If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth 1 John 1:6
With – What’s so important about a preposition? Who cares about those little words like in, over, before, or about? If you’re reading John’s New Testament contributions, there’s at least one preposition that’s very important. It’s meta (with). John uses it with a special sense. It is his way of describing discipleship. Fellowship with Jesus means allowing Jesus to clean up my whole life (see John 13:8) and participating in the community of the washed. The nuance of meta in John’s writing is the idea of being in the midst of something. So, if I am going to have fellowship with Jesus, He must be in the midst of me and I must be in the midst of the community established by Him.
John tells us that Jesus in the midst has special significance for my actions. If I claim that Jesus is with me, but my behavior doesn’t fully disclose this total involvement in the midst, then something is wrong. I can’t claim fellowship in the midst and, at the same time, act in ways that deny His authority. I am either walking in the Way, or I am not. It’s not possible for me to serve God with a part of me while deliberately withholding some other area from His lordship. It’s possible for me to be ignorant, but once I know the truth, I must submit to it or else I live without Him.
We agree, don’t we? We know that consistency is essential to obedience. We want to have deep fellowship with Jesus. Nothing could be more thrilling than to walk the road of life with His constant companionship. It’s possible, but it comes at a price. The price is submission to criticism. The Father intends to bring us into conformity with the Son. To do that, He must enlighten us wherever we are out of harmony with Jesus. So, wherever our thoughts and deeds do not display the character of the Son, we receive critical correction. It might come in prayer. It might come in conversation. It might come in community. But it will come, over and over, as long as we live. The price we must pay is the price of humility and confession. We must accept what God brings to mind when He calls our attention to a meta failure, confess our fault and fix it. We pay this price in ego currency. Each new revelation gives me the opportunity to empty another one of my ego bank accounts. And each time I empty an ego account, God replaces it with meta fellowship.
Along the Way, we learn to become more and more sensitive to the prepositions of the Spirit. In Christ. Because of Him. With Jesus. Through Him. By His power. Together. And one day, before the throne, face to face.