Do two men walk together unless they have made an agreement?
I am a companion of all those who fear Thee, and of those who keep
Thy precepts (Ps. 119:63).
In Gods economy, spiritual companionship occupies a significant place from
the get-go. After the creation of man, God said, it is not good for the man
to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him (Gen 2:18). Did God fail to anticipate Adams loneliness that He had to implement another operation to save him from the pain of loneliness? Of course not. He could have simultaneously created man and woman in one single act. But then, man would not have known the pain that stemmed from the lack of companionship and the joy of sharing and fellowshipping with a counterpart
who understood him and was willing to share lifes journey with him.
Since God created man a tripartite being with spirit, soul and body,
companionship has to be much more than merely meeting a physical need.
After Adam carefully examined every cattle, beast and bird that was brought
before him, he found none suitable for him (Gen. 2:20). There is reason to
believe that Adams need for companionship was not only physical but also
spiritual in nature. With Adams intelligence, after examining just one cattle,
one beast, and one bird, he would have known beyond any doubt that they
were totally incompatible to him so far as physical companionship went.
Any further looking would have been a colossal waste of his time.
Yet there he was, checking and naming carefully every cattle, every beast,
and every bird! He must have been looking for spiritual companionship as
It should be noted that many young men and women make physical
attractions their only criteria in their search for suitable companions.
Spiritual companionship is often neglected. This has to be a major factor in
the many failed marriages. May the Lord grant us wisdom to see the
importance of spiritual companionship.
There is a spiritual significance in creating man first in order to underscore
mans need for companionship. From the very beginning, the Lone-Ranger
mentality never entered Gods design. God made Adam and Eve individually
to show how much He cared for each one of us as individuals, but men
were not meant to be individualistic. God intended for men to be precious
individuals, but not become individualistic.
The word companion includes the thoughts of walking together, sharing,
friendship, fellowship, bearing the same burden, and oneness. In the New
Testament, Jesus sent His disciples out two by two. In the book of Acts,
Paul was always accompanied, when possible, by traveling companions in
his missionary journeys. Apparently, having friends along side who share
the same vision, bear the same burden and labor together towards the same
goal are important elements in doing the Lords work.
The only New Testament worker who struck out on his own Apollos was
shown to be wanting and in need of being taught more fully the ways of
God by Pauls coworkers Priscilla and Aquila (Acts 18: 24-26). Barnabas,
on the other hand, who separated from Paul still knew the importance of
taking a co-worker on his missionary journey.
In the temptation of Eve, one of the things that led to her poor judgment
was the neglect in seeking fellowship from her companion. Paul seemed to
underscore this point when he wrote to Timothy, And it was not Adam who
was deceived, but the woman being quite deceived, fell into transgression
(I Tim 2:14). From the strategy to deceive Eve, it is not hard to see that the
Enemys way of frustrating Gods purpose was to trivialize companionship.
Today, the Enemys strategy hasnt changed. He seeks to trivialize
companionship and fellowship among Gods children by, among other
things, instituting clergy-laity system in which only a select group of
seminary-trained and institution-minded individuals, a.k.a. clergy, are
qualified to intimate Gods mind and speak for Him. When Christians face
important decisions or want questions answered, they seek out pastors,
preachers and ministers for counsel; whether they have a close
companionship with such men of God is of no concern.
There is reason to believe that the trivialization of spiritual companionship
which results in a lack of relatedness among the Lords people, is one huge
problem facing the Church today.
When a minister goes to visit his flock, it is a top-down, clergy-laity, teacher-
student relationship. This model, by nature and by design, inhibits free flow
of fellowship. When fellowship is limited, the comprehension of the mind of
Christ is also diminished.
Companionship on the other hand brings everyone down to the same level
where friendship and intimacy have a chance to blossom. Likeminded saints
can enter into each others travails and share each others joy. Fellowship
is usually much sweeter, prayers are usually more effective, and
comprehension of Christ much deeper.
The churches are run as institutions much the same way like corporations
with CEOs, experts, organizational charts, plans and goals, committees,
. Such being the case, it is no wonder that Christians think it
normal to rely on the clergy to counsel and solve their problems much the
same way an Accountant is expected to solve tax problems. The clergy
has become the paid professionals.
Christians are unwilling to, neither are they interested in, developing
companionship with fellow-Christians in order to search out and apprehend
the riches and fullness of Christ. There is a price involved in developing
companionship; it doesnt just fall into our laps. The nominal believers tend
to be unwilling to pay the price. On the other hand, the gifted, eloquent and
zealous believers tend to be self-reliant, if not outright self-conceited.
