Dwelling in God’s Glorious Fellowship
September 14, 2017
In this world of turmoil and uncertainty, God remains unchanging. As our heavenly Father, He loves us and wants to lead us through our day-to-day life experiences. We can dwell daily in glorious union with God! This truth gives us assurance in the midst of every unknown. Are you experiencing His presence, provision, and peace right now in your life?
Perhaps you are wondering “How do I experience God’s presence, provision, and peace?” God has given everyone a deposit of His Spirit, even if you do not realize it. This is what enables each of us to personally interact with Him.
The deposit of God’s Spirit within everyone enables us to interact with Him.
When God created us, three actions were involved. God formed a body from the natural realm and then He breathed (infused) a measure of His spirit into the body. As the components of the natural and spiritual realms blended together into a being, a soul emerged.
Thus, created from both the temporal and eternal realms, our body and spirit connect us to both realities. This deposit of God’s Spirit gives each of us the potential to partake of more than a natural existence in this life. Desiring to interact with our eternal life source and purpose, our spirit (the spirit of life in everyone) equips us to perceive and experience God and His eternal realities.
“How” well we experience God’s presence, provision, and peace depends on us.
One-on-One Fellowship with God
Showing His desire to be in relationship with His created offspring, God sent His spoken expression into the earth to live, die, and resurrect as Jesus Christ. The life example of Jesus, the “incarnate word of God” (John 1:1-4; 1 John 1:1-3), best explains the interactive fellowship God desires for each one of us.
Jesus confirmed this between the 14th and 17th chapters of the Gospel of John. He spoke much about his leaving so he could prepare a place for each of us in our heavenly Father’s house. He was leaving to return as a Spirit presence, to reveal more intently God’s desire for each of us: we can experience a one-on-one fellowship with God’s presence during this life.
In My Father’s house [household] are many dwelling places…I go to prepare a place for you…I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also (John 14:2-3).
Dwelling Places in Father’s Household
Jesus spoke of the Father’s household as dwelling places. These places speak of levels of fellowship, our interactions with the presence of God. Our fellowship with God brings us into additional levels of agreement with our heavenly Father.
We can dwell in additional levels of fellowship with our heavenly Father on this earth.
Where was Jesus when he said, “be where I am”? He was still living a physical life on the earth. As a human being, Jesus was one with his Father because his fellowship with God kept him aware of what the Father was saying and doing. He sought to say what he sensed God desired to say, and do as God directed.
For I did not speak on My own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me a commandment as to what to say and what to speak (John 12:49).
Jesus answered and was saying to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner” (John 5:19).
Actively Dwelling in Unity
The dwelling of God’s Spirit with us and among us provides opportunity to interact as part of our day-to-day life. There is an active place for all who want to experience this fulfilling fellowship. Jesus spoke of this spiritual interaction as becoming one with our Father’s loving heart and purpose.
As the voice of God, Jesus reveals and facilitates spirit-to-Spirit fellowship with God’s presence.
His exit from life on earth enabled Jesus to once again function as the logos, God’s expression. As the voice of God, Jesus is able to reveal and facilitate spirit-to-Spirit fellowship with God’s presence simultaneously all around the globe.
The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me…Father, I desire that they…be with Me where I am (John 17:23-24).
One with Father and Son
Clearly, the glorious oneness Jesus spoke of was his agreement with the heart of God. Furthermore, we are also able to be one with the son and the Father! So how do we agree with the heart of God and be one with Him? Notice the bonding factor in this foundational declaration of Jesus:
And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:37-40).
The “Law and the Prophets” in that day was a phrase used to identify all written Scripture. These two relational instructions are really one, with two supportive functions. Our love for God and our respectful love for one another is the foundational value within everything God says and does. Jesus demonstrated this concept during his life, death, and resurrection.
Agreeing with God’s heart enables us to be one with the Father and Son.
Expressing God’s Love in Fellowship
Although available to all who desire it, our dwelling in the Father’s household is based on our loving heart; our ability to care and show concern. Our love for God is not fully experienced without us becoming expressions of that love. It must flow from us toward one another before it can be fully established in us.
Today we see great diversity even among believers, mistakenly believing a difference in beliefs forbids fellowship. Our love of God and of one another enables us to see diversity as healthy expressions of a multi-faceted God. Our differences, when we work together, are good for everyone.
Unfortunately, some want to qualify our fellowship on the basis of what we believe. One verse is commonly used to justify the idea: Can two walk together, except they be agreed (KJV)? This verse does not really support the idea. The NASB is a more accurate translation:
Do two men walk together unless they have made an appointment? (Amos 3:3)
Walking Together Despite Differences
Rather than supporting a misguided perspective, Amos said our fellowship only works if we agree to walk together in spite of our differences. In other words, we must agree to walk together or we won’t. Think about it, do any two people totally believe alike? Friendships, and even marriage relationships, only work well if we agree to love one another and appreciate each other’s differences.
We must agree to walk together, or we won’t.
Additionally, most of what we believe tends to change as we go through different seasons in life. For instance, we think and relate differently as a teenager, adult, spouse, parent, or grandparent. Our growth from infancy into maturity keeps changing our perspective of what we believe to be true and right.
Although our current season affects who we typically hang with, a balanced life involves some interaction with people in each season. Remember, in God’s household, love is the bonding factor. The quality of our love should remain a constant. As we partake of God’s fellowship, and learn from His heart, we can continually grow to love others more completely.
Love AND Light
While Scripture references walking in the Light to experience fellowship, our fellowship should be based primarily on our love, rather than the light we are able to perceive. Our ability to see and appreciate the “Light of our Life” tends to improve as we mature spiritually. Light can be a factor in our fellowship, however, love is the foundational factor.
God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all…if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another…If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us (1 John 1:5-10).
Each of us can and does err, not only in what we say and do but in what we think and believe. Not one of us “is” the Light, we all walk “in” the Light. No one’s walk is without error for no one can fully know the heart and mind of God. We are His evolving and maturing children.
Agree with God’s Heart
Godly fellowship with one another is based on “who” we believe in rather than “what” we believe. We learn to be a godly influence within the interaction of fellowship, with God and one another.
Our Father’s household is a place of fellowship where we learn of His heart.
Our Father’s household is a place of fellowship where we experience and learn of His heart. We become one with our Father only to the degree that we come into agreement with His heart of love.
Our heavenly Father invites you, me, and all His offspring to actively dwell in glorious oneness in the same relational place in His heart, experiencing maturing fellowship. We offer this advice:
- Let nothing keep you from believing you can be in agreement with God.
- Accept His invitation to one-on-one fellowship.
- Choose to actively dwell in unity and experience God’s heart of love.
- Draw on God’s character, attitude and personality, and learn His ways.
- Agree with His heart, learning to live more fully as a disciplined child of God and express His love in all your expressions.
Keith Carroll, Relational Gospel Founder
More resources about our relational God:
Created to Relate, Insights Into Our Design and Purpose, and The Christ Culture, A Way of Life Like No Other are available for purchase on this site, by request in bookstores, and on Amazon.com. We provide the first two pages of each chapter on this site for your introductory perusal. Please check them out!
Many folks are finding my books to be insightful and stimulating. They are excellent for personal understanding, for new believers, and to share in small groups. We provide a Leader’s Guide to facilitate discussions and a “free” study guide that can be downloaded as a pdf.
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