowship of the brethren. I have been delivered from the jaws of the enemy’s trickery by the fellowship of the Body. Initially I was not conscious of it, but later on I understood by the Holy Spirit that I was spared the onslaught of evil because of the energizing fellowship of the brethren. If you are sensitive and look into your life, as I am able to do, then you will also be able to see that you have been spared many attacks because of the fellowship and prayers of God’s people. Let us not underestimate God’s arrangement for us to have true fellowship with God’s people. We may not have reckoned or thought or imagined what Satan had for us, but it was that energizing fellowship of God’s people that kept us from being swept away by the flood waters released by the enemy. Amen!
Fellowship is not just coming together on Sunday and returning home thereafter but it is something that has to be maintained through the week. Thus the attacks of the enemy upon us often do not succeed because of fellowship of the saints and the prayers of God’s people. Let us honor God’s counsel in our lives. God’s Holy Spirit is there to help all of us to walk this way. The Holy Spirit is the custodian of God’s government. He will help and energize and strengthen us. I certainly believe that this word will release us to a greater appreciation of this life that must be maintained through proper fellowship. When the enemy attacks us, the fellowship we have is his primary target.
When one member suffers there is a suffering in the Body. What does that mean? It can be explained in many ways. But let me bring in the burden of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit desires wholeness in the Body. And therefore, the desire of the Lord is that we should not be found outside the fellowship of the saints and suffer.
The Lord desires that every member of the Body be related to the Lord and walk in fellowship with the Lord and with one another. Remember one thing that if there is any injury to fellowship, it is the stroke of the devil to injure the flow of life. It is for us to make sure that there are no injuries. How often we go through trials in our lives that could cause injuries to the fellowship we have! We may come into a situation and circumstance when we are pressed out of measure, as Paul says, and the deepest longing in our heart ought to be to have spiritual fellowship with the brethren. When I say this it does not mean that we leave the fellowship with the Father, these are all interrelated and form one whole realm of fellowship.
We need to long for the fellowship of the brethren and that will be the place of our deliverance. This has happened so many times in my life, even in the recent past, but the fellowship of God’s people has brought me to a place of deliverance, release and emancipation. It could be that we are geographically in different places where physical fellowship is not possible, but we shall find that life rises up as we value fellowship and enter into it specifically and deliberately. We may think that life is coming to an end or that it is difficult to rise up in such circumstances, but we see that life is provided to us by His grace and we are filled with life again.
To close, our responsibilities are two-fold:
Firstly, it is my responsibility to ensure that I have fellowship; I need to be with God’s people; I need the fellowship of God’s people. The more I can be with God’s people, the more will my own life be safeguarded; the more will sin be out of reach.
Secondly, it is my responsibility to give value fellowship to others; to provide the same valued fellowship, which I have received, to my brothers and sisters in the Lord. As much as the enemy can attack me, so also is he able to attack them. As much as the enemy wants to quench my life so also is he bent upon quenching the life of my brothers.
We are to look for that valued fellowship from one another, whether we are geographically in one place or separated from one another, and we are to be willing to provide fellowship to many others. Amen!