You were created to know God in a deep and personal way. He never intended for your relationship with Him to be distant, formal or mechanical. He knows you. He has a plan for you that is beautiful, adventurous and significant. And most of all, He created you to have fellowship with Him.
The Apostle Paul wrote to the church in Corinth, “God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord,” (1 Corinthians 1.9 NIV). The word “fellowship” means to share life together. Think about it: Jesus always lived in close, loving fellowship with His Father. He listened to His Father and obeyed Him completely.
Craig Etheredge, author of this article, is one of the speakers at this year’s National Disciple Making Forum. Learn more and register here.
On one occasion Jesus said, “For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does,” (John 5.20 NIV). Another time Jesus told His followers, “I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love,” (John 15.9-10 NLT).
From eternity past, Jesus enjoyed unbroken love and fellowship with the Father because He was always obedient to His Father. Now He invites you into that fellowship. When you came to Christ, you stepped into fellowship with Jesus and with the Father — the same fellowship that Jesus enjoyed with the Father from the beginning of time.
Jesus told His disciples, “When I am raised to life again, you will know that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you,” (John 14.20 NLT). What an amazing thought!
Now, the basis for any fellowship is communication. God wants you to hear His voice and follow Him. You may be thinking, “Does God really speak today?” Absolutely! He has always spoken to His people. God spoke to Noah about how to build a boat. God spoke to Joshua and told him to march around Jericho. God spoke to David and gave plans for the temple. God spoke to Daniel with prophecies of the future. God spoke to Elijah and brought fire down from heaven. God spoke to Moses face to face, as one friend to another.
(Psalm 50.3 NIV) says, “Our God comes and will not be silent.” The question is not, “Does God still speak?” The question is, “Are you listening?”
Do you know how to listen to God? All through the Scriptures we are directed to listen to God’s voice and obey Him. Consider the following verses:
• “Love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him,” (Deuteronomy 30.20 NIV).
• “I listen carefully to what God the LORD is saying, for he speaks peace to his faithful people,”
(Psalm 85.8 NLT).
• “Speak, for your servant is listening,” (1 Samuel 3.10 NIV).
• “He who has ears to hear, let him hear,” (Matthew 11.15 ESV).
• “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion,” (Hebrews 3.15 NIV).
This blog was originally posted on discipleFIRST’s blog, which you can access here. Used by permission.
Written by Craig Etheredge
Craig is a gifted communicator, author, and Bible teacher. Craig and his family moved to Colleyville, Texas in July 2007 to serve as lead pastor of First Baptist Church where he currently serves. In addition to leading the local church, Craig is involved in the local community serving on the Board of Directors for Baylor Hospital, Grapevine, Board of Directors of Christian Counseling Associates, Mission Board SBTC, Chaplain for the Colleyville Police Department, and football chaplain for Birdville High School. He has a Master of Divinity from Southwestern Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Craig met his wife, Liz, in the fifth grade and they have two daughters, Leah Beth and Abbie.
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