1.4  Fellowship with God: Plunging to the Depths

"If we live by the Spirit, 

let's also walk by the Spirit" 

Galatians 5:25

In John 4:24 Jesus said "God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth." Yes, fellowship with God occurs "in Spirit". Fellowship with God is interaction with God's spirit in the invisible spiritual realm. 

Here and now we will see intricate details of this invisible fellowship with God, made visible in the Spirit from the scriptures. And we will plunge into the depths of this fellowship. We will walk by the Spirit!

So, how do we "walk by the Spirit"? And what does the Spirit do? 

Bear with me and you will see. After you know what the Spirit is doing, then you will be able to walk with Him.

In the introduction you saw that the post-Pentecost believer is indwelt by the Holy Spirit... and therefore fundamentally different from Old Testament believers. In subchapter 1.1 you experienced the intimate reading paths, to connect personally with God in His words. You experienced the highest path for intimately reading scripture, the Fifth Path. In the Fifth Path,  you learned to PRAY scripture. In subchapter 1.2 you plunged more deeply into that Fifth Path. In subchapter 1.3 you learned that the fellowship of the Fifth Path does not end when the quiet time comes to a close. It never ends. Through day and night, with every changing circumstance, you turn within to the Lord. You turn, turn and turn again. This is the Sixth Path, walking by the Spirit.

Now, we will plunge to the depths! Into the depths where there is deep fellowship with God, in the Spirit. You will experience joy in this fellowship. You will experience pain as well. There in the depths you will intimately experience Him who is within you. 

Continue with me a little longer, to see the intimate spiritual interaction with the Holy Spirit which our Lord has ordained for those who will walk with Him.

Come with me now... into the Holy scriptures...

The apostle Paul wrote, 

  • "But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh" (Galatians 5:16). 

So, if we walk by the Spirit, the scriptures say that we don't sin. That tells us what we don't do when we "walk by the Spirit." But if we just sit around, doing nothing... are we "walking by the Spirit"? No. We aren't.

The phrase "walk by the Spirit" contains two parts. There is the "walk." The "walk" is something that we do. We are going somewhere, doing something. 

The "walk" is a spiritual "walk." How do we know this? Because the second part of the phrase is "walk by the Spirit". It's not a puzzle. Its simple. It is exactly what it says. We walk "by the Spirit". 

If your earthly father said "walk by me", what should you do? You would walk beside him. If he turned left, you would turn left. If he turned right, you would turn right. If your earthly father said "walk in me", what would you do? You would do what he does. If you are in Him and He is in you, you would do what he does, as he does it. So, whether your translation says "walk by the Spirit" or "walk in the Spirit", they mean the same thing. 

Walking by the Spirit is similar to walking by your earthly father. But whereas walking by your earthly father is a human task, walking by the Spirit is a spiritual one. And, the Holy Spirit with whom you "walk by", is within you. The Holy Spirit within you is doing something. His workings are described in detail from the scriptures in chapter 3. 

What does the Holy Spirit do?

From subchapter 3.3 the Holy Spirit prophesies, preaches, teaches, speaks through us, provides words for witnessing, testifies, convicts unbelievers, reminds us of scripture, leads, warns, intercedes and speaks to us through our conscience. He can be resisted and lied to. 

From subchapter 3.4 the Holy Spirit provides power to hope, comprehend, witness, guard the Gospel and do combat in the spiritual realm. 

From subchapter 3.5 the Holy Spirit regenerates, renews, sanctifies, gives life, seals, brings joy, peace, true confession and distributes spiritual gifts. He is a gift and a conduit for gifts of God's love. 

So, now you have seen a broad spectrum of the workings of the Holy Spirit. Many of those works are to sanctify those who are saved. But others are directly involved in saving the lost: 

For example, the Holy Spirit prophesies, preaches, speaks through us, provides words for witnessing, testifies, convicts unbelievers of sin and reminds us of scripture (subchapter 3.3). The Holy Spirit also regenerates, renews, sanctifies, gives life and seals (subchapter 3.5).  Subchapter 3.4 also reveals that the Holy Spirit provides power to witness.

