Wednesday, March 8, 2017

The Power of Fellowship and Accountability ~ by Amy Vest

Fellowship and accountability are powerful - immeasurably powerful.

I have said over and over that Jesus is all you need. And I will confirm that and say it again - Jesus is all you need.

In His perfect design He gave us people and human relationships. Why?

God gives us people to encourage one another in following him.

Recently I memorized these verses:
"Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken."  ~ Ecclesiastes  4:9-12

The Lord could have created us and put us each on our own personal islands. But He designed us for community - to impact and be impacted by one another towards Him and living for Him.

Proverbs 27:17 clearly tells us, "Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another."

There is such incredible power in having others to point us to Jesus, fan the flame of love for Him in our lives, and challenge us to go deeper in our relationship with Him.

When I was in my teens, the Lord provided a precious friendship that grew through accountability and fellowship. My friend and I would call one another every 2 weeks to keep one another accountable, share what the Lord was doing in our lives, and find out how we could pray for each other. This friendship has been a mighty tool in the Lord's hand to bring me closer to Him. Just recently we talked again - though now many miles separate us - the fellowship and accountability is priceless.

Many of you have experienced the power of this when you have chosen an accountability partner for the Summer Devotions Pursuit, or a similar friendship.

I love the passage in Scripture that talks of how Jonathan and David's friendship and how they, "...strengthened his hand in God." ~ 1 Samuel 23:16

That is what we are called to in human friendship.

The Lord works so mightily through fellowship and accountability: 
~ Fellowship - a bond, encouragement, and grace in Jesus that comes from sharing the same Savior, love, and goal in life.
~ Accountability - helping, cheering, and challenging one another towards greater depth with Jesus.

I am so grateful for the precious friends that the Lord has used, and uses, to point me to Him in these ways. The impact on my walk with Jesus and life are immeasurable.

These kind of friendships He gives us are priceless companions sharing the path on this journey with Jesus and teammates cheering us on in Him until we cross the finish line of this life.

We are humans who need help, encouragement, accountability, and correction. The Lord often chooses to work through people to provide this grace.

Listen carefully to what this verse is telling us:
"But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin." ~ Hebrews 3:13

I want this to be clear - the enemy of your soul loves for you to be isolated and alone. In this place, he will try to deceive you, discourage you, and distract you. When we are in godly community and relationships, the Lord can use them to speak Truth to one another and help expose lies we are believing and to identify and rejoice in God's work in our lives.

Fellowship and accountability are gifts God has given for our good and His glory - to point us to Him!

Let's embrace them for His glory in our lives.
Here are some action steps you can take today:
~ Ask the Lord to provide a godly friendship/godly friendships
~ Pursue one godly friend/godly friends
~ Establish a pattern for encouragement and accountability - This could be a phone call once every 2 weeks, a coffee date, praying for one another, quoting your Bible memory verses to one another, etc.
~ For more encouragement and practical application, you can watch the video session on "The Heart of Friendship"!

May the Lord work in a mighty way through your friendship and accountability to draw you closer to Him - your God, dearest Friend, and Life!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Miss Amy for encouraging us to find and be friends who point us to Jesus! My sisters are that for me. We just decided to start something new: we are going to prayer together on a regular basis. I'm excited to grow closer to them and to Jesus in this way!