Knowing the will and ways of God who is our master as Christians is very crucial since it will help you to build a very good relationship with Him and to do more for Him without asking many questions. With the Christian experience, your encounter with God is dependent on how well you know Him.
Let’s make the following deductions from the scripture reading above:
● A Personal Encounter – that I may know Him
● A Powerful Encounter – and the power of His resurrection,
● A Painful Encounter – and the fellowship of His sufferings,
● A Practical Encounter – being conformed to His death
Every child of God has to have a personal encounter with Jesus. Like Apostle Paul’s Damascus Road encounter as recorded in Acts 19 and his testimony in Acts 22, he was zealous towards God and persecuted the church, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women which the high priest bears witness. After his encounter, Ananias told him,
‘The God of our fathers has chosen you that you should know His will, and see the Just One, and hear the voice of His mouth. For you will be His witness to all men of what you have seen and heard.’ Apostle Paul’s Jerusalem Experience (Acts 22:17-21) and Third Heavens Encounter (2 Cor. 12:1-6) set examples of a powerful encounter with Jesus. Here, Paul saw the Lord talk to him when he fell into trance and He commissioned him to be a minister to the Gentiles.
Another dimension of knowing God is that, Paul was also caught up in paradise and heard unspeakable words which no human is allowed to tell. This encounter is likened to that of John, when he was commanded to seal up and not write what the seven thunders uttered (Rev 10:4). In Paul’s Painful and Practical Encounters (2 Cor. 4:8-17), he was imprisoned, bound in chains, and was even carried in a basket through a window in order to flee death in Jerusalem. Peter, John, Stephen and many first and second-century Christians like Ignatius of Antioch and Polycarp of Smyrna paid a heavy price for their faith. When your knowledge of God changes from theoretical to experiential, you will pay whatever price to keep your knowledge of him.
Through Paul’s many encounters with Jesus, he still prayed that he would know God more and more. Why? Because God is so vast and infinite in His being. The depths of God will call for your deeper engagement. Come up Higher!!