So, how could we summarize what the Holy Spirit does?

As a summary, lets just say that the Holy Spirit is at work, all the time, to save the lost and to sanctify the saved. 

Now that you know some of what the Spirit does, I ask you again: What does it mean to walk by the Spirit?

It means to follow and participate in what the Holy Spirit does... in what He does for and through you. 

To "walk by the Spirit" is to work with the Holy Spirit to save the lost and sanctify the saved.

The Holy Spirit does more than help us to be good and give us peace in suffering. The Holy Spirit is at work making disciples of all nations. If you want to  "walk by the Spirit", you will need to participate in what He is doing... You will need to make disciples at some level. It's easy. Jesus said that it is. I will show you.

I am not saying you need to go to another nation to make disciples. You can make disciples in the nation where you are. At some level, you can work to save the lost and to sanctify the saved. This book will show you how, in intricate detail. 

The chapter on prayer proves from the scriptures, that we should pray prayers to save the lost and sanctify the saved. Christ and the apostles prayed these prayers or instructed the saints to pray them. In other words, God has instructed you and I to pray them. If you will pray them, you will be working to save the lost and sanctify the saved. Those prayers are in subchapters 4.2, 4.3 and 4.4. 

In Matthew 4:19, Jesus said 

"Come after me, and I will make you fishers for men." 

Then in Matthew 28:19 Jesus said 

Go and make disciples of all nations". 

Do you see the connection between the two verses? Making disciples is what we do when we follow Jesus. All Christians are "disciples" and all "disciples" are supposed to make disciples. This is clearly revealed from the scriptures in the appendix (A5).

Let me repeat Galatians 5:16:

  • "But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh" (Galatians 5:16). 

So, while "walk by the Spirit" does not sin. There is something that the "walk by the Spirit" actually does. It makes disciples. It makes a disciple of you. It also makes disciples of those around you. The Holy Spirit does this directly by communicating within their minds. He also does this through God's children. If your are His, then He will work through you. He will also work to sanctify you and bring you peace and joy as you follow Him, making disciples. 

If you have never participated with the Holy Spirit in making disciples, then begin the process right now by praying the Endorsed Prayer of the Harvest from micro-subchapter 4.4a. 

"Pray therefore that the Lord of the harvest will send out laborers into his harvest" (Matthew 9:38). 

Please don't hesitate. Go ahead and pray it now and pray it daily. Ask God to send workers into the harvest. At the time of His choosing, after He has prepared you, He will send you.

(Please pray now.)

With the truths regarding scripture, prayer and meditation in chapters 1-3, you will be able to use the specific and detailed prayer weapons of chapter 4,  to "the throwing down of strongholds" (2 Corinthians 10:4).

Next, I will provide a little more detail about intimate communication with the Holy Spirit as we "walk by the Spirit"... as we are being sanctified... as we make disciples!

Spiritual Communication From the Holy Spirit

  • "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are children of God" (Romans 8:17).
  • "the Holy Spirit says, 'Today if you will hear his voice, don't harden your hearts"' (Hebrews 3:7).
  • "When they bring you before the synagogues, the rulers, and the authorities, don't be anxious how or what you will answer, or what you will say; for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that same hour what you must say" (Luke 12:11-12).
  • "the anointing which you received from him remains in you, and you don't need for anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you concerning all things" (1 John 2:27).

The anointing is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit communicates with God's children. 

Spiritual Communication to the Holy Spirit

  • "But Peter said, "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit..." (Acts 5:3).

God's children communicate with the Holy Spirit. 

One might be deluded into thinking that all of the thoughts in one's head are one's own. They are not. As we debate in our mind, we are often debating with the Holy Spirit. Ananias was. And Ananias lied to the Holy Spirit.

Can the Holy Spirit Put Ideas into our Minds?

