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"For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God" (Rom. 8:15-16).

How much time do you spend fellowshipping with your Heavenly Father? For most people, that's an embarrassing question. They get nervous at the very suggestion that a mere human being could actually fellowship with God. But they shouldn't. In fact, if they were getting their information from the Bible, if they were living and talking and acting like who the Bible says they are in Jesus, they'd be living as though Jesus is their very best friend.

Of course, if they did that, some folks would think they'd gone off the deep end. I know, because they already think that of me. They say, "Kenneth Copeland, you're out of your mind. You're trying to bring God down to your own level."

But what they don't realize is this: I didn't have one thing to do with that! He came down to our level of His own free will. He died and bore our sins by His own desire. I didn't have to bring Him down to my level. He came of His own accord.

I've had other people tell me, "You're trying to raise yourself up equal to God." But I didn't have anything to do with that either. The Bible says, "(He) hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places" (Eph. 2:6). I didn't do it. He did it! That's the good news! That's the gospel! I didn't have to lift myself up. He's already done it.

On top of all that, God Himself has said in His Word that He wants to get into a close relationship with us. First Corinthians 1:9 says that He's called us into fellowship with Him!

Fellowship. We've been invited to fellowship with the Most High God, His Son, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. That's the highest honor that could ever be conferred on us!

Take a moment to get hold of that. You weren't just called to escape hell by the skin of your teeth. You weren't just called to be a church member. You weren't just called to be healed and prosperous. All those things are wonderful, but that's not all He's called you to.

You're called to fellowship with Him, to walk with Him, to talk with Him and to discuss the things of life with Him. In fact, 2 Peter 1:4 says we're called to "participate in the divine nature" (NIV).

Listen to me. Every believer, I don't care who you are, has the right to hear the voice of the Spirit of the living God. And not shouting at you from off in heaven somewhere, but from right there inside you.

I hear people say, "Well, God's never said anything to me." That's where they're wrong. He's been talking to all of us. He's sent His Spirit to lead us into the truth, and He's been doing His job just fine. The problem is, we haven't spent enough time fellowshipping with Him and listening to Him to hear what He's saying.

We've thought we were fellowshipping with Him, but most of the time, all we were really doing was having a string of emergency meetings - waiting until a crisis developed and then running to God for an answer.

I used to do that myself. But one time God said to me, Kenneth, do you realize how much it would mean to Me for you to just come to Me sometimes and say, "Father, I didn't really come today to get anything. I've prayed about my needs already, and Your Word says they're met according to Your riches in glory by Christ Jesus. So I just came to be with You. If You have anything You'd like to tell me, I'm ready to listen - and I want You to know that whatever I see in Your Word, I'll do it. I'll put it into effect in my life."

Most people don't know much about that kind of relationship with God. But the Apostle John calls that fellowship, and he says that kind of relationship with God is what gives us joy (see 1 John 1:3-4).

Emergency praying may give you relief. But fellowship - the intimacy of everyday closeness - is what gives you joy.

One night after a worship service, a friend of mine and I stepped outside and were suddenly awed by the beauty around us. It was one of those crisp, clear winter nights when the brilliance of the moon and stars nearly takes your breath away. I said to my friend, "Tommy, will you look at that!" Then he looked up with one of those Holy Ghost whole-face smiles, and with a voice full of tenderness said, "My Daddy made that!"

"My Daddy..." I'll never forget the way he said that.

Some people might think he shouldn't have been talking in such familiar terms about God. But they'd be wrong. It's scriptural to talk that way about Him. In the New Testament there's an Aramaic word for father: Abba. The most accurate translation for that word in English is "Daddy." It's a word that signifies closeness. It speaks of a relationship that's been developed through time spent together.

Father is one thing. Daddy is another.
Growing up, my father was sometimes my father and sometimes my daddy. When we were out duck hunting, he was Daddy. When he gave commands he meant to be obeyed instantly, he was Father.

God is like that too. He's my Father, and He's my Daddy. There are times we're very serious and down to business with one another. Other times we're more lighthearted. All the time we belong to one another.

This may come as a surprise to you, but I can tell you from experience that if you'll get to know God and give Him the opportunity, He'll even share His sense of humor with you. He really will. I've had Him say some things to me that cracked me up. But most people don't take the time to develop that kind of fellowship with Him. You see, fellowship is not just relationship. It's beyond that. You can have a relationship without fellowship, but it's like having a marriage without love. The basic structure is there, but the heart of it is missing.

Jesus had more than a relationship with God. They shared the same heart. In Mark 14, there's a gripping picture of the two of them in the Garden of Gethsemane just a few hours before Calvary.

It shows Jesus falling on the ground and praying that if it's possible, the hour ahead might pass from Him. He knows He's about to bear the sin and grief of the whole world. He knows He will be alone, separated from His Father, and He's falling on His face before Him crying out, "Abba." "Daddy, Daddy." It was an incredibly intimate moment.

But here's the amazing thing. According to the Bible, you and I can have that same kind of intimacy with God! In Romans 8:15-16, the Apostle Paul, speaking to believers, says, "For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. And the Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God."

Do you hear what I'm telling you? The very same Spirit with which Jesus cried, "Daddy," is the same Spirit with which you cry out to God, "Daddy!"

