What does it mean to “know Christ” in this intimate way, and is that something we really can possess? I believe Paul knew Christ; he just was not satisfied with the depth of his knowledge! I don’t think he was asking for special signs and wonders or for God to whisper in his ear, what he wanted to know was the power of Christ’s resurrection, the fellowship of His sufferings, and to be conformed to His life before identifying with Him in His death.
Too often I am presented with folks who are waiting for “THE EXPERIENCE” to overtake them, throw them to the floor in a holy fit of some kind, or to receive a special warm and fuzzy feeling from the Almighty. Ladies, none of this is emotional, it is all theological. There are no mysterious communications or secret signals that God sends to some of us. God has chosen for this period of time to communicate who He is and what He is about through His Word.
Many don’t realize that the Gnostics were waiting for these kinds of experiential things, some secret wisdom beyond Scripture, and that is heresy!
When I speak of having intimacy with Christ, there are a few things that come to mind. One is the matter of how we worship Him. Our idea of worship is rather narrow and we tend to look at it as the songs we sing on Sunday mornings. Others think of worship as burnt offerings, sacrifices, and ceremonial rituals. However, one look around the congregation while “worship” is taking place often reveals the attitude of the worshippers. Many stare off into space, or absently mouth the words while thinking of anything but worshipping the Living God.
We also think of “doing my devotions” as worship. Sadly, “my devotions” have been reduced to a small book with one verse taken out of context and made to be all about me and how God can make me feel better. Or they are hurried times of speed reading that chapter in the Bible – doing my duty so I can check it off the list for the day.
This is not true worship. Real worship does not consist of rote recitation of prayers, songs, or Bible verses. Jesus said, “God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:24)
Real worship is grounded in the right knowledge about God. You must think rightly about him and the only way to do that is to know Him as He is revealed through Scripture. If you want to know God, truly know Him, you must become familiar with His Word. It is essential to having true intimacy with Him.