Earlier this year, I wrote about selfish fellowship– interaction that is merely looking out for one’s own best interest under the guise of actually caring for others. I had been around other Christians and it had discouraged me. But now, after an incredibly refreshing weekend of fellowship with saints, it seemed fitting to again revisit the topic of fellowship- focusing on the positive side of it this time.
In all the effort of pressing forward in the Christian life there is a calm and quiet sweetness in fellowship. When fellowship was no longer about meeting a lot of people and all about talking to other Christians, it wasn’t hard. We bowed our heads together in prayer and spoke with the Lord about the burdens that weigh us down. We asked for the grace and strength we need to keep going. We want to finish this race well! We sat around a campfire discussing the state of our hearts in light of the goodness of God. Fellowship doesn’t all have to be looking for really deep conversations; it can be peaceful and quiet.
Let your fellowship serve others and it will certainly serve you. This seems to be the idea the Apostle Paul had when he wrote to the Roman church: “I long to see you that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you—that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by the other’s faith, both yours and mine.” This is primarily what I needed to learn about fellowship when I found myself discouraged: seek fellowship for the sake of others.
Fellowship is necessary. It magnifies the Lord as we experience the unity and holiness He bought for us. Fellowship also gives us encouragement to keep from growing weary in doing good. Every day in the Christian life is one of pressing on, taking heed that we do not drift, and God knew we would need encouragement along the way. God wants us to fellowship. God made fellowship. The dear Christians I see multiple times weekly, the local church, exist in my life because God made us need each other. It’s not “I have to go to church” but “I get to be with Christians!” We don’t fellowship just because we feel like it (and then stop when we don’t feel like it anymore) but because God necessitated that privilege in our lives.
Of course, we can’t always be around all the Christians we meet. Some of us had to say “goodbye until we meet again,” and others I see all the time in the local church. Either way, through the grace of God we will all spend an eternity together. This time we wondered together over heaven and eternity, and one day we’ll actually be there.
Man may be born to trouble as surely as sparks fly upward, but there is a rich sweetness in sharing fellowship along the way- through the church, through dear Christian friends we just met, and maybe through sitting at a campfire watching those sparks fly. Because of Christ, we also get to be with Christians- what a happy thing!