If you've made Jesus Christ Lord of your life, Jesus is inside you. He's washed you clean by His blood so that now you, too, can cry, "Abba...Daddy!"

I wish I could just pop your head open and stuff this in there until your head and spirit were overflowing with it. God is just as much your Daddy as He is Jesus' Daddy. You have every ounce as much right to call Him Father as Jesus does, because you belong to Jesus.

When I get to thinking about this, I get so excited about it. It's so thrilling to relax in God's presence! Being able to relax in His presence doesn't mean you lose your reverence for Him. In fact, you'll find that as you get to know Him more intimately, your reverence for Him will increase. But instead of being the kind of "reverence" that makes you dodge Him, it will be the kind of reverence that draws you to Him.

Another thing: The more you fellowship with the Father, the more you'll realize how reliable His Word is. Did you know one of the biggest problems people have is coming to grips with the fact that God's Word is 100 percent reliable? It's not difficult to figure out why we have trouble with that. It's because the majority of people have no confidence in their own word.

But the more you fellowship with God around His Word, the more honest and honorable you'll become where your own word is concerned. You'll develop joy. You'll develop faith. You'll start developing God's own characteristics - just by fellowshipping with Him. You'll begin to understand that you're related to Jesus.

I remember one day I was reading the story of the woman with the issue of blood who touched the hem of Jesus' garment and was healed.

I'd read the story many, many times and pictured myself as almost everybody in the story - just experiencing how it would feel to be someone in the crowd or the one who was healed.

Suddenly God spoke to my spirit and said, Read that again, and this time picture yourself as the One wearing the garment.

I was stunned. "Lord," I said. "How can I do that? I can't take Your place!"

That's just what's wrong with the Body of Christ, He told me. That's the reason the world doesn't know anything about Jesus. You identify with everyone except Me. But I sent you to be My witnesses, to imitate Me, to stand in My place - not everybody else's!

Well, I read it again. This time I pictured myself in the role of the One with the Anointing of the Holy Ghost. Instead of crawling up to touch the hem of His garment, I was the one wearing the garment, freely giving what God had given me.

Once I started reading it like that, I got excited. I wound up reading the rest of the New Testament from that perspective and fellowshipping with Him about it.

Finally I said, "Jesus, I'm beginning to realize how You felt about things when You were here. I'm feeling the compassion You had in You. I'm seeing people, more than ever, through Your eyes. I am beginning to understand more about why You baptized me in Your Holy Spirit."

Not long after that, I found myself in the middle of a group of sick people who wanted to be healed. It didn't feel strange. In fact, it seemed like I'd been there before. Because I'd been fellowshipping with Jesus, all I had to do was just act like Him. I'd already spent time with Him. I'd been learning how He thinks and suddenly it just started coming out of me.

Did you know that's what scares the devil most of all? He knows when you start fellowshipping with the Father, you begin to act like Him. You begin to get strong. And the stronger you get, the more you fellowship with your Father and with your Lord Jesus until He becomes more than just your Savior. He becomes your brother. He becomes your healer. He becomes your financier. He becomes your leader and your guide. Then you get to the place where nothing means more to you than pleasing Him.

It's no wonder the devil wants so desperately to keep you from fellowshipping with God. It's no wonder he'll devise any strategy, any diversion - big or small - to keep you from spending quality time with your Father. He knows that only by interrupting that fellowship can he even begin to get a foothold in your life.

I've seen proof of that over and over again. In my own life, I've discovered that when I fail to fellowship with God, my Word level starts slipping and I begin to slip back toward that depression and oppression that He originally delivered me from.

What's more, since joy comes from fellowship and Nehemiah 8:10 says, "The joy of the Lord is your strength," when I get preoccupied and neglect my fellowship with God, I get weak.

Let me warn you. It's not enough to be out there doing God's work if you're not giving Him any personal time. That can get you into trouble. I know, because I've messed up that way many times.

You see, when God speaks to you to do something, you don't need to get in a big hurry. What you do need to do is fellowship with Him about it. There'll come a time when He'll say, All right. Now it's time to do it. Then you can get in a hurry.

Here's the bottom line: You'll never truly know God's will and way for you, you'll never know Him for Who He really is until you learn to fellowship with Him and develop a good friendship with Him and bless Him with your friendship.

So begin right now. Make the decision that you will be one of those people they call a "Word person." I mean you will put God's Word as first place and final authority in your life.

No matter what the world says, no matter what practicality says, no matter what your feelings say - you will walk with God and make your friendship with Him the most important thing in your life.

That's when things will change for you. That's when you'll begin to discover that you really like your Heavenly Father and you can relax in His presence.

That's when you'll truly realize that you don't have a spirit of fear anymore, but a spirit of adoption whereby you cry out, "Daddy, Daddy." That's when, with each day that passes, you'll find yourself more and more right at home in the kingdom of God.

Excerpt permission granted by
Eagle Mountain International Church, Inc.
aka:  Kenneth Copeland Ministries

Author Biography

Kenneth Copeland
Web site: Kenneth Copeland Ministries
 
For the last 50 years Kenneth and Gloria Copeland have been passionately teaching Christians all over the world how to apply the principles of faith found in God’s WORD to their lives.
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