The results of the fellowship of life: we enjoy God, we walk in the light, and we bear much fruit for God!

The fellowship of life is something so precious and so vital – it is the flow of the divine life in us and among us. When we have the fellowship of life, we are enlightened by the Lord’s light to see our sins and then we confess them to God – and His blood cleanses us from our sins(1 John 1:7). The fellowship of the divine life supplies us with all that God is so that we may live the Christian life and the church life. If this fellowship is interrupted, we simply need to come to the Lord and confess anything that He shines on in our fellowship with Him – and the fellowship is restored. I love the verses in 1 John 1:5-7 which say,

God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and are not practicing the truth; but if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from every sin.

This morning I enjoyed some of the results of the fellowship of life, as we see them mentioned in the Bible:

  • We obtain the enjoyment of the Triune God(1 John 1:4). The first thing that happens when we fellowship with the Lord and we fellowship with the saints is that we have the enjoyment of the Triune God! As we open to Him in this fellowship, we enjoy all the riches of the Triune God being dispensed into us, and we enjoy God! Fellowship actually implies enjoyment, a mutual communication and transmission – we enjoy God and God enjoys us
  • We obtain the light of God(1 John 1:5-7). Just as we see in these verses, God is light and if we fellowship with Him, we will be brought into the light of God that we may have His light. Being in darkness is a proof that we do not have fellowship with God or that our fellowship has been broken. But if we have fellowship with God or with His children, we certainly are in the light of God. As believers we love to enjoy God and walk in the light of God – we are children of the light.
  • We obtain the cleansing of the blood(1 John 1:7). As we walk in the light, we are being enlightened and exposed by God to see our sins and then confess them to God – as we confess, based on the Lord’s promise and His righteousness, His blood cleanses us from all sins! We don’t just start confessing without the fellowship that brings in light – our confessing of our sins is based on the Lord’s light that shines on us and shows us what we are/what we have done, and this light comes from our fellowship with the Lord – the fellowship of life.
  • We have the Lord’s abiding in us(John 15:4-5). If we abide in Him by having a continual fellowship with the Lord, the Lord abides in us! When we abide in the Lord and fellowship with Him, we receive the supply of His life in a constant way. He abides in us and becomes our life, our power, our joy, and our peace – that we may enjoy Him and all the riches of His life in a practical way! We just need to abide in the Lord by maintaining the fellowship of life – the fellowship with the Lord and the fellowship with the other believers in Christ.
  • We bear much fruit to glorify God(John 15:8). Our abiding in the Lord and His abiding in us is for the purpose of bearing much fruit that God may be glorified! As we receive the life supply from Christ as the vine, we bear much fruit! Our fruit in our spiritual life issues from our abiding in the Lord and fellowshipping with Him. When we bear much spiritual fruit, God is glorified because in us and through us His divine life is expressed! This is the result of fellowshipping with the Lord – we bear fruit for the increase of God’s expression, for His glorification!

Hallelujah – so many positive wonderful and glorious results of our being in the fellowship of life and maintaining this fellowship! The practical way to know, sense, realize, and ejoy the fellowship of life is by the sense of life within us. Just like in our physical body we have a sense when something is wrong or a member is sick YET we have no feeling when everything is fine, so in our spiritual life we are full of feeling when our fellowship with the Lord is interrupted. If we are walking in the light, in the fellowship of life, we do not have any special sensation. But when we have any negative and abnormal sensations – this proves on the one hand that we have the fellowship of life, and on the other hand it proves that there’s something wrong with our fellowship with the Lord! The fellowship of life is not just realized by the sense of life – it is also preserved, safeguarded, and protected by us paying attention to the sense of the divine life in us.

Lord, we love You and we love Your divine life growing and flowing in us! Continue to grow and develop in us, Lord! We just want to pay attention to the sense of life within and follow You by listening to this sense! Lord, bring us more and more into the light that we may have fellowship with one another! Thank You that Your blood cleanses us from every sin once we come into the light and we confess our sins! Thank You for such a provision, and thank You for such a glorious result of our having the fellowship of life! Be expressed in us, Lord, and be glorified in our bearing fruit as we abide in the fellowship of life!

Not an exchanged life, but a grafted life: Christ replaces us by living in us, with us, by us, and through us!

This week we are enjoying the fact that Christ is God’s Beloved, His Favorite, and He is the One who is all and in all in God’s economy – so He replaces everything and everyone else with Himself! In God’s eyes, Christ is the best, and Christ is the One God wants – so all that God gives us is just Christ! Now, when most of us hear about “Christ replacing us”, we think that we are about to be finished, and Christ will come in to “totally replace us” or, in the words of many seeking ones, we have an “exchanged life”: Just like on the cross Christ was our substitute, dying in our place, so today He comes in and He gives His life to us in exchange for our life – especially since our life is so low, so pitiful, and we can’t do what He says in His Word. But the Bible shows us a different view of what it means that Christ replaces us, and so here is John 15:5 which says,

I am the vine; you are the branches. He who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing.

