A New Light on Fellowship
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“We’re having a fellowship today,” my mom announced as we were getting ready for church. Music to my ears. Thank goodness, I thought, since I wasn’t too hip on going to church but I did like these “fellowships.” To my young mind, it translated into while the adults stand around talking, you kids can run around unsupervised, and there’s going to be lots of food, too. Nice! It made perfect sense to me when I later heard these gatherings humorously referred to as times of “bellyship.”
Upon my salvation, God began to reveal to me that there is so much more to understand about “fellowship." First John tells us that “If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin" (1 John 1:7 NKJV).
I had only experienced fellowships as feasts and joyful gatherings with my church family. But I believe the “fellowship with one another” in the Scripture also means between Jesus Christ and a believer. It sounded to me like the way to a closer walk with God. I wanted that.
The concept of “walking in the light” brought me back to my early days of struggling with faith in Christ, when I was ashamed of my past and didn't want my sins exposed. I felt like having light shone on me would be like being under a spotlight in a public square, being uncovered, while everyone pointed and laughed! Coming to the light, being vulnerable and transparent, was too risky. I preferred to hide.
So, I hid from the light. It was a miserable existence for me, but became familiar, even comfortable, because the alternative was far more frightening. Maybe others can relate to my struggle. I wanted what the light promised. My desire for God was growing. But all I could envision was the humiliating exposure of all my faults, weaknesses, secrets, and failures. However, the ability to really hide in the dark is impossible. In fact, the Bible indicates that the opposite is true. God saw me and all my flaws no matter what I did or didn’t do.
Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You, but the night shines as the day; The darkness and the light are both alike to You. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account. (Psalm 139:12, Hebrews 4:13)
It seemed like a trap. But a good one. God used my inability to hide, the fear of being uncovered, and my desire for Him to force me to consider what He was wanting me to embrace—the truth. Light is the way into fellowship where we become one with God in Christ. Then, our lives will be hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3).
Satan works hard to keep us deceived and full of fear. But God is also working:
For it is [the] God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 4:6 NKJV)
We have a heavenly Father who invites us to fellowship with Him, and He will save, forgive, and cleanse anyone who will dare to come and walk in the light with Him.
Would you search your heart today for anything that keeps you from walking in the light with God? He sees everything about you and has provided the way to fellowship with Him.
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)
Scripture is quoted from the Holy Bible, New King James Version, copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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