A week or so ago I wrote a blog entry on “Fellowship of the Holy Spirit – Russian Experience”. This is a second look at that experience and what I believe is an insight that has come as a result of that experience and a revelation yesterday during the preaching time at the first of two services I ministered in.
In my experience of walking with the Lord for almost 33 years (it will be 33 years on November 9th) I have never experienced here in North America what went on during our time on that mountainside in southwest Russia. And I have been thinking about that encounter with the Holy Spirit while with His people almost daily since having this life-changing encounter.
The Bible states that we are to have fellowship with the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 13:14). Having experienced the love of God the Father and the grace of God the Son we are now to fellowship with God the Holy Spirit who was sent by the Father and the Son to be with us. He proceeded from the Father and the Son as the early Church creed of St. Athanasius states. This is where I have fallen down in my Christian walk.
When we come together to fellowship as believers we are coming together to join “as one” what we are already doing on our own individually. If we are not fellowshipping with the Holy Spirit on a daily basis in our time with our Bibles and in prayer and worship – and not walking with Him in each and every thing we do during the average, regular day – then when we come together to “share fellowship” it is like there is nothing to share, nothing to join together into one experience or one event.
John the apostle writes and states: That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched – this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.
The revelation (and this may not be new to you) … to “share fellowship with us” you must first be walking with God and having “fellowship … with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ” personally and on a regular basis. Of course, it is the Spirit of God who is present and available for fellowship here and now so our fellowship is with Him and then, through Him, with the Father and the Son. Then we can come together and share our fellowship with one another as I witnessed and experienced in the Russian forest a few weeks ago.
So, this speaks highly of the men and women I was with that special day in my life -as this means they are walking “in the light” as John goes on to explain and when they come together they can honor one another, serve one another, love one another, bear one another’s burdens, pray for one another, encourage one another…. almost like experiencing Heaven on earth and, at the least, it was for me an experience – a small taste of what Heaven will be like.
It was and still is also an encouragement for me and a reminder to “snuggle up to God (the Holy Spirit) and He will snuggle up to you” (James 4:8 my version). I am a leader and I must lead the way. I cannot expect my people to do what I do not do and go where I have not been. And, I must share my experiences so as to encourage others to walk this way or as the apostle Paul states “follow me as I follow Christ”.
So, as I said yesterday in my teachings in two different churches where I had the honor of ministering … I have made the quality decision to do whatever it takes and invest whatever time it requires (and thus remove from my agenda and work load whatever needs to be dropped) to enter into fellowship with the Holy Spirit every day. To spend quality time coming to know Him intimately as I have already done with God the Son (Jesus) and God the Father over the last almost 33 years.
I started walking this way when I was first born again and have touched on it a number of times since – but, in general, I have allowed the pace of life and ministry to take me away from this fellowship I once experienced. However, that is going to change starting this morning.
I feel like the old drunk in Independence Day (the movie) when he is flying his jet into the mother ship of the invading alien forces and yells “I’m back” with great volume and emotion. Well, I too am back … to my first love and learning more about the person and personality of the Holy Spirit as I share fellowship – deep, intimate fellowship – with Him on a daily basis. The adventure begins.