In engaging ones self into a spiritual life, there is a longing in the human person for a sense of connection with the divine that is above the life and death factors as we know it. To do this effectively in Christianity may not happen every day if one is going by feelings. An enduring habit is to be at a place of listening in the quiet moments where the physical reality is dulled down and not grabbing our attention.
I remember an interview with Mother Theresa where she was asked how she starts her day. She said she starts it in prayer listening to God. When asked what God says she said he is listening too. How to do this? How does it work? She said only it is something to be experienced and not explained. I am left with the impression in part of the resurrection of Jesus that is central to that understanding. Death and silence were all around in that tomb three days after Jesus was crucified. But while it was still dark, something outside of the life-death cycle that man defaults to happened. Jesus happened. And for Christian faith to develop properly and apply God’s grace going on 2,000 years it is a matter of hope from the resurrection in the dark and in the light, in the quiet and in the noise. Because of the resurrection, which leads to Jesus ascending to heaven, we are given the Holy Spirit with several graces to live out a resurrected, grace filled life. As individuals, we can know the Jesus in the power of the resurrection and in a personal way that outshines the allure of anything else as Paul writes below.
Indeed I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as refuse, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own, based on law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith; that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that if possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead (Phillipians 3:8-11).
To connect the resurrection to intimacy is connected to the new covenant in Christ which is marital and familial as we look through the Bible. We are to worship the Father in spirit and truth (John 4:23) and be called to the wedding supper of the Lamb as is said frequently in Revelation. Marital intimacy may in a sense more greatly implied by Paul’s comment.
The Greek word translated know is ginōskō (ghin-oce’-ko). This word carries the normal meanings of the word know as we typically use it in English. In the Greek, however, it also carries the idea of knowledge grounded in personal experience. It is to know and to experience, and that means to understand. In the Jewish religious sense of the day, it was used to describe sexual relations between a man and a woman, as in Adam knew Eve. Ginōskō, therefore, is an intimate knowledge of a person or thing (The More Sure Word, http://www.themoresureword.com/2011/04/19/experiencing-truth/)
Knowing Christ in the power of his resurrection begins in grace.
I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me (Galatians 2:20).
Notice, it is Paul cooperating with God’s grace but it is Jesus who made and makes the leading move. The work of grace is God being the primary mover working through faith so we can do good works (Ephesians 2:8-10). The Greek word for work here is ergō which is a primary but obsolete word; to work; toil (as an effort or occupation); by implication an act: – deed, doing, labour.
But if we are to know Christ in the power of his resurrection together, how is it lived out in our works of participation? And what would be the greatest of those works? Would we still avoid a striving of our own effort and, if not, how? For that we look to the words of Jesus, the apostles and early church fathers.