Arrows of the Almighty
Solitaire Time With God
"But when He who had set me apart, even from my mother's womb, and called me through His grace, was pleased to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with flesh and blood, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went away to Arabia, and returned once more to Damascus. Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem ..."
It's important to see that Paul did not present himself to the Apostles in Jerusalem who had lived and served alongside with Jesus for three years in public ministry. He wanted to hear from God so he hide himself in the Arabian desert for three years till he had totally surrendered to the Lordship of Christ and was totally sure he had gotten things straight with God.
Does Paul not need his brothers in the Lord? Is He looking down on those who had gone before him as apostles? Absolute not, it was the Spirit of God who put him aside to be alone in the desert for three years to talk to him - teaching him as he considered the implications of his encounter with the risen Christ on that Damascus Road. Each one of God's children who had learned the deeper secrets of the gospel of Christ Jesus have had times of solitude with Him alone. Each of us need to deliberately set aside times for quietness, soul searching, confession, and meditation waiting upon the Lord - listening to His voice and getting used to His Presence. Alone with God, Paul began to understand the unfathomable mysteries of God's sovereignty, election, man's depravity, the divinity of Christ, the life changing power of the Resurrection, the fellowship of believers, and the wonders of future things.
Paul grew in grace concluding that "whatever things were gain to me, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be lose in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish in order that I may gain Christ." (Philippians 3:7-8)