The Holy Spirit prophesies, preaches, teaches, speaks through us, provides words for witnessing, testifies, convicts unbelievers, reminds us of scripture, leads, warns and intercedes. He speaks to us through our conscience. He can also be resisted and lied to. All of these communications come from the Holy Spirit. This is proved from the scriptures in subchapter 3.3 titled, "Spiritual Communication".

The Holy Spirit is not mute. For example, God will communicate wisdom to you if you ask for it (James 1:5). However, if you doubt that God will communicate His perfect wisdom to you when you request wisdom through prayer, He will not communicate wisdom to you through your prayer. Regarding one who asks for wisdom with doubt, the scriptures say "that man shouldn't think that he will receive anything from the Lord" (James 1:5-7). This is explained from the scriptures in micro-subchapter 4.2a.

So, God's communications to us are limited by our unbelief. It is not that He can't communicate with us when we pray with doubts. His word says that He won't. Therefore, some of God's children experience much more spiritual communication from God than others. This is because they believe that He will communicate to them, in response to their prayers. 

Do you doubt that God will communicate with you? The remedy for doubts is to ask God to multiply your faith by praying the Endorsed Prayer of Faith as explained in micro-subchapter 4.3a. From 1 Timothy 6:11 we know that we should "follow after" faith. From 2 Timothy 2:22 we know that we should "pursue" faith. Asking for more faith is pursuit. He multiplies our faith. 

We Walk by the Spirit Through Prayer

  • We hear the Holy Spirit through prayer. 
  • We obey the Holy Spirit by prayer. 

This is revealed in detail through the scriptures in subchapter 4.7 titled, "Walk by the Spirit". But below I will provide a brief explanation:  

Hearing by Prayer:

It is by the Endorsed Prayers for Spiritual Communication in subchapter 4.2 that we receive knowledge of God's will, enlightened eyesight, revelation and wisdom. 

Obeying by Prayer:

By the Endorsed Prayers for Spiritual Needs in subchapter 4.3 we receive obedience as we pray prayers for obedience, power, strength, faith and love. 

So, we hear the Holy Spirit by prayer as we ask for knowledge of God's will, enlightened eyesight, revelation and wisdom. Then we obey the Holy Spirit by prayer as we pray prayers for obedience, power, strength, faith and love. Again, subchapter 4.7 explains this in detail, from the scriptures.

Fellowship With God

Now that you have a little familiarity with spiritual communication according to scripture, let me introduce you to our working definition of fellowship with God.  

Fellowship with God is a two way conversation in the spiritual realm, as we follow Christ, bearing His yoke in the world. 

That definition is the skeleton on which the various parts of this book are attached. One chapter in this book, "Fellowship with God in Paradise", presents fellowship with God in a future age. Our definition for fellowship with God will change in that chapter. But the other six chapters in this book present various aspects of Fellowship with God in this present age.

Bearing the Yoke of Christ is integral to those six chapters. It is key to all of them. Its really very simple.  We can't follow Him if we aren't doing what He is doing. Bearing the Yoke of Christ is the same thing as making disciples. 

Furthermore, it is through bearing His yoke that we receive rest. That sounds upside down to receive rest through work. But that's what Jesus said. That is what I have experienced. That is the way that it is. Let me repeat the definition and then I'll explain.

Fellowship with God is a two way conversation in the spiritual realm, as we follow Christ, bearing His yoke in the world.

Man's side of this conversation is prayer. God's side of this conversation is communication through scripture, the Holy Spirit and creation. This two way conversation takes place in the spiritual realm as we follow the leading of the Spirit. So there are three essential components to being in fellowship: God's side of the conversation, man's side of the conversation and following Christ. The chapters in this book will add details to each of these three components, from scripture.

Man's Side of the Conversation:

Man's side of the conversation is prayer. Chapter 4 will present the Endorsed Prayers. These are prayer topics endorsed by scripture. We will see what the apostles, prophets and Christ prayed... what they instructed us to pray. We will see that they asked God for greater faith and love. They also asked for understanding of God's will and word. They prayed for the salvation of the lost. They asked God to speak through them. They even asked for obedience.