Surely they do not need anyones help in finding the Lords will and getting
spiritual answers least of all from untrained and ungifted little brothers and
sisters. Or do they
Paul says in Eph. 3:18-19, [you] may be able to comprehend with all the
saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the
love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all
the fullness of God. Clearly, a Lone Ranger who has no regard for all the
saints, can never come into full knowledge and experience the fullness of
God it is simply not meant to.
Since being filled up to all the fullness of God is a result of learning to
comprehend with all the saints, then spiritual companionship is obviously
the key. So, the important question is, how can we be blessed with spiritual
First, lets consider what prevents spiritual companionship from forming.
Amos tells us, Do two men walk together unless they have made an
agreement? (Amos 3:3). God, in fact, desires companionship. He comes
to walk with Adam in the cool of the day but finds him in hiding instead sin
had entered into man, and sin destroyed the agreement, or oneness with
God, therefore damaged companionship faster than anything else.
Our walking along side with God should never be tainted by sins. May the
Lord keep our walk with Him pure and grant us a heart which is quick to
repent and turn back to Him.
It is very important to note that the agreement spoken of by Amos does
not refer to a doctrinal oneness that is derived by an arbitrary enforcement
of certain theological teachings. Unfortunately, many Christian leaders and
groups use this verse to legitimize their sectarian and divisive teachings and
practices. To be able to fellowship together, they contend, Christians have
to agree on vision, understanding of doctrines and interpretation of the
. There have even been extreme cases where mens zeal to
defend their theology or church affiliation caused misapplication of this
wonderful verse and resulted in unfortunate divisions among Gods people.
This type of mindset leads inevitably to the formation of elitist groups. Each
group thinks highly of its leader and his teachings. Nonconformity to its
leader and teachings are treated as outsiders, therefore inferior, and are
shunned or despised.
Presently, as well as throughout Church history, many precious saints have
been given wonderful revelations with regard to the way an authentic first-
century church works. Regrettably though, much of the attention and
emphasis have been focused on the outward form of doing church
correctly. Again, making everyone agree on the way church should be
done correctly becomes a foremost concern. Whether men have allowed
the Lord to lay hold of them and instill His very essence and character into
their beings become secondary considerations.
We need to ask ourselves, what good is the biblically correct way of doing
church if we never learned to allow the Lord to deal with us and change our
inner being into His likeness? What is the church anyway, is it the result of
mans zeal and effort to do it correctly? Or is it Christ lived out and shared
Lets face it, even if the Lord created a perfect church model and plops us
all smack dab in the middle of it, our human nature, religious concepts, and
a multitude of self-related fleshly tendencies will always find ways to destroy
each other and ruin the perfect church.
Lance Lambert once said half jokingly, The church is perfect until you
showed up. No truer words have been uttered! This generic you is the
embodiment of all human nature with its various fleshly and religious
tendencies. This un-dealt with flesh will always destroy the church, no
matter how perfect it is!
The other day, a dear sister made a keen observation: A beautiful and
authentic Ming vase is highly sought after, but there are only a few authentic
Ming vases the rest of them are imitations (or worse, fakes). Why would
Christians clamor and split hairs over trying to be an Authentic First-Century
Church? There can only be one authentic first-century church, and it
existed in the first century. The best efforts of men can only produce an
imitation of the first century church (or a fake one)!
Is this worth all the fuss? Come on!
I was reminded of a story I heard about Billy and Ruth Graham being invited
to a banquet in England. Many government officials were present. Ruth
was seated next to an official in charge of catching crooks who made
counterfeit money. Fascinated, Ruth asked, Sir, you must spend all your
time studying all those fake bills in order to be able to know the difference
between the fake and the real thing. No, maam, replied the official, I
spend all my time studying the real thing; thats how I can instantly spot a
Allow me to humbly submit: no one whose sole focus is on the church has
ever found, nor will ever find, the authentic church. On the other hand, eyes
fixed on Jesus who is the Author and Perfector of our faith will usher us into
His church which is His body that expresses Him.
The agreement between brothers and sisters, whether doctrinal or
experiential, can only be formed as we each focus on the Lord and maintain
a close walk with Him. The more we walk with the Lord and allow Him to
touch many aspects of our lives, the more we would come into this
agreement, or oneness, with Him. This agreement with the Lord is grown
into organically. No amount of teaching, training and indoctrination will ever
make us come into agreement with Him.
