Hello everyone! My name is Ryan Weeter and today I’m going to be talking with you about fellowship. I’m not shy about telling people how much I truly enjoy fellowshipping with God! I love God! I know that we all love God, I know that we all know he loves us; but there’s an entirely different attitude about it when you begin to actually spend time with Him.
Now I didn’t alway enjoy fellowshipping with God. I was like most other Christians. If I got into my Bible, it was because I had a scheduled reading for the day. If I prayed it was because I needed something from him. I treated him like a stereotypical teenager would treat their parents. I relied on him for food, shelter, clothes, but other than that, I didn’t want to spend time with Him. I knew He loved me and I loved Him, but I loved Him almost begrudgingly. I loved Him like you love a sibling after you got into an argument. Yeah, you love them, but because you have to, not because you want to. Then, I reached a point where just trudging along wasn’t enough anymore. I knew that I needed more. I wanted legitimate fellowship, relationship, and friendship with my Lord God. I just didn’t know how. It still felt like anytime I tried to read the Word I would get bored. Any time I prayed I was just killing time until I had prayed long enough.
Two things happened that changed this. The first was that I was in a Bible class about keeping your eyes on Jesus. How we need to be focused on him in everything and stop focusing on ourselves and what our flesh wants to do. The whole time I was hearing this I was thinking “Yeah, maybe you can do that, but that’s easier said than done.” However, the more he spoke, the more my spirit man cried out. I hadn’t experienced anything like that, there was a yearning for what he was speaking about and I knew I needed it. I went up to him and told him that I wanted that, but I couldn’t do it. I just couldn’t get in the Word, I couldn’t pray in fellowship and I needed to know how to change it. He said something that opened my eyes.
He said that my flesh would never want to spend time in the Word or pray. That it would always try to distract me. That I could ask God for help. He gave me Philippians 2:13 “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.” I didn’t need to be willing all the time. I wouldn’t be naturally willing all the time. I could however, press into God working in me for the will and for the desire to read the Word. God wants to spend time with us, fellowship with us is His good pleasure. All I had to do was ask for help in doing it.
The second thing that happened was something that was brought to my remembrance both by that class and now by me recounting the details. A certain minister had been talking about his own prayer time with God. How, in his earlier days, he would set a timer, go into his prayer closet and force himself to pray for an hour and read his Bible. It served some benefit because it ensured that he was getting into the Word, but it wasn’t serving its purpose of fellowship. One day he was having legitimate fellowship with God and was just enjoying himself in God. He decided that he would just be honest with God and said “God, I’ve got to be honest. When it gets to be about ten minutes before my prayer time I start dreading it.” God said back “That’s ok, I start to dreading it thirty minutes before time.” God doesn’t like vain repetition.
The Bible says in Matthew 6:7 “But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.” Don’t go into your Bible, don’t go into your prayer closet, don’t do either of those just because that’s what’s on the schedule. Don’t go to God saying “Well, it’s that time of the day again, guess I’ve got to pray.” When you go before God do it to spend time with him. Come before God as a child who has matured and realized how much their parents actually love them. Come before God as a child, fully matured, that knows how valuable their council is, how full of love they are, how much they want to spend time with you as well.
I got home that night after the class and decided I would make an official declaration. I wanted this to be a turning point, a start of something new, not lightly decided on. I went into my bedroom, got down on my knees beside my bed, folded my hands, the whole nine yards. I read Isaiah 41:10 which has since become one of my favorite verses and it says “ Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” I simply asked God for help in truly fellowshipping with him.
Ever since that night I have truly enjoyed spending time with God. Sometimes we’ll just talk, sometimes I’ll read chapter after chapter of his Word. I can say without a shadow of a doubt that I love God and not just because I have to. I love him because I want to, because he first loved me, because he’s my father. He’s not someone that I have to spend time with, forced love isn’t true love. He’s someone that I want to spend time with and look forward to spending time with. I want to encourage you today to come before God as I said. As a child who has matured and realized that his parents aren’t someone to love begrudgingly, but someone to love wholeheartedly. Come before God because you want to, not because you schedule says it’s time. Have a blessed day!