One of the things I always pray for is the opportunity, God willing, to come at last to see you. For I long to visit you so I can bring you some spiritual gift that will help you grow strong in the Lord. When we get together, I want to encourage you in your faith, but I also want to be encouraged by yours. - Romans 1:10-12 NLT
I love Paul's desire to be in fellowship with friends and fellow believers. He was constantly praying that God would open a door for him to visit others - for Him to create an opportunity so they could share a meal, equip each other, and encourage each other.
I'm also convicted this morning to be more purposeful in the times of fellowship I have with my friends and family - with those I work with - and with those that I serve. So often in these times of fellowship the discussions remain superficial and never reach a depth to the level Paul is describing in his letter to the church in Rome.
Why do I allow this happen?
As I pondered that question this morning, I came to the realization that I am not allowing my time of fellowship to be Spirit led. Rather, I allow fear to lead in these moments.
Its not that I am afraid of the people I am around, but there are times when I am afraid of how they will respond or what they will think of me if I try to connect on a more personal or spiritual level. Will they feel awkward? Will they change the subject? Will they say in the car on the ride home, "let's not do that again!"
For authentic fellowship to occur, all fear must be driven out. And, in order to get there I need to have a greater confidence in who God has called me to be and a greater confidence in those that I love and serve.
Paul was confident in who he was and knew that he had something valuable to bring to the table of fellowship. He longed to be in the presence of others because he knew that when this occurred God would work through him to bless, equip, and bring joy to others.
Paul was also excited because of the confidence he had in those he longed to be with. He was expectant and knew that God would work through them as well. He knew that he would be blessed and equipped by them.
This is Spirit led fellowship. Trusting in the Lord that He has created this opportunity for a purpose - that He has created each individual present for a purpose - that through Him alone can we conquer our fears and experience true authentic Spirit led fellowship with one another. This is worth praying for each day!
LORD, thank you for allowing us to experience fellowship, love, and the gifts that each of us brings to the table. I know this is possible only because you have fellowship with the Son and Spirit and because we are made in your image. Holy Spirit, give me the courage to be led by you and not by my fears. Help me to be authentic during my time with those I love and serve. Jesus, give me your strength to ask tough questions, talk about personal and spiritual matters that bring us closer to the Father and in turn each other, Amen.
Questions To Consider:
- Are you creating an environment at home and at work where authentic fellowship can occur?
- Are there any fears that prevent you from engaging in fellowship with those you love and serve?
- When was the last time you experienced authentic fellowship, and what were the circumstances?
Make it a great day!