15 For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you and your love for all the saints, 16 do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers; 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. — Ephesians 1:15-17
This may have been a prayer that Paul prayed on behalf of the church at Ephesus, but it’s also a prayer that God is wanting to answer in your life right now in this hour.
As 2020 progresses (can you believe it’s February already???), I am becoming more and more convinced that it’s the knowledge of God that God wants to increase within us this year.
Without a doubt, God wants us overwhelmed within, so we cannot be overwhelmed without.
He wants us to know Him in such a way that results in the greatest strongholds of internal peace and joy.
When the knowledge of Him floods our heart, we cannot be overrun by the circumstances of life nor the opinions of men.
This is what it means for Jesus to dwell in our hearts through faith (see Ephesians 3:17).
He wants to fill every room that’s in your heart.
But if the knowledge of God is going to increase in our life, this means that this ought to be a year
marked by encounters with God.
Let’s face it…
The knowledge that God is looking to increase in our life is one of experience.
I can only experience someone that I intentionally seek after and make time for.
I must open myself to Him.
If I am going to encounter Him, I must seek Him where He resides.
Matthew 6:6 holds the key: “But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.”
Where is God found?
I love this so much… and it’ll prove difficult for me to describe why I love it so.
If God is in secret, He’s waiting to be found.
He LOVES the fact that we would pursue Him.
The fact that God is in secret tells me that He wants to have something with you that He does not and will not have with anyone else.
It’s between you and Him.
God enjoys privacy with you, and He rewards intimacy.
God waits to be found and the reward is finding Him.
The thrill of the pursuit results in the joy of discovery.
Seclusion (shut out the distractions).
Solitude (get alone).
Silence (wait on the Lord).
These three are the key ingredients that go into the recipe of encounters.
When you do this in private, you reveal who you are doing it for.
But please don’t be misled… these encounters that will produce the knowledge of Jesus within us will come with a price.
There’s a price to be paid prior to and after the encounter.
You’ll have to be intentional.
Remember, it’s daily bread that God wants to give and He will not refrigerate what you were
supposed to eat yesterday.
What we fail to eat today will be no good tomorrow.
Matthew 13:44 tells us that the kingdom of God is like a treasure hidden in the field (it’s something we must seek after). When a person finds it, they will go and sell all that they have to purchase the field because of the joy over what they’ve discovered.
Here’s the deal: You can’t be rich in one thing without being poor in another.
If you want to be rich in knowing God, you will have to make sacrifices.
You cannot spend your affections on yourself.
But the price you pay pails in comparison to the joy you reap through what you find.
The encounter will also demand something of you after the fact.
It’s not ok to remain the same.
The encounter will demand change.
It’ll require you to live differently, respond to life differently, and treat others differently.
It’ll challenge you to love God more than you do currently.
These private encounters are to produce private things within you.
They will not be for public display.
God wants to give us more of Himself so that we come out looking more like Him.
You will never have to advertise what God will make so plainly evident through inner transformation.
Not only will God reward you with Himself; He will also reward you with conversion.
The ball is ultimately in our court.
It’s one thing to hear a prophetic word that says, “This year will be a year marked with encounters.”
It’s another to respond and say, “And encounters I will have because I will pay the price for them.”
- Brian Connolly, Faith Like Birds Ministries