Ripped Off!

“The secret place has been the point of greatest frustration and attack in my personal walk.” And I know I’m not alone. Since the secret place holds the keys to authentic kingdom living, the enemy will cause his strongest assaults to bear upon this single point of a Christian’s life.

To spend time with God we must battle through the initial struggle which is our mind telling us we are wasting our time. It doesn’t help that the enemy distracts us from focusing on God in our time with Him. The enemy knows full well that what we are doing is not a waste of time.

Our enemy will do anything to get us to curtail the amount of time we devote to the secret place with God. He will distract, oppress, entice, weary, lie, intimidate – whatever it takes. Make no mistake, when you devote yourself to knowing God, all of hell seems to resurrect against you.

At times, I have had feelings of guilt over not taking enough time to be with the Lord. Though seriously misdirected as I have discovered, it is a very common feeling. Feelings of guilt will never motivate anyone to spend more time with God: in reality, guilt will discourage us and make us feel like a failure. Guilt has the potential to totally snuff out whatever small flame there presently might be.

So instead of feeling guilty, I feel ripped off!  When circumstances or emotions are successful at robbing my secret place, I no longer feel guilty – I get indignant!

This is because God is my greatest fan. As my heavenly Father, He is constantly coaxing me forward into new heights of spiritual victory. When I neglect the secret place, He’s not disappointed in me, He’s disappointed for me. He sees the spiritual riches available to me, and His heart breaks as He watches me being bypassed. He wants me to share in heaven’s best, and He looks with a longing heart when I short-change myself spiritually.

It’s not a break; it’s a loss. I missed drinking deeply of the Spirit’s fountain; I missed being washed and cleansed and renewed in His presence; I missed getting fed by God’s word; I missed taking the time to calm my heart and hear His precious voice; I missed the intimate communion of the secret place. As the saying goes, “I was robbed.”

Yet, I have uncovered great joy in my secret life with God by finding it necessary to devote a specific portion of the day to meeting with Him. Giving myself in a disciplined way to a consistent time slot has been very important in finding a higher dimension of joy and delight.

What helped me discover this immense joy was when I started using the wilderness Tabernacle model of prayer. As I journeyed daily through each station I found absolute joy in entering the Holy of Holies (the secret place) through the blood of Jesus. As I dwelt and soaked before the mercy seat I experienced His real and tangible glory – His shekinah glory.

But it was not easy and I continue to strive in my desire for an intimate relationship with Him. I had to work my way up slowly to spending more time with Him. I had to build spiritual stamina. It was a time of maturing in God and developing the ability to spend more time in the secret place.

There was a threshold I needed to cross in uncovering the full joy of the secret place. For me it was the disciplined daily early morning practice of going to the secret place – a church building, a mercy seat, an office, a dining room table, sometimes the bedroom – and in all weather. I have walked through snow, while it was still dark, determined to get to the secret place and keep my early morning appointment with God.

I offer these closing thoughts to all who desire the unspeakable joy of the secret place. Until you find your threshold, you will find that you’re consistently pushing yourself to get into the secret place, as though it’s a burden instead of a joy. But once you cross the threshold, the secret place becomes a place of delight that you will gladly prioritise over other competing demands.

How do we find that threshold? By giving much time to the secret place. I never consider time invested in the secret place to be wasteful; I will gladly waste it upon my Lord. The Lord will take us through the threshold into another dimension of delight and intimacy. But we’ll never get there without investing time.

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