Friday, January 11, 2013

What Fellowship is All About

Acts 2:42-47 "They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved."

Church-going Christians throw the word fellowship around a lot, but I wonder if any of them really understand what fellowship means. I also think sadly upon those Christians that consider attending a church service on Sunday morning as the end-all of Christianity--simply go to church and wait to die or Christ to return...whatever comes first.
Thank You, God, that You have not allowed me to remain complacent in that type of life style!!
Fellowship is not sitting in Church. In fact it is quite possible to attend Church and remain completely unconnected with other Christians there. How many people walk in a Church listen to the sermon and then walk out? Maybe they smile and wave to a few people; maybe even answer a few "How are you's" with a vague and facetious "good." This is NOT fellowship. Look at Acts 2!--that is what fellowship does. It creates gladness, praise, and joy. And it is blessed with increased numbers of believers in Christ Jesus.

God has done so much in my life since December 23, 2012. He has intentionally set people in my path in order to open my eyes to the faith that I have been missing. I am fully convinced that God is calling me out of my old self once again.

First, I was called out by an old acquaintance who was experiencing the Light of Christ daily and was involved in the battle against Darkness. I remember my bewildered words: "This is all beyond my comprehension." His simple response: "That's awesome!"
Next, I spent extended time with a friend from a foreign culture who described his ability to see figures of Darkness. He told me that he doesn't share that with many Westerners because they simply cannot believe in that sort of stuff. I was further amazed at the simplicity of his faith--he merely read the Bible, and then lived it out to the best of his ability; whereas, I tend to get wrapped up in thinking about my faith too much--trying to rationalize it.
I met with a friend of mine whom I have been estranged from for a year and a half. This woman is walking down a similar path as I am--in someways, I am ahead of her; in others, I am behind. Yet we were able to share God's blessings and then encourage each other that God has good (albeit tough) things in store for us.
In the early stages of my questioning the powers of Light and Darkness, I spoke with a friend of mine who has been on her own journey of revelation with the Holy Spirit. I was able to freely speak with her about my desire to have the veil drawn away from my eyes--to see glimpses of the spiritual world. She shared with me her own experiences with the gifts of the Spirit. God sent me a fellow seeker.
I have been reading a book called Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art by Madeleine L'Engle. Here is fellowship with a Christian woman through the medium of writing--I can fellowship with her even though she has passed on from this life. Madeleine has encouraged me with statements such as this: "It is not that the power to understand is not available to us; it is; he has promised it. But it is a power far greater than the power stations for our greatest cities, and we find it easier not to get too close to it, because we know that this power can kill as well as illuminate. . . . This power, which is impossible for the finite being to grasp in any conclusive fashion, touches on the probable impossible essence of that which is really real." And further statements such as: "Am I suggesting that we really ought to be able to walk upon water? That there are (and not just in fantasies) easier and faster ways to travel then by jet or car? Yes, I am."
I have also had many discussions with a man who believes that UFOs exist and that they are related in some way to angels (I am not in a position to recount his beliefs here). He says that the Church should at least be talking about this....even if he is completely wrong.
If I was not in Living Waters....If I had not prayed with other women who asked Jesus for a memory; I would not have asked Jesus for my own memory. If I had not prayed with women who asked Jesus to enter their memories; I would not have asked Jesus to enter my memory. Bottom line, if I had not been present during the painful healing of other women, I would not have met with Jesus in my own memory and heard Him say the words: "It isn't yours." (See my previous post.) I would not have allowed Jesus to take away the shame that I had been carrying. I would not have been able to forgive, and to find freedom and healing. Granted, God could have manufactured this some other way in my life--but He didn't! He did it through fellowship!
Today I met with another friend from whom I've been estranged for a year and a half. As I shared my story of healing, she shared stories of the miracles that she had witnessed in Israel during her three month visit. She herself was physically healed there!! "I didn't believe it until I saw it myself." Her words, her testimony--for me--is becoming enough for me to believe. And to see her joy as I shared my story of healing--to hear her say, "Jaime, I want that!"--was so encouraging to me! I was able to confidently reply: "It's possible!"

This is what fellowship is all about! Meeting with other believers and sharing about the amazing God that we serve! Words are powerful!! Christ taught through words. The apostles spread the news of Christ's resurrection through words. It is the Word of God that we have been given as revelation. The Word became flesh. We are not called to be silent. We are called to go out and share! No matter how incomprehensible our message is.

I shared my healing story with someone, who--I could tell--could not rationally believe it. I continued through my story. I had to--the story had to be shared. I couldn't keep my mouth shut. God has given me the gift of freedom, and I want others to have that. I understand the skepticism (which is why fellowship is also important--to help counteract the skepticism), but it is my prayer that I will have at least planted a seed.

And furthermore, I believe it is important to fellowship with Christians outside of our normal day-to-day lives. I attend a small, conservative Bible college. I see the same faces every day (I love them dearly, but still...). It was not until I got out of my comfort zone--spiritual comfort zone--that I began to be exposed to the greatness of God. Our God is big. May I never think that I have Him all figured out. And what kind of faith do I have if it is never challenged? My faith in God, in Christ, in the Holy Spirit is never challenged--but I should constantly allow my human perception of God to be challenged! And challenged it has been! And I am so thankful for it.

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