Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Cultivating a Deep Daily Fellowship with the Holy Spirit

Cultivating a Deep & Daily Fellowship with the Holy Spirit

“If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose” (Philippians 2:1-2 NIV).


Have you ever yearned for a deeper walk with the Holy Spirit? I know that I have, and often desire to go deeper still. I have enjoyed these refreshing articles on the Holy Spirit myself. With feedback already coming in, I know too that you have been enjoying them also. But continue with me in these successive studies on the Holy Spirit and I trust that revelation and inspiration will flood your heart and trigger a level of fellowship with the Holy Spirit that you never previously thought possible!

In the last Truth for the Journey we discussed the beauty of “Fellowship with Almighty God!” and we emphasised on 3 key components of “koinōnia” such as: Joint Participation, Potent Partnership and United Movement. Today we will continue with this theme of “fellowship with the Holy Spirit” in order to exhaust the subject before we move on to “How we Hear His Voice,” in our subsequent articles on the Holy Spirit.

As we have already found out, this Greek word koinōnia (κοινωνία Strong's #2842) which is continually used in the New Testament for “fellowship” has many applications. We can refer to last week’s Truth for the Journey for a recap, but for today let’s move on to the Vines Expository Dictionary where the words given to describe koinōnia are as follows: communicate (-tion), communion, contribution, and fellowship. From this we can see that a major part of fellowship is just straightforward “communication;” something that we must learn to do adequately with the Holy Spirit on a daily basis. Again it is a learning process, just as a married couple “never” cease to learn of new and better ways to “communicate” with each other. As the individual grows and their understanding expands, so can the quality of the fellowship involved. In fact fellowship can be a deeply enriching experience that many miss out on, not only in their everyday relationships, but chiefly with the Holy Spirit.

If we would learn better how to communicate, not only would this benefit us, but all those inside our circle of influence. When communications breaks-down, so do the relationships involved; therefore on all fronts must we guard against such break-downs of communication and pursue better methods of communication – but all this is just on a human level. Now however, let’s continue with our subject of “fellowship with the Holy Spirit” as mentioned above in our opening scripture. We can use this in two different contexts, as do the different translations of the Bible; 1). Fellowship “shared” with other believers “in” the Spirit. 2). Fellowship “directly-with” the Holy Spirit.

For example the NIV above states; “if any fellowship with the Spirit” whereas the Authorised Version states, “if any fellowship of the Spirit...” and the Amplified version says; “by whatever participation in the [Holy] Spirit [we share].”

So you see the different emphasis that is covered. I prefer the NIV in this instance; as we are currently emphasising on fellowship “with” the Holy Spirit, as the third “person” of the Trinity. It is therefore accurate to say that - “fellowship with the Holy Spirit” - is a blessing for “all” believers in Christ to enjoy – (as already seen in 2 Cor. 13:14 and Phil 2:1). Remembering that we are “sealed” with the Holy Spirit of promise (Ephesians 1:13 for salvation) and then “baptized” with the Spirit (Matthew 3:11, Mark 1:8; Acts 2:2-4 - receive an infilling). One places us in the Body and the other empowers us for works of service.

To continue; the only thing that can mar this divine fellowship with the Holy Spirit is “un-confessed sin.” Only as we “abide” in Christ and His finished work of the cross - can we “abide” in communion (union) with His Spirit. Therefore when it comes to “sin” we can have confidence that when, “...we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). This makes fellowship with the Holy Spirit so vital because we are united to Christ in the bonds of the Holy Spirit.

Our fellowship with the Spirit is of utmost importance because “He seeks partnership with us...” in life and in ministry. His resources are unlimited, inexhaustible, and His power is invincible. We might long for intimate fellowship with Him, but it is absolutely true that, “He longs for and regularly pursues intimate fellowship with us.” He longs to be admitted to the inner life of our souls. Again I use this emphasis that “He” seeks and pursues partnership and fellowship with us, because He knows better than we, that without His partnership and close fellowship; that those things which He has specifically called us to do (on this earth) will go “unachieved.”

It has been said that the wealthiest place on earth is the “Graveyard!” There are many dreams, business ventures and so forth that have gone there unfulfilled. The Holy Spirit however, if allowed, to steer and direct us – will achieve heaven’s mandates in and through our lives. Therefore, true fulfilment can only come via Him! This speaks of PURPOSE – and there is certainly much purpose to this fellowship with the Holy Spirit. For instance it is not idle past-time, which simply enjoys each other’s presence - like young lovers! In fact this often makes me feel so uncomfortable, when I hear people, especially women (of all ages), speak of their relationship with God, as if in a romantic way. Personally I believe that they have bought into a deception.

Our relationship with God, as a whole, can never be estimated in this way. It is erroneous and underlines the attempt that people often make, when they try to see God (who is “infinite”) in a “finite” way. In other words, we cannot ever measure God on mere human levels or standards. There is nothing “sexual” about our relationship with Him, albeit that we often use the word “intimacy” – however this is in context with a “heart-condition” and not something to be confused with “romantic-notions.” Women especially have to be careful with this. Some men do this also of course, but are generally less inclined to go down that route of thinking.

