Let Us Have Fellowship

“And the three companies blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers, and held the lamps in their left hands, and the trumpets in their right hands to blow withal: and they cried, The sword of the LORD, and of Gideon.” (Judges 7:20)

Israel was in one of its disobedient times towards the Lord and His Word. As we read in Judges, “Then the sons of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the LORD; and the LORD gave them into the hands of Midian seven years.” (Judges 6:1) It was a time when the Midianites came at will and plundered the land of Israel. The Israelites would cultivate and plant their crops, harvest their corps and store it for their welfare. It was then that the Midianites would come and take the fruits of their labor leaving them to starve and be unable to support their families. It is not God who causes these things to happen but allows them to discipline His people. It is that same adversary that we will battle until the Day of the Lord who seeks to steal, kill and destroy God’s people. (John 10:10) When we forsake God He allows judgment to come upon us that we may know of our dependence and remember that He is our first love.

The Angel of the Lord came to Gideon while he was down in the winepress threshing his wheat. Out of sight from the adversary, the Midianites that they would not plunder the fruit of his labor. “Then the angel of the LORD came and sat under the oak that was in Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite as his son Gideon was beating out wheat in the wine press in order to save it from the Midianites.” (Judges 6:11) The Lord wanted to use Gideon to deliver His people from the Midianites and set them back on the path to true worship of Him.

You may recall the story from Judges Chapter 7 that Gideon had many thousands of Israelite men to do battle with the Midianites. But the Lord told him that there were too many men of Israel and for him to send some of them home to their families. Which Gideon did until there were only 300 men remained to fight. The Midianites were joined by the forces of the Amalekites and together their numbers were too numerous to count. The Bible describes them as numerous as locusts.

The Lord commanded Gideon to divide his small force into three groups to oppose the Midianites. The Lord also instructed them to have only candles and a trumpet each to do battle with. They were to hide the light of the candle under a bushel until the appointed time and then let their light shine while blowing their trumpets and shouting “The sword of the Lord, and Gideon.”

The instruction for this miraculous victory were simple enough. Cover your light until the proper time to unveil it and shout the “Sword of the Lord.” Though they were few God gave them the victory because of their faith and obedience to His commands. This is the same way that we will be given the victory, by our faith and obedience to God’s commands, letting His light of truth shine through us, using the Sword of the Lord, which is the Word of God, and sounding the trumpet of our praises to the Almighty God and the King of kings and Lord of lords. This is how we have victory through and for Jesus. This is the fruit of our divine life with Him that we are designed by God, for God, and to accomplish His divine purposes.

Let us look deeper into this fellowship that we have with God through Jesus Christ. God sent His Son to reconcile us unto Him that we may have fellowship together. “Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.” (2 Corinthians 5:18) We were created to partner with God to accomplish His plan and purpose according to His will.

This is the warp and woof of our being that we were created to have fellowship with our Creator and to serve Him according to His Eternal plan. In Genesis we read, “Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” (Genesis 1:26) “Let us,” the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, the triune Godhead, a fellowship, conferred to create man in their image. God places great value in relationship and intimacy. God is not solo, He is in a relationship with the trinity. Man is created in His image and was not meant to be solo. God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.” (Genesis 2:18) Everything God had created He said was very good except it was not good for man to be alone. Man was created for fellowship.

At creation the world was chaotic. In the first three days God brought order to the world and then the next three days He spent filling the earth with life. Then when God brought order to the earth and there was peace and His preparations were complete He created man. Then God commissioned man to rule over the earth. “Then the LORD God took the man and put him into the Garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it.” (Genesis 2:15) This is the privilege that God has given to man, He has entrusted man with His creation. With privilege comes responsibility and caring for the earth is a larger task than man is capable of so it is a partnership between God the Creator and man the creature. Thus a fellowship between us and our maker.

Man was given three commands of responsibility in his care for God’s creation. Man is to be fruitful and to multiply and fill the earth, he is to subdue the earth, and have dominion over God’s creation. “God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (Genesis 1:28)

In our fellowship with God we are to fill the void of the earth with fruit for His Kingdom. In this endeavor we are to work in fellowship with God through prayer, study of His Word, following Jesus in faith, and letting His light shine through us. The Christian is a fellow worker with God in the Kingdom of God. “For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.” (1 Corinthians 3:9) The commands of the Old Testament parallel the New Testament spiritually. The fruit that we are to harvest is that of His children who have yet to find their way to the narrow path which leads to their heavenly home with the Father. Our fellowship with Jesus transferred us from the darkened kingdom of the world to His Kingdom of light. “For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son.” (Colossians 1:13) This is what man has been called to do. We are to take His light of truth and destroy the darkness of evil with His goodness. This was a purpose of Jesus and by our fellowship with Him it is also our purpose. “To shine upon those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death.” (Luke 1:79)

One of God’s attributes is fellowship and by His creation it is one of ours as well. There are hermits in the world but I question if there are happy hermits. We all desire to have a fellowship. We were created by God to have fellowship with Him and that is the reason that all men worship. God created us to fellowship with Him and made a great sacrifice to provide a way that our relationship with Him can be restored. It is not that He needs us but that He loves us and has a purpose for each one of us. God has called us into fellowship with His Son who has called us to share the Gospel message with every ear that will hear. “God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” (1 Corinthians 1:9)

God desires to partner with us to accomplish His eternal purposes. “Who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity” (2 Timothy 1:9) He chose us to partner with Him, imagine that! We are partners with the Creator of the universe! His glory will fill the earth and His name will be proclaimed by every nation. And we have been called to be a part of that accomplishment through the power of Jesus in which all things are possible. “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13) We can be a part of a World Changing Event if we would submit to the Will of God and fellowship with Him through Jesus our Lord and Savior.

How do we in our partnership with God enjoy this marvelous fellowship and accomplish these miraculous things through Jesus, by our faith and obedience to His commands, letting His light of truth shine through us, using the Sword of the Lord, which is the Word of God, and sounding our trumpet of praises to the Almighty God and the King of kings and Lord of lords. We just do what the Master tells us and take the victory He gives us. “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:29)

Thomas N Kirkpatrick

First Baptist Church of Durant, September 23, 2015

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