What is fellowship? Is it coming into a body of people, sitting to listen to a message and saying a few ‘how are yous?’ over a cup of quick coffee after the service what you would qualify as Christian fellowship? Or what about when you meet with a small group once a week around bible study and prayer, is this fellowship? These certainly could all be aspects of what Christian fellowship is but I don’t believe to be the core value. In fact I believe it to be far greater than how we see and treat it and that we as the Church, who are the body of believers called Saints of God, our meeting together is more of a continual thing which is to become our lifestyle in how we relate one to another. Sadly the fellowship practiced in most Christian circles is more about ‘not forsaking the assembling’ as a rule to follow as per instructed by the Pastor rather than a need we each have and where it has become more of a social filling, rather than an spiritual one. True spiritual fellowship that we are called to is inspired by the Holy Spirit Himself and is an essential need for our spiritual health, development and growth firstly as well as our physical well-being. Yet, this is unknown and not understood to a great deal of the believing body. Each of us who are actively living our faith, will feel His stir within to not only desire to meet with each other, but we will crave it – and we don’t need to rely on manufactured lures (or threats) to entice us to gather. For we have a living message in us, that must be shared and will also have an insatiable desire to hear from Him, through others. For we are a people with ‘Living Waters’ within us John 7:38. Our meetings are also for the nurture and growth of those who are new in the faith so they be encouraged, inspired and edified in the word of God. This is an intentional construct to forging a bond with one another not just in our meeting times, but in our daily lives. We are to be involved in one another’s lives in the love of God where we continue to share and speak of Him. Too often this is not so, for you have a people who are quite spiritual in their talk and presentation in their meetings and then when meeting outside of these the name of God is hardly if at all mentioned and even in some cases where there is ungodly talk and behavior practiced without a thought!
We can be committed to Sunday service, be faithful servants in the various church ministries, and attend regular prayer and bible studies – and be void of the Christian fellowship that the Body of Christ must have with one another. What is heartbreaking is you will have husbands and wives and their children be faithful attendees but when they come home they do not continue to fellowship in Christ with one another. As we continue to live our separate lives in disconnect with one another and of the living God we somehow consider ourselves to be part of His church. The heart does not take a break from relating to the rest of the body so how is it we do? Or the heart does not stop giving the rest of the body its ‘heart’ knowledge, or does not inform the rest of the body when it hurts – no! The whole body will do all it can to help the heart.
I have witnessed this, and lived like this for a good part my Christian life, to see how one can be part of a ‘fellowship’ within a large group, and small groups – to know that this is not right and does not fit with what God calls us. For the result is a sickly half dying group stumbling around in things they should not be and expecting to be ‘fixed’ or ‘blessed’ by God when they come together in what they call fellowship.
I know I am not alone when I share this heart cry I have, for I believe it is not mine alone, but the Spirit of God in me:
“Who will find me? Who looks for me, to find me? Do they not see I am missing from their fold? Do they not feel the void? I long for them every day- I feel the pain of their absence continually. My love for them cries out for them – so I may embrace them and care for them and for them to lay hold of me to love me.”
May God give us fresh revelation into His heart of the importance of true Christian fellowship so we may be His Body who never sleeps but is always awake because we have each other to steadfastly and continually live our lives out according to His Word – Amen!
And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. Acts 2:42
But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. 1 John 1:7
Related: His Body- The Church