As Christians, we generally define communion as the celebration of the Lord’s Supper. In the New Testament, however, this word has broader applications. The Greek term koinonia is often translated as “fellowship” or “sharing” in the NASB.
Although we usually think of fellowship as a close relationship with other believers based on our union in Christ, Scripture clearly tells us that our fellowship is first and foremost with God, His Son, and the Holy Spirit (1 John 1:3, 2 Cor. 13:14). But since we’re unable to physically see, hear, or touch God, what does it mean to have communion with Him?
Intentional interaction with God is the entry point. For many believers, this takes the form of a morning quiet time spent in Scripture and prayer. For others, Christian music or a scenic walk filters out clutter and turns thoughts heavenward so connection can take place. Then, as we read from the Bible, God speaks into our life and reveals more of Himself to us.
Knowing about the Lord, however, isn’t the same as knowing the Lord. While gaining information about God’s ways and attributes is important, communion is far more than collecting facts about Him; it starts with coming to Him in what some call “alert expectation” of experiencing His presence and culminates in partaking of His very life. In that way, we become vessels both containing God’s life and expressing it to others. What makes the difference is approaching Him in an attitude of submission—a readiness to obey whatever He tells us.
Ideally, our initial connection with the Lord will turn into an open-ended conversation that continues throughout the day: In our thoughts and at times verbally, we share our hopes, struggles, and concerns with Him and listen for His input. When He nudges us in a certain direction, we obey. And at night, we remember and thank Him for His loving care and guidance.
READ Luke 24:13-35
Of course, life’s distractions and struggles can disrupt our experience of closeness with the Lord. When that happens, truth is needed to restore our perspective. Consider Luke’s account of two disciples who walked toward Emmaus shortly after Jesus’ resurrection. Their conversation was focused on the events of that traumatic weekend, but their limited comprehension resulted only in sadness, confusion, and doubt. Even sharing their thoughts and opinions with each other added no insight to their understanding. What they needed was someone to explain the situation from a heavenly viewpoint.
That’s when Jesus showed up. What’s interesting about the interaction is that “their eyes were prevented from recognizing Him” (v. 16). In some regards, many of us today are like these two disciples. When we focus our attention on earthly concerns, it’s possible to pass through life never realizing that Jesus is walking with us. We can become so busy that we never give Him a second thought during the day. And like the travelers on the road to Emmaus, we are left to rely upon our own understanding to figure out life’s difficulties and challenges.
When Jesus joined the two disciples, He taught them to see the troubling events of His suffering, death, and resurrection from a scriptural perspective. By the time they reached Emmaus, the men were so impacted by Jesus that they urged Him to stay for dinner. It was in that intimate setting of a shared meal that their eyes were finally opened and they recognized Him.
• From Luke 24:17-24 and Luke 24:29-35, how would you describe the attitude of the two disciples before and after Jesus joined them?
• What instructions are we given in Colossians 3:1-3 to help us see life from God’s perspective? How might you make this a reality in your daily life?
• Read Psalm 4:4-8, Ps. 5:3, Ps. 25:4-5. What insights do you gain about communing with the Lord throughout the day?
• According to these Scriptures, how can we maintain fellowship with God through the various seasons in our lives?
- In good times: Psalm 100:1-5
- In hard times: Psalm 62:5-8
- In need: Matthew 6:25-34
- In abundance: 1 Timothy 6:17-19
• What does John 15:1-11 add to your understanding of intimate communion with God? How would you explain what it means to “abide” in Christ?
• What place does the Lord have in your thoughts throughout the day? What situations cause you to remember and turn to God? Which ones hinder you from thinking about Him, and what can you do to shift your focus to Him more?
• How does the command given in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 relate to communion with God? Put this into practice tomorrow and notice any difference in your outlook. Whenever your mind is not occupied with responsibilities, carry on a silent conversation with the Lord.
• Over the next few weeks, watch for God’s guidance, interventions, and revelations each day. Give your physical senses a greater role in how you commune with Him—letting what you see, hear, taste, smell, and feel remind you of His love and provision. When you perceive Him working in your life, pause to praise and thank Him. Record your insights as an added reminder to watch for Him the next day.