Therefore also now, says the Lord, turn and keep on coming to Me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning [until every hindrance is removed and the broken fellowship is restored].
Joel 2:12 AMP
I was going to write some more on the power of purpose, but then I read Martha’s devotion for today. And I wanted to talk about my own discovery of actual, genuine fellowship with the Lord. There’s a huge difference between talking to God – and hearing Him – and enjoying fellowship with Him.
Fellowship or Conversation?
God speaks to everyone. Long before I was saved, I talked to God and He talked to me. I found Him and saw Him and heard Him in even the most unlikely of places and situations. And of course! That’s the mark of His enormous grace and unstoppable love. God is undeterred by the obstacles that we throw up in His path.
I thought that fellowship was just a more positive form of communication with God. As if the addition of prayer somehow took it to another level and it became fellowship. But that’s not what happened at all.
The word God gave me in Joel 2 makes clear that there are hindrances to fellowship that must be removed, and Martha’s devotion this morning is uncompromising in its clarity that a major hindrance is lying. When I was a liar, God still loved me and spoke to me, but we didn’t have fellowship.
The Bliss of Fellowship
Experiencing fellowship is the difference between having an acquaintance and befriending a kindred spirit. It’s not just being filled with Peace, or knowing you’re loved, or even the joy of loving with all you are and have. In fellowship with Jesus, I know, with a certainty that is cellular, that I am not alone. I am WE and no longer just “me.” There is absolutely nothing between us. I am beyond the reach of doubt and guilt and confusion. And when there is a hindrance to this fellowship, I know that, too.
The bliss of belonging and the indescribable joy of “sonship” is worth the price of admission. I am not chastened because God is amused by my humiliation. I am chastened because fellowship matters to Him, too. I am not sanctified because God is tired of me being such a grubby little worm. He sanctifies me because He wants fellowship with His children, and the life of His only begotten Son is the means of that reconciliation. I am not disciplined and trained because God is ashamed of my ignorance and embarrassed by my stupidity. It is Love that calls Himself the Consuming Fire, burning away all that would defile the eternal fellowship that is my most desperate need. It is Love that will not be denied the fellowship for which I was created.
May they all be one,
as You, Father, are in Me and I am in You.
May they also be one in Us,
so the world may believe You sent Me.
I have given them the glory You have given Me.
May they be one as We are one.
I am in them and You are in Me.
May they be made completely one,
so the world may know You have sent Me
and have loved them as You have loved Me.
John 17:21-23 HCSB