However to continue with this thought of what hinders our “fellowship or union” with the Spirit, let me suggest that there are “many” things such as; attitudes, reservations, interests, disbeliefs, prayerlessness, selfish-ambitions, arrogant pride, anger, bitterness, and many more that grieve and quench His work. This is why we must cultivate our lives; so that we can “remain” in fellowship with Him. This involves as much willing “self-adjustment” as possible! Of course He never leaves or forsakes us, but we are discussing the subject of fellowship here. To illustrate this better; one day in my personal prayer time, I said to God, “Father don’t take Your Holy Spirit from me.” His swift reply to me was simply this, “Don’t leave my presence then...!” That pretty much speaks for itself!

Still we must emphasize on this fact that there is PURPOSE to everything in God, just like Rom 8:28 says, “...to them who are the called according to his purpose” (KJV). There is certainly plenty of divine PURPOSE in our daily union with the Holy Spirit. If such was not the case – then perhaps God would have us in heaven already by now! But as we know, there is still much work to be done. Some folks imagine that fellowship with God is just some “dreamy” type of meditation! But in actual fact there remains a very “active” purpose to our “fellowship” with God.

In addition, let me point out that when our lives line up “in agreement” with the Holy Spirit – our personalities becomes “quickened” and “sanctified” and our desire is to be in “constant” fellowship with Him. This is where we get our “recharge;” where we soak up heaven’s resources to make our lives effective. This is echoed and reflected by Isaiah in Chapter 40:30-31 where he states, “Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” This “renewing” of strength actually refers to an “exchange” of strength. How awesome this is! During our fellowship with Him then, we actually exchange our own “limited” human strength and resources for His! There is no comparison with this and the joy of fellowship on this level comes only through Christ and His finished work of the cross. Now as a consequence, today and everyday God makes Himself continually available for us to enjoy fellowship with Him like this. Each and every believer is sanctioned (authorized by Christ) to enjoy such a rich and glorious companionship with His Spirit. Hallelujah!

When we learn to cooperate with Him, He comes to give us a daily life that overflows with the fruit of the Spirit. When we are in agreement with Him - His power operates in and through us. Ministry becomes a daily adventure with Him at the helm. Our empathy for the needy is deepened and enlightened. Our compassion for the lost soul is strengthened and our prayer lives invigorated. Ordinary Christians become empowered when clothed with the Spirit of God.
This fellowship, joint-participation, partnership and communion, with the Holy Spirit - is communion with the LORD God. It should affect everything we do in our Christian life and ministry – we must never neglect such sweet and potent fellowship with the Holy Spirit. In fact as Christians, we're “called” to fellowship with the Holy Spirit. It’s not in fact an “option!” (Just for the crazy Pentecostals or Holy Rollers!) Furthermore for some folks, all they know about the Holy Spirit is that He's the one who makes them speak in other tongues. However, there's more to the Person and ministry of the Holy Spirit than this. We are called to fellowship with Him every day and it is then that we discover exactly what He's come to do in our lives.

The Lord Jesus said “...the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will cause you to recall (will remind you of, bring to your remembrance) everything I have told you.” This reveals the benefits and blessings of daily fellowship with the Holy Spirit in our lives: He'll teach, counsel, help, defend, strengthen and always be there as our standby when we need Him and when our natural strength fails us!

Finally the Holy Spirit is not fire, smoke, wind or a dove; He's a real person. He's the secret of my life. He talks with me and I talk with Him! He shows me what to do, when to do it and how to do it. I can never be confused about anything because the Holy Spirit guides me. He’s not a “spirit-guide” as the world calls it. No! He is THE Guide! Once any of us learn to fellowship with the Holy Spirit each day like this, we then learn to hear His voice as we yield - spirit, soul and body - to Him. Only then will we truly let Him work, talk and function through us. He wants us to enjoy rich fellowship with Him every single day.


PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Father, I recognize the Holy Spirit as my helper, strengthener, standby, counsellor, intercessor, comforter and advocate. Thank you that it was Your plan for Him to be in my life. Therefore I give Him the place He deserves in my life, by giving Him priority. I allow Him to make me more Christ like and to make-good on my commitment to Christ.

CONFESSION OF THE DAY
Today I know the Holy Spirit and He knows me. I am recognised in heaven and on the earth as a true believer. I am authorized and deputized to enjoy such rich fellowship with Him. I avail myself to be empowered to be effective for Christ. My witness is sound and will continue steadfast through the One who helps me. My gratitude is overwhelming for the One who equips and helps me. Through Christ and His Spirit nothing is too much for me. I am prepared and ready for anything. Hallelujah!

THANK YOU FOR HELPING TO MAKE THIS MINISTRY POSSIBLE!
WE LOVE YOU…!

Motto: ‘God Chooses, then the Spirit Tests, but You Must Respond!’

Copyright 2010 © Alan Pateman Ministries

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