This post has been a long time coming! The Becoming His Crown blog is basically a collection of all the things I’m not so great at but getting better at. Welcome to my list of things I struggle with. Ha! Fellowship is one of the subjects that I have really had a hard time with over the past year. If you’re in the same boat, keep reading!
What is fellowship?
Fellowship is defined as “friendly association, especially with people who share one’s interests.” Some synonyms are companionship and friendship. In my own words, I would describe fellowship as a close friendship and connection between people who share the same views and goals.
Sounds easy enough right?
When we look at the definition and think of fellowship in black and white terms, it seems as though it should come second nature to us. I think most of us would agree that we enjoy spending time with those that feel the same way as us when it comes to certain issues. Why is fellowship and friendship with other believers so hard, then? Why does it seem that rejection, insecurity, and shame are brought to the spotlight the moment we set our eyes on creating deep fellowship with those around us?
In order to understand why fellowship can be so difficult, we must first understand why it is so important to the body of Christ. When we strive to create deep, meaningful, supportive friendships within the church, the entire body is strengthened. When you go out to coffee to chat with your girlfriend and lift each other up, you are strengthening more than just your own friendship. When we link arms with one another in friendship/fellowship, we create a strong web of unity within our own churches and the body of Christ all over the world. It is far reaching. And the spark ignites each time we step out of our comfort zone to cultivate and tend to our friendships.
Satan is afraid of the spark. He thrives in the holes and dark spaces in our lives. When we join hands in friendship and create a network of unity, it is directly opposing what he aims to do. (The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy… -John 10:10) He wants to destroy the bonds that unite us.
Are you starting to see why fellowship can be so difficult? You’re not crazy if you’ve been thinking that your friendships are hard, sometimes. The rejection that you feel for seemingly no reason actually isn’t random at all. Your insecurities and feelings of being less than are part of a plan by Satan to create a stronghold in your heart. He wants you to feel like it’s not worth it to keep growing your friendships. He wants you to feel like alone is maybe a better place to be. He wants to weaken you. He wants to weaken the body of Christ as a whole.
However, (ahhh, don’t you just love a however!) we know the end of the story. We know that victory is ours through Christ. We know that Satan has already been defeated.
But there is something else that we need to remember…
There are still men, women, and children all over the world who don’t know Jesus. They have never felt the freedom that comes from surrendering to God’s unfailing love. They need to be reached. This is why we cant give up on fellowship. This is why we must choose to love, forgive, and push through for our friendships. It’s more important than ever to create a unity that can stretch out to those that need us most. We can’t do it alone. We can’t do it through gossip and bitterness. We need strength and love in numbers.
In a few weeks, I’ll be putting together some ways that we can practically strengthen our friendships. Until then, here are some verses about friendship/fellowship that you can pray over. Pick a few that speak to you (or find your own), and try creating a prayer plan for fellowship in your own life.
1 Samuel 18:1 As soon as he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!
Hebrews 10:24-25 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another…
Acts 4:32 Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common.
Romans 14:18-19 Whoever thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbringing.
Romans 15:7 Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.
1 Peter 3:8 Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.