God's Side of the Conversation:

God communicates through scripture, the Holy Spirit and creation. Later subchapters will present scriptures detailing the spiritual communications of the Holy Spirit. He convicts the world of sin. He preaches the gospel through Saints. He gives us words to present the gospel. He teaches "about all things". He reminds us of scripture. He puts thoughts into our minds. He leads and warns.

Following Christ, Bearing His Yoke:

To follow Christ is to bear His yoke. We have fellowship with Him if we bear His yoke and learn from him. In Matthew 11:28-30 Jesus said,

"Come to me, all you who labor and are heavily burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 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. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."

The yoke of Christ is the ministry of making disciples. A yoke is an implement of work. It is used to harness two animals together to pull a burden. It is His yoke that we take. 

So, what work of Christ do we take? His yoke is to make disciples. It is written: "the Son of Man came to seek and to save that which was lost" (Luke 19:10). Jesus also said, "I came that they may have life, and may have it abundantly" (John 10:10). 

Jesus said that His yoke "is easy". It is. We repeat the words of the Father and pray the Endorsed Prayers. If your suffering is great, then you are precisely the type of person Jesus is addressing. He invited "all you who labor and are heavy burdened". Subchapter 2.3 titled, "The Easy Yoke of Christ" explores the yoke of Christ in greater detail. But, for now, I will repeat the verse here for your convenience:

"Come to me, all you who labor and are heavily burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 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. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."

Please notice that in verse 30, Jesus said "my yoke is easy."

Fellowship with God 

"Fellowship with God" is a scriptural term. We see it in 1 John 1:3 and 2 Corinthians 13:14. It is the same thing as certain other scriptural terms you may be familiar with. For example: "Walk by the Spirit" (Galatians 5:16, 25), "Abide in me" or "Remain in me" (John 15:7), "following the Lamb" (Revelation 14:4) and ""walk in the light" (1John 1:7). All of these terms describe "fellowship with God". 

One who is converted to Christ, may have fellowship with God. A convert may also be "lukewarm". To be "lukewarm" is a state of broken fellowship with God. It is a miserable state. The "lukewarm" convert is discussed in subchapter 2.7. The abundant life comes to those who are in fellowship with God, not the lukewarm. There is a price to pay in this world for being lukewarm. So I say as  Paul said,

"Walk by the Spirit"

Communication from God through Creation

The focus of this book is to help God's children have fellowship with God through scripture. But what about those who never had access to scripture? Does God just leave those people to burn? No. According to scripture, God uses His creation to communicate very specific information directly into the minds of all men, even those who never received access to scripture. Click here to read the subchapter titled, "What Does Romans 1:20 Mean? General, Natural and Special Revelation". Or, you may follow the table of contents to find the link to that subchapter in A9 of the appendix titled, "Odds and Ends".

The Next Subchapter

You are now reading in chapter 1, subchapter 1.4.  In this subchapter we have seen that we should interact conversationally in the spiritual realm through the words of God, so that we may "walk by the Spirit" in the world. This is the life which God has ordained for us in this age until He takes us home to Paradise!  

 We have one more subchapter to go in the chapter titled "Fellowship with God through Scripture."

The next subchapter will present the scriptural conditions for understanding scripture. Subchapter 1.5 is an incredibly important chapter. It is titled "Conditions for Understanding the Word."

Group Discussion Questions

Please prayerfully consider the following questions:

1) What is the working definition of fellowship with God used in this book?

2) Can we follow Christ if we don't do what He is doing?

3) As we have fellowship with God, what is man's side of the conversation? What is God's side of the conversation?

4) What is the yoke of Christ?

5) How can the yoke of Christ be easy?

6) We can't follow Christ if we don't understand scripture. What subchapter in this book explains how scripture says that we understand scripture?

All of the answers to all of these questions may be found in this subchapter 1.4.

"our Fellowship with God is with the Father, 
and with his Son, Jesus Christ"
1 John 1:3

Have a question or want to share how this book has impacted your life?