"Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals. But for Adam no suitable helper was found. So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.” That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh. Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame." Genesis 2:19-25
Can you imagine a world where everyone was complete in himself and didn't need anyone else? Actually, there is a place like that! It is called Hell!
You and I were created for fellowship. God placed that desire in the human psyche. He did that because He desires fellowship with us. He built in an "incompleteness" that will drive us to seek relationship with Him and with others.
In short, God wired us to need Him and to need each other. Relationship is what we need and fellowship is how we do it!
There are two places where fellowship is demonstrated as it was designed to happen, in Eden and in Jerusalem at the beginning of the Church. Relationships have never been healthier than in those two places so doesn't it make sense to see what we can learn about them?
In both situations, God was the focus of their relationship. They fellowshipped together with Him. They sought God together. God was their point of connection, spiritually and emotionally. Therefore, they had oneness in in their marriages and unity in their fellowship! Doesn't that sound good?
Also, in both situations God was the focus of their rules. Think about this, God only makes rules to protect and enhance relationships. When He gave Moses the Ten Commandments they were for the purpose of guiding relationships - the first four show how to relate to God and the final six set up guidelines for healthy relationships with others. When Jesus came, He distilled the Ten down to two: love God and love your neighbor.
And thirdly, God was the focus of their reason for loving and living. Motives are key in relationships. Why do you want to be with another person? What needs are you trying to meet by coming into relationship? God comes into a relationship to meet the needs inherent in that person. His reason for relationship is to develop healthiness and holiness in a person who will have relationship with Him. Godly relationships focus on giving because love gives. Giving was rampant in the Early Church. One of the things that forms a foundation for fellowship is the desire to meet the needs of others in order to please God.
Fellowship is the result of relationships done well! Relationships done well focus on relationship with God, ordered around God's rules for the reason of developing holy people!
Make sense? Sound good?
How are your relationships? What is the focus of your relationships? What is the reason for your relationships?