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)
SAFE AND SECURE IN THE ARMS OF JESUS
“The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.” (Psalm 9:9)
When you were a kid, did you ever have a tree house, a fort or a special place where you could hide from the world? Even if it was inside of an old refrigerator cardboard box, it was a good feeling to have a “secret” place where we could be alone. When we started getting older, we cherished the lock on our bedroom door and now as adults, we love the blessing of having a warm and cozy home that we can call our refuge. Many men have garages, basements, or buildings out back (man caves) where they tinker with projects, as just another form of security and privacy. However, there is another type of “hide away” and is the ultimate special place – it is found in the realm of the Spirit, a “strong tower” of protection that we can run into and be safe. Where is it? It is the place in our heart and soul where we fellowship with Jesus. It is a secret realm where we feel His presence, it is a personal sanctuary where we enjoy the quietness and sense His peace. A haven where we listen intently and adore Him for who He is. How important is it for you to pull away from the chaos and the distractions of this world, and spend time with Him?
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1)
To be surrounded by His presence is the highest blessing we can experience. It is by His grace and mercy that we can speak freely and honestly confess our failures. Through His unmeasured love we can receive His forgiveness and be refreshed with a new infilling of His Spirit everyday. Our minds can be cleared and our hearts can be cleansed before Him – if we take the time to be with Him. He longs to hold us and talk with us. He loves it when we take our eyes away from the confusion and distractions and focus on Him alone. It is in these precious moments, our attitudes are adjusted and our faith is renewed. It is in these humble times of tears and sorrow that my hope is reinforced and I am reminded of where my strength to “carry on” is coming from. I must spend quiet time with Him – it is not an option. I must leave the well-worn path and find His peaceful harbor. I must find that secret hideaway where I can be spiritually and emotionally healed and restored. To be “pure in heart” one must make contact with the refiner’s fire. It is in the time of reflection, meditation and repentance that we can present ourselves to Him as a living sacrifice. This is not religion – it is a personal relationship where holy intimacy is developed as we continually rest in His bosom. He must become everything to us – All that we are and all that we will ever be.
“The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.” (Psalm 46:11)
God’s people who rest in Him can say with David the psalmist, “If it had not been the Lord who was on our side, when men rose up against us: then they had swallowed us up quick, when their wrath was kindled against us: then the waters had overwhelmed us, the stream had gone over our soul: then the proud waters had gone over our soul. Blessed be the Lord who hath not given us as a prey to their teeth. Our soul is escaped, as a bird out of the snare of fowlers: the snare is broken, and we are escaped. Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth” (Psalm 124:2-8).
Joel saw an army of mighty men and said, “They shall run like mighty men; they shall climb the wall like men of war; and they shall march every one on his ways, and they shall not break their ranks” (Joel 2:7). Who was he talking about? He was seeing a vision of God’s last day disciples that have made up their minds to stand for truth even if it cost them everything. These are the overcomers that would not allow the pleasures and temptations of this age to soften them or cause them to compromise.
God’s people will not run in fear, because they know they are secure under the precious blood of the Lamb. We know that in spite of all the violence and wrath of men, the body of Christ on earth is growing stronger every day. While all that is temporal is being shaken, governments spinning out of control, and economies collapsing, the true remnant of Christ is solid and unmovable. The imposter church is a religious façade that is not genuine. Many of God’s true followers are hidden away in the secret places of service. The one’s that are learning about intercessory prayer and helping the poor are the remnant of souls in danger of persecution. These wise virgins can be found filling their lamps with oil as they prepare to meet their bridegroom. They have invested their time into His Word; they have responded to His instructions and know Him in the loving power of His resurrection. They surrender their heart and will, they love Him completely.
A missionary to Ireland in the fourth century named “Patrick” expressed the reality of Jesus as “God with us” in this beautiful expression:
CHRIST BE BESIDE ME – CHRIST BE BEFORE ME,
CHRIST BE BEHIND ME – KING OF MY HEART;
CHRIST BE WITHIN ME – CHRIST BE BELOW ME,
CHRIST BE ABOVE ME – NEVER TO PART.
CHRIST ON MY RIGHT HAND – CHRIST ON MY LEFT HAND,
CHRIST ALL AROUND ME – SHIELD IN THE STRIFE;
CHRIST IN MY SLEEPING – CHRIST IN MY SITTING,
CHRIST IN MY RISING – LIGHT OF MY LIFE.
“Father, may I allow Your Word to penetrate my conscience so that it transforms my attitude. I pray that my sin makes me nauseated and causes me to weep because I have disappointed and hurt you. May we not go back to the mud and the life of a swine. Break our hearts and give us a burden to pray for others. May my calloused heart be softened with a fresh revelation of your love. We paint the doorpost of our heart with your shed blood and we speak the promises of your covenant in faith knowing – that your love never fails. Purge me, refine me into your holy image. I love you, amen.”