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Joined: 2002/12/11
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"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11

 Fellowship with God by Jim Cymbala

“‘Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.’” (John 5:19 NIV)

Have you ever met a father who is no longer speaking to his son? Perhaps they were close while the son was growing up, but they had an argument, words were said, and they haven’t spoken since. Maybe you know a woman who doesn’t get along with her sister. Conversations between them are few and strained. Perhaps there is a couple in your social circle who, although they are married and still live together, don’t communicate and don’t enjoy each other’s company.

Those individuals have a relationship, and they even have the legal documents—a birth certificate or a marriage license—to prove it. But do they have fellowship with each other? How can a relationship be significant if there isn’t at least a sense of camaraderie or intimacy between the parties?

As Christians we have a relationship with God. He is our Father and we are his children. But just because we have a relationship doesn’t mean that we necessarily have the kind of fellowship God planned for us.

When we read the writings of some of the great Christian leaders from a hundred years ago or earlier, we see that there was a strong emphasis on two-way fellowship between the Lord and his people. They wrote about not just spending time praising and thanking God, or even petitioning him, but also about spending time just waiting in his presence and listening for his voice. Fellowship with God is more than just attending church on Sunday; it is about spending time alone with God.

We have no better model for this than Jesus, who “often withdrew to lonely places and prayed” (Luke 5:16). Although he was the Son of God, Jesus found it necessary to spend time alone with God in prayer, to discern what God wanted him to do. How else would he know how long to stay in Capernaum or Jerusalem unless he heard it from God? Jesus certainly did not talk and petition God during all those hours he was away by himself. Instead, he listened to his Father for guidance and for the very subject matter of his teaching: “These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me” (John 14:24).

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