What we see here is that, just as Paul later said, we who were once branches in the wild olive tree are now “grafted” in ChristHe is the vine, and we are the branches. The way He replaces us is just like the vine “replaces” the branch: by grafting a branch in the vine, the source of life and supply comes from the vine, so that the life of the vine is fully expressed through the branch! In this way, there’s an organic union that takes place between us and the Lord, and in this union we are being replaced! Here replacing denotes and implies an organic union, whereas exchanging annuls our union with Christ. What we see in the New Testament is that Christ’s replacing of us is altogether a matter of the grafted lifeChrist is the vine, and we are the branches! When we first believed into the Lord, we were “cut off” from our old source, our old man, our old way of living, our own master – and we were grafted = organically united with / in Christ! Now daily as we abide in the Lord and we enjoy Him, spending time with Him and fellowshipping with Him, Christ is growing in us and He replaces us by living in us, with us, by us, and through us.

It’s not that “He lives, and we’re wiped out/obliterated“, or we’re like “robots” in His hands – NO! This is the enemy’s concept to keep us away from this wonderful life-long organic union with the Lord. We live, yet Christ lives in us(Gal. 2:20)! The branch lives, grows, bears fruit, is expressed, yet it is the vine who is expressed in the branch! And this vine, a type of Christ, is so rich! Just as we saw previously, the all-inclusive Christ, who transcends our comprehension and understanding, wants to become everything to us in a practical way! Our need is just to be infused, saturated, and permeatd with Him until in our experience daily Christ is everything to us: He’s our food, our drink, our feasts, our holy days, our Sabbath, our new moon, our transportation, the air that we breathe, our everything! As we enjoy Him daily, He practically becomes our everything little by little in our experience! In this way, Christ lives in us, with us, by us, and through us! [enjoyment from the Life-study of Isaiah and the life-study of Colossians, as quoted in the morning revival on the Crystallization-study of Isaiah(1)]

Lord, amen, keep us enjoying You daily! We want to be saturated, permeated, and soaked with this flowing divine life in the vine! Keep us abiding in You as the branches, that we may express You! Come in, Lord, fill us and replace us more today!

a turning point in my attitude toward my Christian life, the Poland European YP Conference 2010 in Male Ciche

Although it has only been about a month since I have returned from my time at the European Young People Conference, I feel as though I will look back on that summer as a turning point in my attitude toward my Christian life. The two things that impressed me the most were the importance of prayer, and the special fellowship about the believer’s influence on the world.

For me now prayer finally, finally begins to make sense. It became real to me. As a young person growing up in the church life, it’s often easy to make such a special function with the Lord a ritual or an obligation. During the many times I was “forced” to pray in the young people meetings, I’d spit out the phrases and words I was used to hearing my serving ones pray. While the words I prayed were by no means bad prayers, there was no feeling of burden behind it from me. Occasionally, I’d pick up a burden to pray for my friends at school—yet without such a feeling from the Father within, my burden was limited. Matthew 9:36 says

And seeing the crowds, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were harassed and cast away like sheep not having a shepherd.

I began to see how limited my human effort was to even love mankind. As humans, we naturally seek companionship with others. Yet, our capacity to be sociable, to want to help others for the “common good,” runs on a dry well. Still, there is One within us that lays His life down for the brothers, and that is the Lord Jesus Christ. There is only one High Priest, and He dwells in us. Praise the Lord!

Thus, prayer simply means that we in ourselves are not able, but the Lord is able. Once this clicked, I was floored by the multitude of matters I could pray for. Now I understood how the saints could spend just two hours praying together every week! The church itself is laid on the foundation of prayer. Without such transactions with Him, God’s economy has no way to move on this earth.

In our day-to-day travels going from Milton to Romford to Glasgow to Edinburgh and finally Male Ciche, relying on the Lord as our guide was a crucial lesson. The sisters and I faced countless troubles conquering the public transportation system, compromising everyone’s different agendas and the stress of living in unfamiliar territory. Sometimes all I could say was, “Lord, I just need you right now.” By His mercy, the Lord covered us throughout the trip, and placing us in houses with home meetings with saints during the times we most needed supply from others.

We were blessed to join a prayer meeting with some newly migrated saints in Glasgow for the Lord’s testimony there. I could really sense the Lord’s yearning in the saints to bear fruit and gain a testimony in Scotland. Though we might have been inside a small room on a dreary rainy day, I felt as though we were on a glorious mountain top. The Lord was shining on our faces because we were praying for His heart’s desire.

