The following is an excerpt from Seven Realities for Experiencing God, an eight-session study of seven scripture realities from Exodus 3 that teaches believers how to develop an obedient love relationship with God. Learn more at lifeway.com.
Now get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen and will see of me.” —Acts 26:16
Before the apostle Paul’s conversion experience on the road to Damascus, Jesus already knew Paul and had a specific assignment for him. But Jesus revealed this assignment only after Paul’s conversion (see Acts 9:15). Paul was so misguided that in his sincere efforts to serve God, he had actually been waging war against Christians. Although God knew what He wanted for Paul, He waited to reveal it to him until He gained his attention and became his Lord.
Our Lord doesn’t come to us to discover what we’d like to accomplish for Him. He encounters us in order to reveal His activity and invite us to become involved in His work. An encounter with God requires us to adjust ourselves to the activity of God that’s been revealed. God never communicates with us merely to give us a warm devotional thought for the day. He never speaks to us simply to increase our biblical knowledge. Our Lord has far more significant things to reveal to us than that. When God shows us what He’s doing, He invites us to join Him in His activity.
Do you want to experience God today? Don’t seek to hear from God unless you’re ready to ask, as Paul did, “What shall I do, Lord?” (Acts 22:10).
As you read the accounts of God’s miraculous work through men and women in the Bible, you may wonder whether God still performs such miracles today. Be assured that the same God who walked with Moses, Joshua, Elijah, Peter, James, John, and Paul now lives within you. No power can defeat the God who guides you. The God who blessed them is just as capable of working out His purposes through your life. The same God who gave them victory over seemingly invincible enemies, who provided for them when their own resources were insufficient, and who guided them in their decisions is prepared to work as powerfully in your life today.
Too often we acknowledge our belief that God can do whatever He wants; then we add a safety clause: “But I just don’t think God will do that with me.” We become practical atheists, believing God can perform miracles but never expecting a miracle in our own lives.
The heroes of the faith had one thing in common: they were all ordinary people with no power of their own. The difference was the mighty presence of God. Times may change, but the miraculous effect of God’s presence remains the same.
Excerpted from Henry & Richard Blackaby, Seven Realities for Experiencing God. © 2015 Lifeway Press. Used by permission.