12 What man is he that feareth the LORD? him shall he teach in the way that he shall choose.
Let’s look at some aspects of fellowship. It’s a very commonly used word in the Christian world.
If we go to visit friends we sometimes say, “we’re going to fellowship”.
What does it mean to have fellowship with one another and fellowship with God at the same time? Should you focus on the fellowship with the brethren and enjoy worshipping God together or focus rather on having fellowship with God.
Fellowship means to spend time with people who are walking the same road as you are walking. And for us as Christians it’s not just any road. It is spending time with people who are walking God’s way.
Who are those that walk God’s way. Our text clearly says, “he that feareth the LORD”.
It is only if we live in the fear of the Lord that God will show us His way. For “he that feareth the LORD – him shall He teach in the way that he shall choose.”
So we cannot have fellowship with one who does not walk God’s way.
When we are one in heart and soul and eager to walk God’s way, it is not short-term human enthusiasm, which is very common. When a new work of God is started you will find great enthusiasm from most, but that is human enthusiasm and is short-lived.
George Muller also experienced it. When he started his first orphanage it was as if heaven was opened and every one donated something. From all over people donated to this great work of this man of God. But after a few months the donations started drying up, for that early enthusiasm of most was a human enthusiasm.
God told us not to throw our pearls before the swine. Do you think then that God will throw His pearls before the swine. If a person doesn’t live in a healthy fear and respect for God, do you think God will teach such a person His way? No, then you waste your time in church and it will only be boring. Or worse, you will go in ways that God did not direct you, for your own heart deceives you.
God said to Gideon that those who were afraid of the battle should rather go home. God does not use cowards in His army. So about 20000 went home of an army of about 30000 and about 10000 were left.
Remember the things that were happening in secret between Gideon and God; how God strengthened Gideon by various miracles, the last one when Gideon went down to the enemy camp and overheard one man telling his friend about a dream he had that Gideon would overcome them.
So after the cowards left God said to Gideon that they were still too many and they must be tested at the waters. So only 300 were left, and God in a miraculous way gave these 300 men the victory.
After God gave them the victory one of the tribes of Israel, Ephraim, came and complained against Gideon.
“And the men of Ephraim said unto him, Why hast thou served us thus, that thou calledst us not, when thou wentest to fight with the Midianites? And they did chide with him sharply.” (Judges 8:1).
This also happened again with Jephta, a later judge. God also miraculously gave him the victory.
1 And the men of Ephraim gathered themselves together, and went northward, and said unto Jephthah, Wherefore passedst thou over to fight against the children of Ammon, and didst not call us to go with thee? we will burn thine house upon thee with fire.
In both cases the children of the tribe of Ephraim were not in the forefront and they complained, because they were not consulted and received the glory for the victory.
Some Christians are like the tribe of Ephraim. They cause problems in the body of Christ. They are not in tune with God and they are actually not on God’s way, but when there is victory and glory they want to share therein. They are on a completely different wavelength than their leaders. They only make it difficult for the people of God. They’re busy with their own lives, busy persuing their own fortunes, but when there’s victory, out of the blue they are there and want recognition. And they get furious when they don’t get recognition, so much so that they want to burn the man of God’s house down and kill him!
They become the enemy of God’s people and criticise God’s leader and hate him so that they even want to kill him.
You reach a point where your hatred becomes so great because of your own continual lukewarmness and dullness, that you even want to commit murder because God is using others and pass you by.
Ephraim did the same with Joshua. When he gave to each tribe their inheritance, it was the tribe of Ephraim that complained, saying that they are a big tribe and need a bigger piece of land. But Joshua put his foot down and told them that if they are big and need more land they should go and conquer the nations in the mountains although they have chariots of iron.
If you are not where you should be spiritually, you will find yourself alone even though you be in the same church as the other children of God.
1 John 1
7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
Here is another precondition to have fellowship with one another. If you and I walk in the light as God is in the light then we will have fellowship with one another.
What does it mean to walk in the light? To open up that which is hidden in darkness and expose it. We must expose the works of darkness hidden in our lives. We must not hide it from God and try to get acceptance from God’s children.
This is so obvious in couselling. Some counsel to be accepted and please the counsellor, while there are those that truly want to get right with God.
1 John 2
9 He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now.
Nobody sees the hatred that you have against another person.
Another component of fellowship is that you have fellowship with brothers and sisters if you have gone through some experiences that they have also gone through.
You can even meet a brother or sister from another church or country who has fought the same battles and you will fellowship with that person.
Fellowship is produced in private but it is enjoyed in public. In private you fight your battles and get the victory, but in public you can share with others that walk with God and have fought the same battles.
13 And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs.
14 And they talked together of all these things which had happened.
15 And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them.
As they had fellowship Jesus Himself drew near. They went with Him throughout His ministry. Even when Jesus died, they still waited and feared God. They didn’t suddenly started to see the mistakes in Jesus’ teaching. With the human mind it’s very easy to find mistakes in Jesus’ teaching. They kept everything in their hearts and waited on the Lord for His leading. God was in their fellowship. And the Lord Jesus honoured their faith and faithfulness.
This is how it is possible to have fellowship with one another and with God at the same time.
If you don’t have true fellowship with God you will become an Ephraim among God’s children, constantly unhappy and causing problems.
But if you walk closely with God then you will experience true fellowship with God’s children.