The Secret Of Fellowship
By Andrew Murray
The more I think of and pray about the state of religion in this country, and all over the world, the deeper my conviction becomes that the low state of the spiritual life of Christians is due to the fact that they do not realize that the aim and object of conversion is to bring the soul even here on earth to a daily fellowship with the Father in heaven. When once this truth has been accepted, the believer will perceive how indispensable it is to the spiritual life of a Christian to take time each day with Godís Word, and in prayer to wait upon God for His presence and His love to be revealed.
But how can Christians be taught this lesson and be persuaded to live in obedience to it? The first thing is that the minister himself must be convinced of the great need of daily fellowship with God, and of his calling to train his people to habits of prayer. His hearers must be brought under the impression through the preaching that it is not enough at conversion to accept forgiveness of sins, or even to surrender themselves to God. That is only a beginning.
The young believer must understand that he has no power of his own to maintain his spiritual life. No, he needs each day to receive new grace from heaven through fellowship with the Lord Jesus. This cannot be obtained by a hasty prayer, or a superficial reading of a few verses from Godís Word. He must take time quietly and deliberately to come into Godís presence, to feel his weakness and his need, and to wait upon God through His Holy Spirit to renew the heavenly light and life in his heart. Then he may rightly expect to be kept by the power of Christ throughout the day and all its temptations.
It has been my aim in writing this little book to help Christians to see the absolute necessity of fellowship with the Lord Jesus. Without this the joy and power of Godís Holy Spirit in daily life cannot be experienced. Many of Godís children long for a better life, but do not realize the need of giving God time day by day in the inner chamber through His Spirit to renew and sanctify their lives. Oh that every minister would lead and help those under his charge to grasp this great truth.
Meditate on this thought: The feeble state of my spiritual life is mainly due to the lack of time day by day in fellowship with God. The minister is the one who must teach this lesson to his people, and encourage them to believe that a different life is possible. New life will dawn in many a soul as a result of time spent in prayer alone with God.
To any reader who has found a blessing in reading this little book--I pray you, share the blessing with others. If you have accepted the message that the Lord Jesus will from day to day grant you His presence and love--pass it on to others. However weak and impotent you feel, your faith will be strengthened as you help others to realize the need of fellowship with Jesus daily.
As we think of the need of our country and church, as we think of souls around us, as we think of the extension of Godís kingdom, we ask you, O Christians, to help us find volunteers, who, as true Soldiers of the Cross, will persevere continually in prayer, till God pours out His blessing upon us.
From Day to Day
"The inner man is renewed from day to day" (2 Corinthians 4:16).
There is one lesson that all young Christians should learn, namely this--the absolute necessity of fellowship with Jesus each day. This lesson is not always taught at the beginning of the Christian life, nor is it always understood by the young convert. He should realize that the grace he has received of the forgiveness of sins, of acceptance as Godís child, of joy in the Holy Spirit, can only be preserved by the daily renewal in fellowship with Jesus Christ Himself.
Many Christians backslide because this truth is not clearly taught. They are unable to stand against the temptations of the world, or of their old nature. They strive to do their best to fight against sin and to serve God, but they have no strength. They have never really grasped the secret: The Lord Jesus will every day from heaven continue His work in me. But on one condition --the soul must give Him time each day to impart His love and His grace. Time alone with the Lord Jesus each day is the indispensable condition of growth and power.
Read Matthew 11:25-30. Listen to Christís word: "Come unto Me...and I will give you rest. Learn of Me...and ye shall find rest unto your souls." The Lord will teach us just how meek and humble He is. Bow before Him, tell Him that you long for Him and His love, and He will let His love rest on you. This is a thought not only for young Christians but for all who love the Lord, and this little book would fain help those who desire to live this life of fellowship with Christ.
We will try to put this message as clearly, as lovingly, as urgently as possible. For Christís sake, and in order to please Him; for my own sake, and to enable me to enjoy this blessed experience each day, I will learn the lesson, to spend time each day--without exception--in fellowship with my Lord. So will the inner man be renewed from day to day.
Fellowship With God"As the Father hath loved Me, so have I loved you; continue ye in My love" (John 15:9).
The Three Persons in the Godhead are the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Each One knows Himself as different from the others. God desires to reveal Himself as a Person. Each one of us is an individual, knowing himself as distinct from others, and standing in certain relations to others. God will reveal Himself to us as a Person, and it is our holy calling to enter into fellowship with Him.
God greatly desires this intimacy with man. But sin has come between man and his God. Even in the Christian, who thinks he knows God, there is often great ignorance and even indifference to this personal relationship of love to God.
People believe that at conversion their sins are forgiven, that God accepts them so that they may go to heaven, and that they should try to do Godís will. But the idea is strange to them that even as a father and his child on earth have pleasure in companionship, so they may and must each day have this blessed fellowship with God.
God gave Christ His Son to bring us to Himself. But this is only possible when we live in close fellowship with Jesus Christ. Our relationship to Christ rests on His deep, tender love to us. We are not able of ourselves to render Him this love. But the Holy Spirit will do the work in us. For this we need to separate ourselves each day from the world and turn in faith to the Lord Jesus, that He may shed abroad His love in our hearts so that we may be filled with a great love to Him.
Dear soul, meditate quietly on this thought. Read the words of Christ in John 14:21, "He that loveth Me shall be loved of My Father. I will love Him." Take time to believe in this personal fellowship. Tell him of your love. Say to Him: "Lord, Thou hast loved me dearly; most earnestly do I desire to love Thee above all."
"Thou shalt call His name Jesus, for He shall save His people from their sins" (Matthew 1:21).
As the Lord Jesus was a person, He had His own individual name. His mother, His disciples, all His friends called Him by this name--Jesus. But they probably thought little of what that name meant. And how little do the majority of Christians know what a treasure is contained in that name--Jesus-- "He shall save His people from their sins."
Many think of His death on the cross, they think of His work in heaven as Intercessor, but do they, or do we, realize that He is a living person in heaven, one who thinks of us each day and longs to reveal Himself? And He desires us each day to bring Him our love and adoration.
Christians pray to Christ to save them from their sins, but they know very little how the blessed work is done. The living Christ reveals Himself to us, and through the power of His love the love of sin is expelled. It is through personal fellowship with Him that Jesus saves from our sins. I must come as an individual, with my heart and all the sin that is in it, to Jesus as an almighty personal Saviour in whom Godís holiness dwells. And as He and I commune together in the expression of mutual love and desire, by the work of His Holy Spirit in my heart His love will expel and conquer all the sin.
O Christian, learn the blessedness of each day in fellowship with Jesus finding the secret of happiness and holiness. Your heart will long for the hour of prayer as the best hour of the day. As you learn to go apart with Him alone each day, you will experience His presence with you, enabling you all through the day to love Him, to serve Him, and to walk in His ways. Through this unbroken fellowship you will learn the secret of the power of a truly godly life.
From The Secret Of Fellowship by Andrew Murray. Published by Christian Literature Crusade, Fort Washington, Pennsylvania. Used by permission.
The booklet, "The Secret Of Fellowship" by Andrew Murray, is arranged in short, daily readings, one for each day of one month. Those sending a donation this month to Herald of His Coming may ask for a free copy of the booklet and it will be sent as long as the supply lasts.