FoundationsForGrowing

Developing Commitment: Fellowship

by Joanna Pierce on March 10, 2016

It has been quite a journey in learning more about how we, as followers of Christ, can deepen our spiritual walk and develop commitment in serving Him. This final week, we will focus on the last aspect of discipleship: fellowship.

Avoid of Isolation

The devil’s main agenda is to keep God’s children isolated; isolation breeds despair and spiritual problems. God never intended for His people to be alone—in the garden of Eden, God said it wasn’t good for man to be alone (Genesis 2:18). In the New Testament, God indicated His church should not worship and serve Him alone—we shouldn’t forsake the assembling of themselves together (Hebrews 10:25). God wants to pull us out from our siloed Christian walk and into fellowship with His people and His kingdom.

God knows that there is very little people cannot do when they set their mind to it. At the tower of Babel, the people were working in unity, and God said, “…nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do” (Genesis 11:5–6, KJV). While agreement is good, agreement in Him is better—fellowship is different than just an agreement, consensus, or being in the same place at the same time.

Model of Fellowship

We can find the model for community and fellowship from the New Testament church. When the Spirit of God was poured out on the day of Pentecost, fellowship became a natural by-product to the people. God’s people were together and had singleness of heart (Acts 2:41–46). Fellowship is truly the result of the Holy Ghost poured out on our hearts.

Fellowship in the Greek is koinónia, which means participation and inward unity. James noted the importance of showing faith by our works (James 2:18), and the same principle applies to fellowship. We have to connect with other Saints of God in the church. As disciples, we have a responsibility to fulfill the role of fellowship—to share ourselves with our spiritual family: partake, participate, and partner.

Principles of Fellowship

I Belong in God’s Family with Other Believers

Paul described the church as being fellowcitizens of the household of faith and how we are all a part of the same building, which is fitly-framed together (Ephesians 2:19–22). We are to be builded together in God’s kingdom through His Spirit. And, we’re not just called to be a member of the church, but a member to everyone in the church (Romans 12:5). God wants us to look upon the church as our family and have a personal connection!

I Need Encouragement and Strength from My Church Family to Grow Spiritually

When it comes to our spiritual journey, we can’t do it by ourselves. We need each other for encouragement, help, and spiritual growth. Scripture tells us to encourage one another to do good deeds and to grow spiritually (Hebrews 10:24). Encouragement is a proactive action and should be a part of the church culture—and something we do as a disciple of Christ. We need the help of the church to pick us up when we fall (Ecclesiastes 4:10–11)!

I Need Accountability of Fellowship to Grow Spiritually

Scripture tells us iron sharpens iron (Proverbs 27:17)—we learn from each other! Not only is encouragement needed on a day-to-day basis, but we need each other to help us learn from our mistakes and to help hold us accountable to the Word of God (Hebrews 3:13). We should be willing to be held to a level of accountability by the brothers and sisters in the church and to remove the spirit of offense from our life!

Jesus is Present When We Fellowship Together

When we gather together in Jesus’s name, He has promised to be there in our midst (Matthew 18:20). When we choose to come together on a spiritual level, God will be present among us!

Fellowship is a Witness to the World

Love is what differentiates the church from everything else in this life. The church demonstrates who Jesus is and how His love drives it all! Jesus prayed that His church could be one as He was one with His Father (John 17:21). When we fellowship with each other, and allow Jesus to be in the center of that fellowship, our fellowship will speak to the work around us.

I Am Obligated to Every Christian

God has given every one in His church unique gifts. And, we are called to minister to one another as good stewards of those gifts (I Peter 4:10). Our gifts have not been given just to help us—they have been given to lift up and to edify the body of Christ!

We are to serve one another in:

Tips for Fellowship

Fellowship isn’t easy to do with all people, but we are to endeavor to fellowship and assemble with the body of Christ.

Don’t Fake It

Everyone has the ability to discern when people are being genuine or fake. Do not try to fake your fellowship because you will lose the trust of the other person. Pray for God’s genuine love to be activated in our life and to help us value the other person, even with all of their quirks!

Do Some Self Reflection

We should think about why we have a hard time fellowshipping with another person. We may find out after sincere self-reflection that the problem isn’t with another person, it’s with ourselves!

Get to Know Them Better

We may have a certain perception about someone; however, if over time we get to know them on a more intimate level, we can determine that our preconceived notions about them are incorrect. We may have more in common with someone than we think!

Grow in Relationship with God

The more we grow in our own relationship with God, the more we can grow in our relationships with others. We will be able to connect with others in spiritual unity—regardless of who they are!

Developing Spiritual Habits

Our goal in developing commitment is to develop spiritual habits in our life that we don’t have to think about. The following are ways that we can develop spiritual habits in our life.

Desire

We need to have in internal motive that is rooted in spiritual commitment. When we allow God to give us an internal spiritual desire, we can allow it to move into an external motivation. Our desire cannot be rooted in emotion—it must be rooted in spirit.

Declare

We need to announce our intentions publicly—there is significant power in a vow. We can build our faith when we speak things that are not as those they are!

Determine

We should never allow an exception to our commitment until it’s securely rooted in our life. Don’t stop doing it until we can’t stop doing it. Lapses can be fatal, so we can’t allow “just this once.”

Do

We need to go and do whatever it is, right now. We cannot just slide into starting a new habit. We have to establish a starting point and begin.

Double Up

We should find someone to help hold us accountable in developing our spiritual habit. They can help encourage us and not let us fail!

Depend on God

Our walk in developing spiritual commitment is in fact a spiritual journey. We need to rest on the ability that God gives us to change—we cannot do it on our own. We also need to allow God to reinforce what He’s doing on the inside to be reflected on the outside. He can give us the will and can help us do it (Philippians 2:13).

Adapted from Wednesday Night Bible Study on March 09, 2016