The Secret Place Can Save Your Life
Come, Holy Spirit- to You be all the glory.
Life-Changing Theology Blog
"Theology" - personal, first-hand, experiential knowledge of God. Theo + logos, Lit. "God's Word." The Church Fathers believed in primary and secondary theology- primary being the prayerful study of the Scriptures, and secondary being any interpretation of it...in modern times, theology has become synonymous with 'boring, intellectual treatises that no one but an expert can understand...' but Jesus said, "My sheep hear My voice..." John 10:27..."He who has ears to hear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches." Rev. 3:22)
The secret place is a matter of life and death- God's personal word to us here could save our lives. Some people go through life for decades, doing something that seems right, but inside they are dying. This leads to addictions, lashing out because of disappointment, and sin in general because people aren't happy. "There is a way that seems right to a man, that leads to death." (Prov. 14:12) Many people commit suicide, and even die prematurely, because they weren't following the call God placed on their lives, but doing what everyone else told them they should do, even authorities that they trusted.
If Jesus did what people said He should do, He would never have started His miracle ministry, never would have gone to the Cross and shed His blood for our salvation. People said "you're just the son of a country carpenter." Priests said, "you're not allowed to heal people on the Sabbath..." etc. Even Mary and Joseph didn't totally understand at first. They were shocked to find Jesus in the temple, teaching the teachers- He was surprised that they were surprised! God asks people to do the unusual in the Secret Place- the unusual that makes us happy, and that sets captives free. Look at what God called the prophet Hosea to do! It was unusual- yet he was fulfilled, knowing he was following God- as a sign to Israel, God's people. So, too, our marriage is a prophetic sign that the generations of God's people must come together as one. There is no age with God.
What is the Secret Place of Prayer? "He that dwelleth in the aid of the most High, shall abide under the protection of the God of Jacob." (Psalm 91:1) Some translations call "the aid" the "secret place." Truly, we are given divine aid in the Secret Place. He helps us, and protects us from evil- He shows us what to do. "He shall say to the Lord: Thou art my protector, and my refuge: my God, in him will I trust." (2) It is a personal place, where we meet God face to face, like Moses did, conversing with God as a friend. One preacher used to recommend drawing up a chair and asking Jesus to come and sit, and talk- that this is true prayer. "Just a closer walk with Thee..." He is not just "God" but, "my God," my protector, my refuge. Unless we make Him "mine," He can't make us His. This is the most important decision a person can make. If you have not made this decision to truly know God personally, please click here to find out how. "For he hath delivered me from the snare of the hunters: and from the sharp word." (3) Christians should expect to be persecuted, lied about, talked against, even by members of their own families. Jesus experienced this! Yet, "He hath delivered me" from what? The "snare of the hunters." Yes, if you are a Christian seeking deep relationship with Jesus, seeking to serve God's people, there will be hunters- demonic and human- that will come after you. It is inevitable, part of the walk. It would be naïve to deny it. But a "snare" is something hidden- which makes it effective in catching the unsuspecting prey. If the prey knew what to look for, signs of the hunter's trap, he would be nearly impossible to catch. God gives us signs and wonders to show us the devil's traps and how to step over or around them. It's like a river that flows around the rock placed in its path. The prey doesn't have to listen, or learn to avoid the snare- but if it doesn't, it will surely die. Where, how do we learn to avoid the snares? In the secret place. This is where God shows us what/who to avoid, and more positively, what to do/say, who to call/not call, when to pick up the phone or let it go to a message, when to simply wait on Him. Surely, David only experienced victory when he consulted the Lord about going into battle. Saul asked God's blessing as he charged into battle, and lost every time- both were anointed, but only David asked God what He wanted before doing anything. Saul even consulted a witch, seeking wisdom outside of God- this is why God took His hands off of him permanently. "But thou when thou shalt pray, enter into thy chamber, and having shut the door, pray to thy Father in secret: and thy Father who seeth in secret will repay thee." (Matt. 6:6) God will talk to us, if we will only open His Word, the Bible and truly seek Him with our hearts.
He Works in Unusual Ways
Did you know that "God works in mysterious ways" is not found in the Bible? This is a phrase used when people don't understand what's going on. Yet, God never said He would keep His plans hidden from us- quite the opposite. "The Sovereign LORD never does anything without revealing his plan to his servants, the prophets." (Amos 3:7) All baptized people are priests, prophets and kings. God wants us to search out understanding, meaning for what He's doing in our lives. "It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings." (Prov. 25:2)
The Bible does not say, "He works in mysterious ways." It doesn't promote an excuse to simply accept things that we don't understand. We are supposed to ask Jesus in the Secret Place. The Bible does say, however, that God works in unusual ways; His ways are supernatural. "You are the God who works wonders; You revealed Your strength among the peoples." (Ps. 77:14)
He may say to do something unusual- but God always confirms His Word with signs and wonders (Mark 16). If we ask Him, He will make sure that we know it's Him talking- if it is, we know we can trust it. It is pleasing for Him to show us His will. (Eph. 1:9) The Greek word for pleasure here is εὐδοκία, which signifies "satisfaction," produced when something is attained that was being longed for. God is longing for us to enter the secret place and see what He has to say to us. Like one preacher said, all we have to do to truly start hearing God is to get quiet and still, and say to Him, "Lord, what do you want to say to me today?" God has called us to live in many different places- sometimes it wasn't clear until later, the reason why. We had to keep asking, "what did You send me there for?" Twice, we were called to move to a town because we were being sent there for a priest. All the expense of moving, the hours searching online and in person, driving from house to house, searching for the right one- for one person. It was unusual, but prophetic, and God confirmed it in various supernatural ways. For us, we hear the Word in our Scripture time, and God enlightens us as to what He's saying specifically. We ask Him to expand on the word or phrase that is standing out...then dreams, encounters with people out in the world, signs and wonders confirm what He's saying. Many people get off the track because they look for the signs, and then try to find what God is saying through them- but this is not what God does- He confirms His Word through signs...when He told us to move, we started seeing eagles everywhere- literally eagles flying in the sky, on the side of a truck, a statue on someone's lawn, etc.
"Christ calls the person by name and says: 'Come, follow me.' This call, this mysterious inner voice of Christ, is heard most clearly in silence and prayer. Its acceptance is an act of faith." Pope St. John Paul II
Elijah heard the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit. But, it is possible, even easy for the Church to be like everyone else, and just live according to the flesh, doing what seems right and never actually accomplishing God's will, or building His Kingdom. When we come to understand the devil wants to destroy our Godly destiny, which will result is the salvation of many souls, we should be struck by the fear of the Lord and get down to prayer and Scripture reading- get serious about church and the sacraments...why? Because if we don't do what we're called to do, where we're called to do it, many people could go go hell. We need to hear and obey, so that we stay in His will and fellowship, and souls get saved- as Lee Anne always says, "love and forgiveness no matter what; trust and obey, there's no other way." "He giveth grace to the humble," (Jam. 4:6)- those that would ask Him, and not charge ahead into the void without Him, not realizing they are leaping off a cliff with no parachute (then they blame God when all their bones are broken....)
Lord, draw Your people into the Secret Place...show us that for You to draw near to us, we have to draw near to You. You will speak to us words of life, and Your direction could save our lives, and many others'. Lord, have mercy and help us! In Christ Jesus, Dan Devine, M. Div