Do you fellowship with God? “To fellowship” is one of those old religious terms we don’t typically use much outside of church anymore, but it simply means to spend meaningful time with. And while we certainly fellowship with other people who know and love God, the dearest and most intimate of spiritual relationships for a child of God is–or ought to be–with the Heavenly Father Himself, and with Jesus whom He sent.
“As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?” (Psalm 42:1-2 NIV)
King David got it–he had a close and intimate spiritual relationship with our Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer God, as evidenced by his longing to meet with Him in today’s verse. Yet many professing Christians don’t seem to, if the amount of time they spend in private prayer and Bible study is any indication. Our pastor once asked how we can want to go to heaven to spend eternity with God if we don’t want to spend any time with Him here, and it is true. How can we? It’s like agreeing to marry someone you avoid associating with–it makes absolutely no sense! Yet I suspect that those who avoid Him most are those who know Him least–and sadly, it is those who have not made the effort to spend time getting to know Him who know Him least!
It is true that there seems to be something within us that tries to push us away from seeking out and spending time with our God in prayer and His Word, but that is the vestige of our old self that seems to be “allergic” to God–that doesn’t like Him and wants to avoid Him. Yes, our “old self” has been crucified with Jesus on the cross, but we sometimes joke that it keeps wanting to get back down again! Yet we must resist its impulses; we must not let it: “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesians 4:22-24 NIV)
And if we overcome that initial hurdle of beginning our Bible study or our time of seeking God’s presence in prayer, He meets us and we actually get to be in His very presence! This is what the letter to the Hebrews means when it encourages us: “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16 NKJV)
That is what we are actually doing–we are approaching the throne of grace; we are approaching God! We, mere human beings, have the privilege–the highest honor and blessing–to bask in the presence of Holiness, of Grace, of Goodness! What an incomparable joy!!! But, we will never get to experience it if we don’t come! And that is the irony. Before we become accustomed to spending time in God’s presence we don’t particularly think we want it; yet once we’ve spent time there we recognize there is no better place to be!
But, like every relationship, it take planning and effort. We have to set aside a specific time to meet with our God daily, and keep the appointment, just as we do with other less important commitments!
So, do you fellowship with God? Have you ever–really worshipping Him “in spirit and in truth,” as Jesus said the Father seeks for us to worship Him? If you haven’t yet, will you? It will be SO worth it!
“But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers.” (John 4:23 NASB)
Dear Lord God,
Help me long for you as the deer longs for water; help me worship You in spirit and in truth; help me come boldly to Your throne of grace! Amen.