I was also impressed with the special fellowship “The Believer’s Influence on the World,” in the Poland conference this year. Matthew tells us that as believers, we are the salt of the earth, the light of the world, and the seeds of the gospel. Matt. 5:13 asks us,

… But if the salt has become tasteless, with what shall it be salted? It is no longer good for anything except to be cast out and trampled underfoot by men.

This is serious word. Have we lost our function as the salt of the earth? Such a question convicted me to reflect on my living and testimony to my friends in high school. I recall times when I was ashamed of the gospel, feeling uncomfortable even mentioning the word “God” or “Lord Jesus” in front of my classmates.

Without a secret, hidden life with the Lord, we lose our function as the salt of the earth. This is nothing we do. It is not our ability to even be a good person. Once we are filled with the enjoyment of Christ, and overflowing with Him, others will spontaneously sense the divine life within us and see the light of God.
John 15:5 tells us to abide in the Lord Jesus: “I am the vine; you are the branches. He who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing.”

I’ve come away with my time in Europe with a fresh appreciation of how precious the church life is. Despite our cultural differences and language barriers, we all share the same divine life within us. We can pray together, pursue together, and abide in the Lord together as His corporate expression. Lord, by your mercy, keep us enjoying You individually and corporately! [guest post: sister Diana, sharing her enjoyment from the 2010 Europe trip & the Poland camp] [Read this article in Spanish – cómo cambió mi actitud hacia mi vida cristiana, la Conferencia europea para jóvenes 2010 en Male Ciche]

in this universe there is a battle for worship; we worship God and we give Him all the glory!

Some people are “frightened” when they read the book of Revelation, especially when they see that there will be a time when Satan will get all the worship – through Antichrist, when he calls himself “God”(1 Thes. 2:4). In this universe there is a great battle for worship – when the Lord was on the earth, Satan tempted the Lord Jesus to worship him and he will give the Lord all the world with its glory(Matt. 4:9). Worshipping is giving God that which one day will be exclusively His. Satan fears our worship of God, and his kingdom is maintained by our worship of him(the result of this worship of Satan is sin).

Especially at this time, we want to give God a special worship, enjoying Him and living in our spirit, because we see that Satan is getting more and more worship for himself. Whenever we are not enjoying the Lord in our spirit, we offer Satan the worship that he wants. No, Satan cannot touch us in our spirit – this place is reserved only for God. But through our fall, our soul has become independent from God – just like Satan is. Satan’s principle is independence and rebellion towards God. Our soul, our untransformed soul, the self, is independent from God and “does what he wants“. “Do what you want to do” – this is the most common thing you hear today. Even as believers, whenever we are not abiding in the Lord by living according to our spirit, we worship Satan, we give him food – he feasts on our living in our self/our flesh, and he grows: from the little serpent in Genesis, he becomes the great dragon in Revelation.

Our spirit is forever tied to dependencewe depend on God for life in our spirit, whereas our soul is forever tied to independence, since we have fallen in Adam. Our whole life we learn to develop and increase, enlarge, cultivate our soul. Education, culture, the social life, knowledge – all these “enlarge” and grow man’s soul, so that it becomes the predominant part in man’s being. We need culture, education, the social life, knowledge, etc – but we need to have a continual turn to our spirit as we’re in all these. Otherwise, we become like the others, a generation of stubborn and self-sufficient men, who do what they want, when they want, with whomever they want. Actually, whenever one lives out what he wants, without him expressedly knowing it, he is under Satan’s control and does his will – unless you depend on the Lord, you are one with the other one in this universe, God’s enemy. So we must learn how to live by our mingled spirit and ask the Lord to deliver us from the power and the grip of our ever-increasing soul.

This is why the Lord said that we must lose our soul-life, we must take up our own cross, and follow Him. This is a ongoing daily experience: we give God the worship that He desires by us denying ourselves and enjoying Christ, drinking of Him, in our exercise of our spirit! Let us NOT do things by ourselves, according to what we think / the way we want it, but come to the Lord and check with Him about everything. Let’s give Him our worship and let God have all the glory! Glory be to God! He is worthy, He is wonderful, and He is our life! Today we worship only God!

spending time with the Lord to have His desire and thoughts imprinted into us

A genuine man of prayer – a genuine Christian – is not only one who spends time with the Lord every day, but also one who allows the Lord to mingle His desire and His thought with his own. We need to allow God to infuse us with Himself, to mingle Himself with us, in the time we spend with Him. It is OK to pray for our needs – and we should; but if this is all we pray for, though the Lord may grant us what we want sometimes, this does not satisfy us or Him. This even shows how weak we are – especially since many times we pray out of “lust” for things! Also, these kind of prayers, for ourselves mainly, are of little worth…. But when our prayer originates from God’s need which is infused into us in our time with Him, then what we utter will be His desire, His thought! This is the prayer He desires to hear + answer, and this satisfies both us and God!

