Some Thoughts on Fellowship
"But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth." - John 4:23-24The Lord has been teaching me how our true fellowship is with HIM and how it only comes as we are walking in the Spirit with Him. He made me to understand how this will naturally bring us together in fellowship with other believers that are also walking with Him in the Spirit. There will be unity even though we maybe at different levels of maturity and at different stages of growth, we are all of the same Spirit and He is guiding us. We may not all be at the same level of understanding yet, as we are all being taught Truth from Him as we "pick up our cross" daily and follow Him, but we are one in the Spirit with Him. In this way, our fellowship is not "based" on "doctrine" or how much we "know", but rather, we are known of Him and we are of the same spirit as we are walking with Him."It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life." - John 6:63"Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." (1 Corinthians 2:13-14)To understand these different "places" in the Lord I am speaking about let me share a truth that He has shown me. When we first come to the Lord and are born again of His Spirit, we are set free from the power sin has had over us up to this point. "If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed." (John 8:36) Most people don't realize what sin really is; sin is living for self rather than living for the will of God according to the "light" His is given us in every aspect of our lives. The process of learning what His will is and a willingness to "lay down our life (will)" to follow Him begins; we will continue to grow in this. "That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God." (1 Peter 4:2)"And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:" (Ephesians 2:1-6)While the power of sin no longer rules over us, we have need of a "renewing of our mind" as Romans 12:2 and Colossians 3:10 speak of. Years of living for self, have left many "impressions" on our personalities that must be burned away through many trials and tribulations. As Jesus...we will learn obedience through the things we suffer. (ref. Hebrews 5:8-9) We must also walk as He walked. (ref. 1 John 2:6) He was made an example for us. Even though Jesus never "lived" for himself and didn't have to deal with the "natural" tendencies that our old self life has produced in us, He still had a will that He had to lay down to only live for the will of the Father.
We all have deep fleshly traits that are unique to each of us when we first come to the Lord, He uses different situations that are appropriate for our individual need to reveal in us what has to go. He "brings it to the surface" so to speak, so we can "see" what we must willing surrender to Him. Because of this, we may all be in different stages in this process of learning to walk in the Spirit and not "after the flesh" with its own understanding. Those that will submit to laying down their own life (flesh) to walk in the Spirit with Him will be taught of the Him and there will be unity in the Spirit with others also walking in the Spirit.
However, contentions can come when we "step out" of walking in the Spirit to walking after our flesh with its selfish desires...wanting to be"right" and "defend" what we believe to others...even if it something that the Lord has taught us...we can quickly "get in the flesh" and get offended if we are "crossed" in what we believe is truth."If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God,or whether I speak of myself. He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him." - John 7:17-18These are situations that the Lord can use to "reveal" our flesh to us...let us be quick to surrender it to the Lord. Then, when we are truly walking in the Spirit, "we" don't "have" to be right in the eyes of others, our peace and contentment comes from the Lord alone, and not in what others believe of us or our "doctrine". It frees us up to really love one another with no selfish desires in it and no "need" to defend ourselves or "our" doctrine...and in that state, maybe the Lord would give us something to say that would give them some "light" in an area. But, we would be just as content and at peace if the Lord did not use us so and had us just "walk away" in peace."If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen." - 1 Peter 4:11