31 July 2013

The Secret Place

Have you got a secret place? A place to go and hide away from the stress, noise and distractions of your world for an hour each week?

Every person needs a secret place to run to. A secret place no one else knows in times of joy, fear, doubt and indecision. It can be in private in a bedroom, or as public as a city park, wherever you find refuge and comfort. All of us face tough challenges and moments of weakness that can feel like our problems will over run us.

Jeremiah 29:13 - You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart...

One of the greatest blessings we can have as Christians is the ability to stop, listen, pray and hear from God directly who speaks into our soul in our time of need. There is nothing weird or super spiritual about it. Our faith opens the door to draw near to God and allow Him to speak into our conscience and spirit. When it lines up with the Word and resonates within us, you know you have heard from Heaven.

In prayer our PURPOSE is renewed and our vision for our future is clearer. It is no surprise that Jesus intentionally walked away from the crowds in the height of His ministry to hear from God to renew His purpose and go where He was needed. 

Matthew 6:6 - But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.

The secret place should have two essentials: Solitude and Silence. Solitude is spending time with Jesus alone in the secret place of prayer. Silence is spending time with Jesus just listening.

Too often in prayer we do all the talking and don’t pause to listen. We need to take the time to listen to what the Spirit of the Lord is saying to our lives. As we’re going through the process of transformation, part of the work of the Holy Spirit is to convict us of sin and show us areas we need to work on as we grow into maturity.

As we spend time in the secret place of prayer, in solitude, silence and soaking on Scripture, we are transformed into the image of Jesus. This is why it’s good to get silent in solitude, so we can hear God speak to our hearts.

“The secret place is the place of conversion, the place where the old self dies and the new self is born, the place where the emergence of the new man and the new woman occurs… (where) I get rid of my scaffolding: no friends to talk with, no telephone calls to make, no meetings to attend… just me – naked, vulnerable, weak, sinful, deprived, broken – nothing before God” (Henri Nouwen)

In Matthew 6:5-6 Jesus contrasts true prayer with false prayer, prayer that is real with prayer that is sham. One kind of prayer is seen by God and is of inestimable value to Him; the other is seen by man and is useless. In this study we are to emphasise the fact that the vital requirement in every Christian is private prayer, for which there is no substitute.

Charles Spurgeon said, ‘The prayer of the heart is the heart of prayer’. Prayer is meaningless if our hearts are not in it. We must not pray as the hypocrites do, like play-actors. Look up the very solemn words spoken by Jesus and recorded in Matthew 15:8-9. How easy it is to engage in a form of prayer and yet for our hearts not to be in our praying! 

Psalm 91:1 - He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty...

Ideally we need to be in the right place and clear state of mind to hear and receive from God. The right place is that 'secret place' described in Psalm 91:1.  It is not a place in any city or state but that place where the believer spends one-on-one time with God. The right time is all the time, being in constant prayer, always being mindful of the presence of God.

God's secret place is a virtual place that becomes home or a comfort zone to you because He becomes a refuge and a fortress around you.  This is why David urges that one dwells in this place.  In other words, make this your home.  The intention of the secret place in not as a shelter in times of trouble but as a dwelling place.

Romans 12:12 – Be joyful in Hope, Patient in affliction, Faithful in prayer

God is constantly speaking to us.  He spoke in the old days the very same things that He is speaking to us today and all these we can find in the Bible. Each and everyone of us have different needs in our lives.  Moreover, there are certain situations in our lives that we cannot find answers to in the Bible.  For example, where we should live and what job to accept. The secret place of prayer answers these questions and guides our steps.

Oh the joy of answered prayer! Nothing can buy it or replace it. There are thousands of mysteries and wonderful treasures in the secret place. They are hidden and are only revealed to those who genuinely seek them.

Go to your secret place this week. To renew your strength, realign your purpose and get a touch from heaven. He is waiting to speak to you.