I rarely hear leaders talk about it these days, but I am convinced that nothing is more important to the health and success of the believer’s experience than making room for the “Secret Place.” I define the Secret Place in this way.
“The Secret Place is a place of total abandonment to our loving heavenly Father. This is a place where we are completely accepted, where there is total disclosure, and where we joyfully and in total release, lose ourselves in worship, praise and adoration. Our regular experience in this Secret Place will move us in the direction of being ever more yielded and obedient to the perfect will of our Father God.”
My Secret Place is probably different than yours. My Secret Place is on an athletic track one quarter of a mile in circumference. I make my way to this track every day. I change into my jogging shoes andwalk around this track six times. When I’m not traveling, I walk every day in my Secret Place, I leave my cell phone in the car. This is a place for no interruptions; a time reserved exclusively for my heavenly Father.
I have been coming to my Secret Place now for more than threeyears. It is my favorite time of the day. I look forward to the end of my workday, so that I can be there completely alone with my Father. It is my time to express to Him everything that is on my heart. I resonate with the Psalm of David, when he says, “Trust in Him at all times, O people, pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.” (Psalms 62:8-NASV) I hold back nothing. This is not a time for pretension. Our Father is not fooled. He knows us completely. He knows us better than we know ourselves. Doesn’t Jesus remind us? "Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.” (Matthew 10:29-31)
Our Father made us in His own image as personal beings, in order to have a personal relationship with us and engage in personalcommunication. He gave the gift of His Son that we might be restored to the intimate relationship with Him for which we were created. As we come to Him through the doorway of His Son Jesus, our human spirits immediately respond to the compassionate presence of our Father who has never ceased to love us. Our spiritcries out, “Abba Father!” Abba Father is the most intimate expression of love from a child to his father. It means, “Dear Daddy!”
When I spend time in my Secret Place, I am coming home to be with my Daddy. He made me in His image, and He sent His Divine Son to take my human nature, so He knows precisely how I think and how I feel. He is not a remote and an unfeeling God. He is my Abba Father! My tendency is to be independent, and to take control of everything that happens in my life. My burdens become heavy: sometimes too heavy to bear. When I come to my Secret Place, my Father is always reminding me of my childlike and dependent nature. He reminds me that He is my Father, and it is His role to care for me by relieving me of my burdens and releasing me to take a rest. As I release to Him my burdens and cares, and abandon myself to a dependant state of worship, praise and adoration, I find that I’m being transformed. I enter into a state of rest, peace and total refreshment.
I believe that every believer passes through different seasons in their Christian experience. I went through a season of great difficulty in the fall of 2006. I felt that my life was being lived on a treadmill, just going through the motions but getting nowhere. I knew that God had dreams and purposes for me that were not being realized. I could envision myself fulfilling those purposes, but nothing in my current experience seemed to be getting me any closer to making that happen. And I couldn’t see anything on the horizon that promised any hope for change. I felt trapped. I felt immobilized by life’s routine and endless responsibilities. When I made the effort to move towards change, it resulted in futility and frustration.
I don’t know how I could have survived that season were it not for my Secret Place. During those months, I certainly did not have great revelations or sudden divine interventions as I walked around that track every day. Most days, I felt nothing but helplessness. All I could manage was a great big shout of “HELP!” “Please, Father, HELP ME!” But I just continued to come to Him, letting him know that I was there for Him and expressing my neediness. It didn’t happen overnight, but little by little, He began to bring me out of my sense of entrapment. My circumstances didn’t change, but I began to release to Him my high expectations and began to discover moments of joy in simple things. I became able to accept seemingly small occurrences as sacred encounters, arranged by my heavenly Father. I found joyfulness restored to my daily life.
Again, the Psalmist David has the words that describe my experience. “For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle; In the secret place of His tent He will hide me; He will lift me up on a rock. And now my head will be lifted up above my enemies around me, and I will offer in His tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord.” (Psalms 27:5-6)
I recommend that you find a Secret Place and go there regularly. Allow nothing in your life to keep you away. We all have urgent matters that demand our attention. But, believe me, nothing in your life is more urgent than having a Secret Place with your heavenlyFather, where He can draw you to Himself and steady your life in the center of His will.
Many Christians in today’s world are unsure about how to pray. Remember that prayer is simply communication with your Father in heaven. Although unseen, your Father is more real than the air that you breathe. He yearns to have you depend upon Him enough to make the effort to express to Him everything that you are thinking and feeling. Believe me, although you don’t see Him, you will come to the awareness that He hears everything that you utter and understands your innermost feelings.
Our Lord made it clear to us that we need a Secret Place where we can engage in prayer. Hear what Jesus is saying! “But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.” (Matthew 6:6) Delay no longer. You have an appointment today with your heavenly Father! He will be waiting there to meet you in the Secret Place!
About the Author
David Dorries, Ph.D
Dr. Dorries is Director of Kairos Ministries International. He earned his Ph.D. in Church History at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland (1988). For 22 years he was Professor of Church History and Theological Librarian at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma. David is an ordained minister, and has pastored churches in Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Massachusetts. He is the author of five books and accepts speaking engagements and can be booked as long as dates on his calendar remain available.
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