THE SECRET PLACE
“He that dwells in the secret place of the Most High
shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” (Psalm 91:1)
GIVING AN ACCOUNT OF OUR TIME
It is not a secret or a mystery, that many things in this life can influence and effectively distract us. I realize that we can blame the modern advancement of our culture as an excuse why we are so busy, but we are only justifying our distorted motives. We can live in denial and be convinced that we do not have the time to enjoy the simple things in life, but we are just playing selfish games. If we stand back and pray for the ability to see God’s view, we may notice “we” have actually designed our lifestyle. This is the reason why most people do not enjoy the tranquility of being silent before the Lord and run away from the idea of spending private time with Him. It is easier to hear the whisper of God when we are quiet and this is why many are uncomfortable. We do not want to feel His conviction telling us we are wrong. Many do not want to face the idea of a future occasion where they will stand before God and give an account.
Let us look at an interesting example. The recent gun argument is becoming the hot topic of the day similar to the prohibition war that was raging seventy years ago. (This article is not about my opinions about the right to bear arms or gun control). The parallel I am trying to focus on is; a gun by itself has never killed anyone, just as knives do not stab people or missiles do not blow up cities all by themselves. Likewise, a television or any other communication device is a created, inanimate object that can be used as an instrument to project sin or it can be used to broadcast God’s truth. Each one of us operates with our freewill to choose every minute what we will say, what we listen to, what we watch and how we will act.
I must admit that what I am about to say also includes me. I have spent my fair share of time watching reality television, especially the ones that are about home improvements. I find these interesting because I enjoy working on my home and seeing new ideas and products. I am not saying these programs are corrupting us, but rather they are consuming our time. Who is really in control – the one holding the remote or the one doing all the talking? The other day, someone at work mentioned how the ancient Romans were infatuated with violence and allowed their conscience to become calloused toward watching humans being devoured by wild animals within the confines of a sports arena. I am convinced our curious nature has a built-in capacity to absolutely, “love” to watch others. In addition, it would seem the appetite for entertainment and violence never becomes satisfied. This craving and addiction for human “reality” has been a part of our personality since creation. Most people love to gossip and talk about what everyone else is doing. Soap operas have always enjoyed huge audiences of people who were mesmerized at how other people live. Romance novels are another example of being addicted to the fantasies of love and intimacy and of course, pornography has become nothing less than a social plague. We now have created more opportunities to satisfy the carnal nature to become socially absorbed with things like, surfing the internet, magazines, reading books on our electronic devices, video games, movies, facebook, twitter, texting and e-mail – in addition to being in a trance in front of the television all night long – every night! What is my point? We are surrendering to the temptation of a “spectator” mentality. Who is tempting us? Satan! Why? Because, he desires to distract us from our mission to pray, fast, study, learn, develop and grow strong in the anointing and power of God. We have welcomed the voice of the world to dominate the atmosphere of our home and it has become a form of mental and spiritual “bondage”. “No man can enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil (steal) his goods, except he will first BIND THE STRONG MAN; and then he will spoil his house.” (Mark 3:27)
Without firing a shot, Satan has slipped into the homes of God’s people and spiritually tied them up and gagged them. He is subtle; he introduces himself as enjoyment, an innocent, harmless entertainment. Not only are people wasting the entire evening, they stay up so late, they are too tired to pray. This is clearly the sin of omission and since we know better, it is intentional and premeditated. The devil’s strategy is deadly and focused on one thing – if he can prevent the gospel from being sown into the hearts of the lost – they will die without Christ. How is he doing that? Instead of us doing what we need to be doing, we are sitting around indulging in our own pleasure!
Do we really believe our spiritual life can afford spending all our spare time watching how other people live? Are we consumed with a spirit of entertainment? Have we convinced ourselves it is acceptable in the sight of God that we become “absorbed” with trying to see what other people are doing all the time? Well brother, I do not see it as wasting my time; I am doing exactly what I want to do! Yes, I know – that is the problem. Whoever is born of God and professes they are a representative of His Kingdom, should read the fine print about the requirements and responsibilities of being a Christian. When Jesus died and rose from the dead, He established a blood covenant that paid the price to redeem our soul. In exchange for this ultimate sacrifice, He made it clear that we are not our own. Is it possible to say we want to walk with God and yet be determined to live our own life? It seems to be a contradiction of His Word, for the lukewarm lovers of self, to be counted among the pleasing and faithful servants of God. Is it not true; we will do whatever is important to us? Selah. We may complain about being driven to exhaustion and we can make excuses about why we feel empty inside, but maybe it is because we are trying to hold the steering wheel? Jesus being our Lord means that He “leads us”. Many times, we forget we are called His “followers”. This means we only do what He say’s and we stay away from the sin that disappoints Him. There is no such thing as A Christian walk where you live however you want. Everything has to be done His way or it does not count for anything.
I am convinced there are even worse consequences with being lukewarm than just drifting away from Fathers presence. There is a reason we have been commanded to buckle our armor and fasten it tight. It is not a joke to make sure our sword is sharp and that our shield be raised at ALL times. Knowing God’s Word is knowing God Himself – and this is our victory! Our Lord realizes, the enemy watches us and waits for us to become vulnerable. When everything is going good and we become relaxed, it is easy to allow a breech in our spiritual security and become susceptible to demonic attack. The devil capitalizes on our “natural” weaknesses and takes the path of least resistance when it comes to tempting us with sin. For him it’s easy – he knows we love ourselves! We are very simple creatures (sheep) and are usually willing to trade bondage for pleasure. Jesus may try to warn, convict, and chastise us, but He will not force us to repent. Sadly, not just the lost, but also many religious “believers” have been destroyed by their own freewill. “For there shall arise false Christ’s and false prophets, and will show great signs and wonders; in as much that, IF IT WERE POSSIBLE, they would deceive the very elect.” (Mathew 24:24) So, if the time we are wasting with (whatever we love and serve) could be invested into prayer that would bring miracles – then how much are we being held accountable for?