Ever since the fall of man, men and women have struggled to find fulfillment in life. God intended for man to have a spiritually rich life that is abundant and fruitful. But with the loss of man’s spiritual life as recorded in Genesis, he lost his access to God (the Source of true spirituality) and His blessings. As a result, in the depth of man’s soul, he longs to fill that empty space.
So, what is the solution? Let us consider some simple truths that will help us to fill that void. First we must understand and receive the new birth that God made available through Jesus Christ. With the new birth we gain access to God, spiritually receiving sonship; thus we become Christians, or Christ-filled believers. As a result, we can achieve a successful Christian life-style by developing a rich fellowship with God, our heavenly Father. Christians manifest the more abundant life in direct proportion to the fellowship they keep with God. Let’s look at some of the principles that relate to having a successful Christian life-style: how to establish fellowship with God, how to maintain this fellowship, and some benefits of sustaining our fellowship with God.
How to establish fellowship with God
In order to have fellowship with anyone, one must first be born into this world. I could not enjoy fellowship with my children before they were born. But after their birth, the real fellowship began. I could express my love and affection in numerous ways by my words and my actions. And as they have grown up throughout the years, I continue to show my love and affection in special and unique ways just for them because of the relationships we have developed. Our heavenly Father shows His love and affection in even greater ways—for His love is always unconditional, His ways are always perfect!
From before the foundation of the world, God has longed for sons and daughters to love Him and enjoy fellowship with Him (Ephesians 1:4). So, how do we establish fellowship with our heavenly Father? First, before we can have fellowship, we must have sonship by becoming born-again sons of God. Sonship makes us righteous before God and starts us out in perfect fellowship with our Father. Just as my children had to be born physically in order for them to enjoy fellowship with my husband and me, we have to be born again spiritually in order to enjoy fellowship with our heavenly Father. For those living since the day of Pentecost (that includes us), Romans 10 teaches how to obtain salvation by being born again and receiving Christ within.
Romans 10:9 and 10:
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
When we confess Jesus as lord of our lives and believe in our hearts that God raised him from the dead, we become born again. Our salvation is not through our works but by God’s unconditional love and grace (Ephesians 2:5). Once an individual becomes born again of God’s spirit, receiving His spiritual seed, he or she is a child of God, permanently. Now this individual has all the rights and privileges that are promised to God’s children in His Word. Unlike the Old Testament priests who had to spend hours in preparation in order to commune with God, we can now approach God anytime (Ephesians 2:18). But if we don’t know God’s Word, how can we benefit from His promises?
Great question! Our next point addresses this. If we want to truly know God, we must learn the Word of God. And if we want to have a deep and personal relationship with God, we must live the Word of God.
My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee;
So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding;
Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding;
If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures;
Then shalt thou understand the fear [respect] of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God.
These verses begin with a condition: if you will do this, then you will get that. It is not enough to know the Word of God: we have to apply it, live it, experience it. Before we can apply or do God’s Word, we have to be knowledgeable of it. And before we can know God’s Word, we have to find it. If we put forth the effort, if we seek after wisdom, if we apply ourselves diligently, then we are going to have a knowledge of God and gain a personal, intimate relationship with our heavenly Father.
I John 1:1,3,4:
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;
That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.
And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.
The things written in the Word of God are written so that our joy may be full. God gave us joy when we were born again. Now, as we walk in fellowship with Him according to His Word, our joy is filled up and comes into full fruition in our lives. The Word was not written to frustrate people or to burden them or to defeat them, but to fill them with joy!…
This is an excerpt from the May/June 2008 issue of The Way Magazine.
Copyright© 2008 by The Way International. All rights reserved.
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