Fellowship, item #9 on My Top 10 List, is a basic need for humans. In Genesis 2, God said that it wasn’t good for man to be alone and so He created a helper suitable for man. Though many of us recharge during our “alone time”, even the most introverted person that I know will occasionally crave fellowship. In Genesis 2 and 3, we see the LORD God talking and walking in the garden of Eden with Adam and Eve. Why? The LORD God enjoys relationship us! He created us to fellowship with Him and to care for His creation.
Genesis 1:26-28 (NLT) “Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us”… So God created human beings in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. Then God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground.”
Unfortunately, the disobedience of Adam and Eve created a separation in that face to face relationship with the LORD. During the following years, the LORD would speak directly or indirectly or appear in some form to various people, including Cain (Genesis 4), Noah (Genesis 6-9), Abram/Abraham (Genesis 12+), Rebekah (Genesis 25), Isaac (Genesis 26) Jacob (Genesis 28), Laban (Genesis 31), Jacob when renamed “Israel” (Genesis 35), Moses (throughout the books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy), the Lord’s prophets, and King David. With Moses, the LORD established His presence among His chosen people by appearing to Moses in a cloud on Mt Sinai (Exodus 20:21) and in the Holy of Holies of the Tabernacle where the Ark of the Covenant resided (Exodus 33:9).
Exodus 25:21-22 (NLT) “Place inside the Ark the stone tablets inscribed with the terms of this covenant, which I will give to you. Then put the atonement cover [mercy seat] on top of the Ark. I will meet with you there and talk to you from above the atonement cover between the gold cherubim that hover over the Ark of the Covenant.”
Though the LORD spoke directly, as one would face to face with a friend (Exodus 33:11), with Moses through the cloud of His presence, He didn’t let Moses see His face. Moses would then share the LORD’s instructions with the Israelites. Yet, Moses longed for more intimacy with the LORD.
Exodus 33:18-23 (NLT) “Moses responded, “Then show me your glorious presence.” The LORD replied, “I will make all my goodness pass before you, and I will call out my name, Yahweh, before you. For I will show mercy to anyone I choose, and I will show compassion to anyone I choose. But you may not look directly at my face, for no one may see me and live.” The LORD continued, “Look, stand near me on this rock. As my glorious presence passes by, I will hide you in the crevice of the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will remove my hand and let you see me from behind. But my face will not be seen.”
I am so thankful that Jesus, the second Adam, restored that direct relationship with the Father for each of us who choose to pursue it. Christ’s life, sacrificial death, burial and resurrection ushered in the hope and possibility of a personal relationship with Father God through the indwelling Holy Spirit and through eternal life with Him after our physical death.
1 Corinthians 15:45-47 (NLT) “The Scriptures tell us, “The first man, Adam, became a living person.” But the last Adam – that is, Christ – is a life-giving Spirit. What comes first is the natural body, then the spiritual body comes later. Adam, the first man, was made from the dust of the earth, while Christ, the second man, came from heaven.”
Jesus tells us in John 14 that if we have known Jesus, then we know the Father and have seen Him. Jesus is our path to fellowship with the Father. What is the evidence, warrior, of our fellowship with God?
1 John 1:6-7 (NLT) “So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth. But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.”
In addition to fellowship with the Lord, we are also instructed to fellowship with other believers. And, what does that look like?
Acts 2:42 (NLT) “All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer.
Ephesians 4:1-3 (NLT) “…lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowances for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.”
Warrior, I conclude this posting by echoing the Apostle Paul in saying:
2 Corinthians 13:14 (NLT) “May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”