Thursday, September 23, 2010

With God in the Secret Place

By Benedicte Bahjejuan

I/ Introduction questions

• What happens when we are in the secret place with God?
• How often should we go there?
• Why should we be in the secret place with God?
• Is it a physical place?
• What do we do in this place?

II/ Verses about the secret place

Psalm 139:15-16
“My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body.”

Ps 91:1
“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.”

The secret place is a place where we are by ourselves with God is He is with us. Have you ever time with just you and your dad? A time when your dad took you fishing or eating out? That is what our special time with God is like. It is just you, his son or daughter and Him, and God loves that intimate time with you.

A secret place = is a place known by only a few number of people.
The opposite is a place many people know about.

III/ Thoughts about the secret place

Is it a physical place?
Yes and no. The secret place of the Most High is where you have a conversation with Him without anyone knowing about it, it is therefore in your heart but also in a physical place where nobody is around.

Is it important to spend time in secret with God?
To me, yes, because it is where I can talk freely to Him, pour out my heart to Him, tell Him of my joys and disappointments, ask Him for the things I need and hear His voice.

Time in the secret is for me a time of intimacy with God, a heart to heart talk with the Lord. My Father knows me and I get to know my Father when I spend time with Him. I believe that before we were born, we were with God and we find the same intimacy when we are alone with Him.

IV/ The examples of Jesus, John the Baptist and David

Luke 1:80
“And the child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness until the day of his public appearance to Israel.”

John the Baptist was in the desert until he started preaching to God’s people. Some people calculated his age from the dates given in the Bible and found out that John started his ministry at 30 years old. (see explanation below).

Time of His Ministry. Only Luke tells us when John the Baptist started his ministry. He does not give us a calendar date but tells us that John began his ministry in the desert during the reigns of several individuals and at the time of two high priests.
Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip was tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias was tetrarch of Abilene, in the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John, the son of Zacharias, in the wilderness. (NASB) Luke 3:1-2

If we count fifteen years after the start of Tiberius Caesar’s reign, we discover that John’s ministry began in A.D. 29, since Tiberius Caesar ruled from A.D. 14 to A.D. 37. The reigns of Pontius Pilate, Herod Antipas, and Herod Philip all overlap A.D. 29. This helps us determine precisely the time when John started his ministry. Jesus’ ministry started some time later - maybe as late as A.D. 30.
Some people said that John the Baptist spent much time in the wilderness fasting and praying. Hence he grew strong in spirit.

Luke 5:16
“So He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed.”
The wilderness was Jesus’ secret place with God, a place where nobody came to interrupt Him or asking Him for healing or questions about the kingdom of God.

These examples teach me about having a balanced life. Jesus had very busy days during His ministry on earth teaching in the synagogues, preaching in cities and villages, travelling from place to place, healing people, talking to them but He also had time outs, time alone with God.

Ecc 3:1 tells us that there is a time for everything, there is a time to be busy and a time to relax and rest in the Lord. Jesus went to His dad to find rest and comfort after busy and stressful days, to share His feelings and thoughts with Him, things that He couldn’t share with anyone else, because it was not the time or He just couldn’t tell them everything He had in His heart. We all have things we cannot share with others, but we can share them with God, because He knows our hearts and understands us. After spending some time in secret with God, Jesus felt restored and ready for another day of preaching, helping and healing people.

To find rest in the Lord, we need first to stop doing what we are doing, then we need to find a place where we will be by ourselves with God. We don’t have any deserts around Hamilton, but we have quiet places such as gardens, rivers, parks, where we can spend a short time talking to God.

David spent time in secret with the Lord, seeking His face:
Ps 63:1-2 “O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory.”

What promises does God give to those who seek Him?
• God will protect you (Ps 9:1)
• You will find joy (Ps 40:16)
• You will find Him (Deut 4:29)
• You will fully understand justice (Pr 28:5)
• You will live (Amos 5:6)

The secret place is a place of intimacy with God. It is where you pour out your heart to Him and only He hears and sees you. It is a special time between you and Him without distraction. In the presence of God we are restored and there is fullness of joy.

My favourite time to spend time with God is in the morning when everybody is still asleep. Find a time in your daily life when you spend time by yourself with your Father, you will see what blessing it is to spend time with Him.

Lyrics of song “Take Time to Be Holy” (2nd verse)

Take time to be holy, the world rushes on;
Spend much time in secret, with Jesus alone.
By looking to Jesus, like Him thou shalt be;
Thy friends in thy conduct His likeness shall see.

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