We don’t know what to pray for as it is fitting, but the Spirit joins in with us in our weakness…. the Spirit intercedes for us with groanings which cannot be uttered(Rom. 8:26). In us, the Spirit in our spirit groans, prays continually, longing for us to know the mind of God so that we may pray what is on His heart…. In order for us to know God’s mind and His heart, we need to spend time in His presence, opening our being to Him, allowing Him to shine on us and infuse us with what He is…. even to be silent before Him and wait on Him! As we sit at His feet and listen to Him, whether praying over the Word, consecrating ourselves to Him, or even being silent before Him, He gives us a feeling, His desire, infuses His thoughts into us! If we continue to spend time in this way with the Lord, we will be thoroughly mingled with God and to the extent that His thoughts are our thoughts and our desire are His desires. When we are in such an organic union with Him, He has a free way to pray in us and accomplish His will on the earth. This is when we can exercise to bind and release on earth what has already been bound and released in the heavens!

Lord, imprint Your desire and Your thought into us! Grant us to be open to receive Your thought, Your heart’s desire…

take time to behold Christ, to fellowship with Him and absorb Him

Ever since the Lord has appeared to us the first time, we have been captivated by this lovely One. Now we just love to take some time – even “steal” some time from our daily activities/routine/things to do – to fellowship with Him, pray, enjoy Him, read the Word, and just spend time with the Lord Jesus. This is the way we are being built in our faith, this is how He shines on us to expose us and also supply us, and this is how we learn to know Him – who He is, what He is to us, what He desires, what His mind is, what His intentions and feelings are – all that pertains to Him…..

This taking time to behold Him – by opening our being to Him and just inviting Him in to speak to us – is a vital practice in our Christian life. Many times lots of other things and activities/persons/situations get our attention, and we tend to forget about the Lord. But Christ is in us and He so is desirous to have us spend some more time with Him. Through the things that happen in our life, He lovingly brings us back to Himself, the fountain of living waters, even the tree of life, of which we are branchesabiding in the vine! Let the world rush on – we want to spend much time in secret with Jesus alone. In joy or in sorrow, we still follow our Lord – and, looking to Jesus, we still trust in His Word!

As we read His Word, the Holy Scriptures, by being open to Him within and contacting Him, we absorb Him – what He is / has / has done / has attained / has obtained – into our being. We received Him initially, but we daily need to be nourished and take Him in, so that the divine life in us would grow. This is what happens in our fellowship with the Lord – both personally and collectively in the meetings of the church – as we take time to behold Him, the Lord appears to us, and we are being infused with His element. This rich infusion of His presence causes faith to rise in us, and our organic union with the Lord is deepened. This is so wonderful! Lord, draw us to spend more time with You every day!

our gospel preaching must be our living, and this should be normal

The Lord’s commission in Matt. 28:19 is to go into all the world and disciple all the nations; His promise in Acts 1:8 about the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples also says that “you will be My witnesses both in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and unto the uttermost part of the earth“. On the one hand, we need to “preach the gospel”, but in all these verses it is about witnessing, about living out the gospel, having a living that issues in the gospel! Preaching the gospel must not be a move or an activity – it must be a part, an element, of our normal Christian life.

Actually, a witness is a martyr(same Greek root word) – we testify about the Lord Jesus with our words and with our life/living, even at the cost of our life. Paul said that he was willing to spend and be utterly spent on behalf of the saints(2 Cor. 12:15) – to preach the gospel even at the cost of his life. This is our life and our living as a Christian: we live to magnify Christ, to preach the gospel! We may not be martyred physically, but we spend our whole being on the ones we speak to and we take care of. Just like a mother who travails for her children, we travail, we labor, we spend and are even utterly spent on behalf of the souls of the ones the Lord placed on our heart.

In Thessalonians we see that a clean heart and an upright living, together with loving the new ones even by giving our souls to them – these are the prerequisites for infusing others with the salvation conveyed in the gospel we preach. Our heart must be pure, our intentions clean, and especially we need to have a proper attitude towards money. Our living must be upright, even one with the Lord in our daily walk. And with the ones the Lord placed on our hearts, we need to love them, and be willing to spend&be utterly spent on their behalf. Just like the Lord Jesus, who gave Himself up for us, as He is in us and we are in Him, in this wonderful organic union, we love them and impart to them even our own souls – in an affectionate way, as a nursing mother would care for her children, cherishing and nourishing them…

This is our normal Christian life, a life in which we enjoy the Lord daily, we abide in Him, we eat Him and drink Him, and spontaneously there is an issue – we love one another, and we take care of the new ones even at the cost of our life. And our living is just a preaching, a witnessing, a living and magnifying of Christ. Lord, grant us to have a normal Christian life!