Psalm 91 (one of my faves - random fact of the day) speaks of the secret place. The saints of old call it ‘your prayer closet’. It’s the place where only God can get to you. Stress doesn’t matter. Situations are irrelevant. The pains of life are removed because you are in…an indescribable zone…with THE God Almighty. See, according to Psalm 91, whoever dwells in the secret place of the Most High will abide under the shadow of the Almighty (v. 1). When you dwell in the secret place, God covers you (v. 3), and because God is covering you, you’re not scared of…anything, including, but not limited to, destruction, terror, or disease (v. 5-6). You’ll watch other people crumble under pressure you don’t even have to experience (v. 7). Angels carry and protect you constantly in the secret place (v. 11-12). You kill things that come to kill you (v. 13). All of this…because you dwelt in the secret place. You may get attacked, but the attacks can only make you better. Honestly, you may get injured; but you’re right under His stripes, so you’ll definitely get healed (Is. 53:5). All you really have to do is get to the secret place…and dwell there.
What does it really mean to dwell somewhere? To dwell somewhere is ‘to remain for a time’ or ‘to keep the attention directed’ towards something. You dwell in spaces like your home. When you dwell somewhere, you dedicate yourself to it. You spend time there. You stay there for a bit, you know? You can’t dwell in something that you walk into & walk right out of. You can’t dwell in a place that you only look at once a week, month, or year. To dwell in God’s secret place is to stay there for an extended period of time. That, for some people, is the hard part.
I don’t mean to get in your business, but could it be that you feel weak because you have somehow drifted away from the secret place? Is it possible that you aren’t as strong against temptation, doubt, attacks, etc…because you need to spend more time with God? See, I’ve learned that there’s not a quota for hours spent with God. There’s no secret formula that guarantees entrance into Heaven. However, I’ve learned that it takes more than Sunday morning service, and midweek Bible Study. That’s all well and good…until you wake up on Monday morning feeling completely depleted (like…’Sunday was yesterday, right?’). So, what’s the goal? What does dwelling in the secret place look like?
Well, in summary, It’s doing whatever it takes to deepen, not just maintain, your relationship with God. Time in the secret place is time in prayer. It’s (unrestricted) worship. It’s reading your Bible and applying what you read to your daily lifestyle. That is what it means to be in the secret place of the Most High. That, to me, is what the secret place ‘looks like’. It’s doing what you’ve got to do to get to the feet of Jesus…and remaining there. That’s going to take a few things from you though. In my experience, dwelling in your secret place is going to require (at least) 2 things from you:
Make a Choice. I’ve learned that one our most powerful tools. Once you really make a decision, you’re unstoppable. See, when you really set your mind to something, you start shifting things. You start moving things around to ensure that what you’ve just decided in your mind becomes what you see with your eyes. For example, you decided to read this blog post (thanks! lol), so you found the website (or clicked the link), read the introduction, clicked ‘read more, etc. Why? Because you decided to see what on earth I was talking about today. All of this…because you made a choice. So, what would happen if you chose God? Like, really….if you sat down & said ‘for the next (insert time period here), I’m choosing God, and God alone.’ What would happen if you dared to put your phone on silent (and across the room if necessary), got off of Facebook, and just…spent some good ol’ fashioned quality time with the King? That’s what it will likely take for you to dwell in the secret place Psalm 91 talks about. You’re going to have to really choose God. You’re going to have to actively choose God. Now, let me warn you, this won’t be easy (especially in the beginning). We live in a world where everything demands our attention all the time. There’s Facebook, there’s work, there’s family, there’s bae (we can’t forget bae! lol), there’s…..something. There’s always something…and that’s why it matters so much that we show God that we’re choosing Him. See, for me, getting away from my phone, etc. is my way of showing God that while I could be doing 10,000 other things, He is the most important to me in this moment. It’s also my way of getting myself in line, because otherwise, I’ll get distracted and full of excuses. So I shut down from the rest of the world because I’ve chosen God exclusively for this hour, etc. I’ve learned that God likes to be chosen just like we do, but in order to choose Him (like…for real), we’re going to need…..
Consistency. As I said before, you can’t pop in & pop out. You can’t be all in today and done with it all tomorrow. Really growing in God, digging into your secret place is going to require you to continuously go back to God and spend time with Him. While I don’t believe that God literally expects us to spend all day, every day laid out on the floor (go out to the highways & byways, saints), He does want to spend some time with us. You can start small (ex: 10-15 minutes every other day), but it’s imperative that you actually start, you know? I’ve learned that God honors our effort, and that all you really need is one goooood experience to really grasp how important the secret place is. He’ll take those 10 minutes that you give Him 3 times a week, and make you want to spend an hour a day with Him. Whatever you decide to give Him, be consistent with it. Don’t let anything shake you from it. For me, it helps to literally schedule it in my calendar. That way, I don’t forget it, and I’m always bombarded with the image of it in my head (I need that sometimes). You may need reminders, calendars, etc. to help you remember to include it in your schedule in the beginning. That’s fine. Like I said, God honors your effort. So if you do all you can do to get to Him, He’ll do all that He can to get to you. That’s all magnified when you choose consistency.
One day, I was telling God that I felt…distanced. Something between me & Him didn’t quite feel right. I was still saved. I hadn’t “backslidden” (He’s married to the backslider though…random fact #2). I just couldn’t…get to Him like I used to. So, I asked Him what I could (aka needed to) do to get back to “the good ol days”. He told me to throw all of who I was at Him (like I used to), and He’d throw all of who He is at me. I’m currently on that journey (‘one day’ wasn’t that long ago), and today, I’m inviting you on that journey with me. Life…gets in the way sometimes. If we’re not careful, we can let the work of God get in the way of the God that gave us a work to do in the first place. Every now and again, we need a reset. We need to sit down somewhere, silence ourselves, silent our lives, and get back to the secret place. I’m excited, and it’s been good for me so far, so…are you coming? The King is waiting on us…
Background Music: In - William McDowell & Great Are You Lord - All Sons & Daughters
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