And growth is full of pain and perils. Each failure is used by the Lord to bring
about repentance and surrender. Each bruise is tended to and bound up by
the Lord to facilitate healing and renewing. As the cross deals with our self-
life, yielding to it increases the resurrection fragrance of Christs life in us
it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me (Gal. 2:20).
A while back, a dear sister forwarded a poem she found on the Internet to
the saints, and I was very impressed by it:
Sometimes life seems hard to bear,
Full of sorrow, trouble and woe
It's then we have to remember
That it's in the valleys we grow.
If we always stayed on the mountain top
And never experienced pain,
We would never appreciate God's love
And would be living in vain.
We have so much to learn
And our growth is very slow,
Sometimes we need the mountain tops,
But it's in the valleys we grow.
We do not always understand
Why things happen as they do,
But I am very sure of one thing.
My Lord will see me through.
The little valleys are nothing
When we picture Christ on the cross
He went through the valley of death;
His victory was Satan's loss.
Forgive me Lord, for complaining
When I'm feeling so very low.
Just give me a gentle reminder
That it's in the valleys I grow.
Continue to strengthen me, Lord
And use my life each day
To share your love with others
And help them find their way.
Thank you for the valleys, Lord
For this one thing I know
The mountain tops are glorious
But it's in the valleys I grow!
As each step we take in our journey with the Lord results in further step of
agreement with Him, spontaneously, our agreement with the saints will
become a true reality.
The Psalmist declares, I am a companion of all those who fear Thee, and of
those who keep Thy precepts (Ps. 119:63). Notice the intimacy of the
Psalmist here in this verse. He converses with the Lord face to face. Yet
he is not a Lone Ranger. He also has a close relationship with the saints
he is a companion with others. But his companionship is not the result of
horizontal friendship with others; it is the result of a vertical relationship with
the Lord fear Thee, and keep Thy precepts.
Lets be very clear about this, unless our focus is the Lord and our
relationship is fresh with the Lord, there can be no agreement between
two men, neither is walking together possible. You can quote me on this.
Consider for a moment the two disciples walking together in complete agreement on the road to Emmaus. Their agreement was based upon physical evidence that their Savior, Deliverer and Lord was crucified therefore all hope of salvation, restoration and glory was dashed. Then came Jesus to walk along side of them. As their horizontal agreement with each other began to turn and be aligned with Him, notice how quickly they shifted their journey in reverse!
Now their companionship is no longer based upon a horizontal agreement
with each other but on a vertical agreement with the risen Lord of lords and
King of kings. This, dear friends, must form the basis of all spiritual
Many Christian leaders have pushed a horizontal agreement among their
followers, and there is no lack of zeal in their followers to spread this gospel
and make converts of this man-made agreement and artificial walking
together. The sad outcome is a blanket of darkness descending over the
minds of innocent but undiscerning brothers and sisters who were misled
into believing they have been ushered into Gods ultimate purpose and
With such groups, usually walking in lock-steps with their leaders and with
each other is touted as oneness and should be preserved at all cost.
Companionship is greatly prized, but it is a companionship missing the
vertical link the relationship and agreement with Christ.
So, we must come back to rediscovering our vertical agreement with our
Head again. Learn to walk with Him in our daily lives. Learn to hearken to
His still small voice. Learn to focus on Him. Learn to submit to His
As we learn to draw near to Him, we will discover the Lord gently placing
around us sweet companions who understand us, appreciate us, forgive us
for our faults, warts, abrasiveness and mistakes; and they are willing to walk
with us and bear our burdens. There is nothing sweeter than this. Its a
genuine church life that we do not deserve and have not labored for.
Is it First-Century? Is it authentic? Is it planted by an Apostle?
There is something in every normal human being to desire companionship.
Meaningful and pleasant relationships with fellow-Christians who understand
and appreciate friendship bring joy and healing to our lives. Loners, on the
other hand, often resort to either doing harm to themselves or to others.
Still, there are others who hang out in parties and busily involve in activities
or "ministries" but are unable to develop real companionship. Activities,
ministries and group rituals can become facades to mask inward loneliness.
The only answer to these problems? Jesus.
Jesus was called a friend of tax collectors and sinners (Matt. 11:19). He
fondly referred to Lazarus as our friend in John 11:11. He is ready and
willing to be our Friend and to walk along side of us whether we are rotten
sinners or lowly and ungifted Lazaruses.
So, shall we learn to agree with Him, and allow this vertical agreement to
form the basis of our walking together in a precious and unpretentious