Into the Secret Place

For some time people around me have said, “God is calling people out of the old structured church system, but they need something else to go to. You can’t tell people what they are leaving, without giving them something to do instead.” What followed was the suggestion that perhaps it was home groups and/or some other form of meetings or conferences. It sounded feasible to me at the time, but I was not sure about any sort of application on that thought.

Therefore, "Come out from them and be separate, says the Lord…" And, "I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty." 2 Corinthians 6:17-18 NIV

I was in prayer not so long ago about the current state of The Church (as a whole) and the structured church system when God reminded me of that first thought, only now He completed the thought. He said to me, “I am calling people out of the old church system into the Secret Place of My presence.”

You hide them in the secret place of Your presence. Psalm 31:20 NASB

This place is secret, sacred and hidden from the eyes and the understanding of the world. To abandon the outward measures of success is offensive to many, but what joy we have to find accomplishment from things in Christ which are considered foolish, powerless and despised in the worlds understanding.

Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important. 1 Corinthians 1:27-28 NLT
Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 2 Corinthians 4:16 NIV

It makes no sense to others when we prioritise being hidden in the secret place of God’s sweet presence. The Secret Place of His presence is the place of His heart, the place where the bride is brought forth.

So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place. The Lord God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. The man said, “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” Genesis 2:21-23 NASB

Something happened in this scene which God did when He brought forth a bride for Adam, from out of Adam’s side. There is a beautiful parallel where this happened again with Jesus on the cross. We are “bone of His bones, and flesh of His flesh” because we are the bride which was brought forth from the side of Jesus.

One of the soldiers, however, pierced his side with a spear, and immediately blood and water flowed out. (This report is from an eyewitness giving an accurate account. He speaks the truth so that you also can believe.) John 19:34-35 NLT
And there are three that bear witness on earth, the Spirit and the water and the blood; and these three agree in one. 1 John 5:8 JB

There are witnesses within us, the earth. These are the Holy Spirit which was given to us, and also the water and the blood of Jesus within us. The blood of Jesus carries the life of His body, of which we are a part.

For the life of the body is in its blood. I have given you the blood on the altar to purify you, making you right with the LORD. It is the blood, given in exchange for a life, that makes purification possible. Leviticus 17:11 NLT

What a beautiful picture we have of the blood of Jesus. Now we see more revelation hidden within the water flowing out of Jesus’ side. The mystery is with the Israelites in the desert. There was a miracle of water supernaturally coming from a rock where there had previously been no water.

And drank the same spiritual drink, for they drank from the spiritual rock that went with them. That rock was the Messiah. 1 Corinthians 10:4 ISV

This action of Jesus being pierced on the cross and the water flowing out was in fulfilment of Moses’ actions to strike the rock, bringing forth water in the desert. Jesus was struck so that we could have this river of living water for ourselves. Here is another beautiful picture of how we come back to the rock.

O my dove, in the clefts of the rock, In the secret place of the steep pathway, Let me see your form, Let me hear your voice; For your voice is sweet, And your form is lovely. Song of Songs 2:14 NASB

We are situated here in the cleft of the Rock which is Jesus. He is our refuge and our secret place to shelter from the storms of life. We thrive in life when we are hidden in the cleft of the Rock, enclosed around by the hand of God.

And while my glory passes by I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and I will cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Exodus 33:22 ESV

We are to be hidden in His hand, within the cleft of the rock.

You have enclosed me behind and before, and laid Your hand upon me. Psalm 139:5 NASB
And I have put my words in your mouth and hidden you safely in my hand. Isaiah 51:16 NLT

How lovely are the dwelling places of God that we get to share with Him. We are nestled into His side within His heart and hidden safely by His sweet nail-pierced hand.

Lead me to the rock that is higher than I, for you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy. Let me dwell in your tent forever! Let me take refuge under the shelter of your wings! Selah. Psalm 61:2-4 ESV

The prayer here is to lead me to the rock that is higher than I. As I was reading this, I felt to share it from the Passion translation.

O God, hear my prayer. Listen to my heart’s cry. For no matter where I am, even when I’m far from home, I will cry out to you for a Father’s help. When I’m feeble and overwhelmed by life, guide me into your glory where I am safe and sheltered. Lord, you are a paradise of protection to me. You lift me high above the fray. None of my foes can touch me when I’m held firmly in your wrap-around presence! Keep me in this glory. Let me live continually under your splendour-shadow, hiding my life in your forever. (Pause in his presence) Psalm 61:1-4 TPT

What a beautiful picture being painted here. David is talking about being sheltered in God’s glory and being held in His wrap-around presence, no matter where we are. When we cry out to God, we are taken into the rock of God’s glory and wrapped up in this secret place within our hearts, within God’s heart. It is a mystery hidden within a mystery.

Prepared In Advance

How much of our life is by chance and how much of it is planned and prepared in advance? God knew us before we even existed. He was thinking about us in advance, desiring for us to be united with Him through Christ, to be in His family.

Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. Ephesians 1:4-5 NLT
For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. Romans 8:29 NLT
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! 1 John 3:1 NIV

So what does this mean for us as individuals? We find ourselves here in time and space, and often feel like life serves us up a string of unfortunate events. Are we victims of circumstance or are we here in God’s divine timing? There is a beautiful mystery in Psalms which shows us a glimpse of God’s purpose.

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Psalm 139:13-15 ESV

The psalm continues to say, that God saw us being intricately woven in the secret place. He is the one who took us from our unformed state and He formed the days for us, transcribing them in His books.

Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! Psalm 139:16-17 ESV

There were books written about us before we were born. Even in our unformed substance God had purpose for us and with precious thoughts, He wrote books about us to begin to contain some of His immense thoughts towards us.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10 ESV
‘For I know the plans and thoughts that I have for you,’ says the LORD, ‘plans for peace and well-being and not for disaster to give you a future and a hope.’ Jeremiah 29:11 AMP

Before the foundation of the earth, God had a plan and He set us apart with destiny for His divine purpose. His thoughts and plans towards us for our peace, well-being and a future filled with hope.

We no longer have any need to compare ourselves to others, or measure our success by the standards of society. God has prepared in advance things for each of us to do. Our delightful journey is to discover what God has for us. This is our success and the ultimate glory which God intended for us.

No, the wisdom we speak of is the mystery of God--his plan that was previously hidden, even though he made it for our ultimate glory before the world began. 1 Corinthians 2:7 NLT
For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Colossians 3:3-4 NIV

The mystery of God, His hidden plan, was made for our glory before He even created the world. He called us from the womb, and knew us before we were in our mother’s womb.

The Lord called me from the womb, from the body of my mother he named my name. He made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of his hand he hid me; he made me a polished arrow; in his quiver he hid me away. And he said to me, “You are my servant, Israel, in whom I will be glorified.” Isaiah 49:1-3 ESV
"I knew you before I formed you in your mother's womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations." Jeremiah 1:5 NLT

He formed us, called us, set us apart and appointed us for His wonderful purposes. God prepared works for us to walk in before we got here. We are hidden in His hand and revealed in the nations.

What Do You See?

What do you see in your future? Is your eye filled with darkness or light? There has been an increase of evil released in the world. But there has also been an increase of God’s glory released in the world. I have seen so much pain and brokenness arising from hearts as they are falsely accused, betrayed and removed from a position of favour. And yet many people have also been experiencing unprecedented dreams, visions, encounters, trances, etc. It is all about our eye, which is our focus.

Your eye is a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is good, your whole body is filled with light. But when your eye is bad, your whole body is filled with darkness. And if the light you think you have is actually darkness, how deep that darkness is! Matthew 6:22-23 NLT

It is our perspective and our focus which will determine the state of our heart. And the state of our heart will determine how we respond to the world around us. If we see darkness, this is what will fill our hearts. We become blind and hopelessness sets in. But when we see lights, we are filled with light and our focus is healthy. God desires for us to be healthy and whole.

Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are healthy, your whole body also is full of light. But when they are unhealthy, your body also is full of darkness. See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness. Therefore, if your whole body is full of light, and no part of it dark, it will be just as full of light as when a lamp shines its light on you. Luke 11:34-36 NIV

Jesus was not speaking about the eyes of our body, but the eye (or eyes) of our heart. It is the inside eyes which bring light or darkness to our body.

I ask that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you may know the hope of His calling, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints, Ephesians 1:18 BSB

When the eyes of our heart have light, then we know hope. Then we know riches. Then we know the inheritance we have.

I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called--his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance. Ephesians 1:18 NLT

This is our sure foundation in a world which seems to be increasing in wickedness around us. So many people are filled with fear and hopelessness according to what they are focused on. With so much confusion and offense in the world around us, we have a lot to deal with in our hearts. A massive key to deal with the offenses is forgiveness, working in our hearts through God’s unconditional love. But what is we could avoid offense in the first place? God has been talking to me about staying in peace in the midst of all the chaos around us. It we stay in peace, the chaos and confusion cannot even penetrate our heart with offense or fear.

You will keep perfectly peaceful the one whose mind remains focused on you, because he remains in you. Isaiah 26:3 ISV

The word for mind is more literally translated as “creative imagination”. So we have peace when our imagination is focused on God. This is how we remain, dwell and abide in God. Our imagination is the eye of our heart. Our imagination is the way we are filled with light or darkness, hope or hopelessness, fear or love.

Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love. 1 John 4:18 NLT

Light is more powerful than darkness. And so is love more powerful than fear and hope more powerful than hopelessness. Light dispels darkness.

For God, who said, "Let there be light in the darkness," has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ. We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves. 2 Corinthians 4:6-7 NLT

God has brought forth light into our hearts so we can see the face of Jesus. This is the light which shines inside our hearts. And darkness has no power to overcome the light of Christ.

In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:4-5 ESV
You will help them understand and turn them from darkness to light and from Satan's control to God. Acts 26:18 ISV

Here we can understand that to live in the darkness is to be under Satan’s control. So when we have healthy focus and we are living in the light; we are no longer under Satan’s control, but we are now living in God’s kingdom.

So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth. But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin. 1 John 1:6-7 NLT

If we are living in a state of spiritual darkness, we are not truly in a healthy relationship with God. We are lying to ourselves. We are blind and unhealthy. Yet, but simply turning our attention and focus to God, we walk in true light and fellowship not only with God, but with each other. When we are focused on darkness, we begin to get caught up in offense and see others through eyes of fear as though they are the source of our pain and suffering.

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12 ESV

Our wrestle is not our fellow humans. The powers of darkness are the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. We are not to demonise what we don’t understand. God wants us to look through eyes of love. So often we quickly accuse and judge people in our hearts as though they are the demon in our lives, but we have been looking through eyes of fear. God’s love is not in us when we see darkness in people.

Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 1 John 4:7-8 NLT
By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. John 13:35 ESV

Let us look again at Ephesians chapter one. These are the wonderful treasures which we receive when our eyes are open. This is what we see with the imagination eyes of our heart.

I ask that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you may know the hope of His calling, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints,
and the surpassing greatness of His power to us who believe. He displayed this power in the working of His mighty strength,
which He exerted in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly realms,
far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in the one to come.
And God put everything under His feet and made Him head over everything for the church,
which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all. Ephesians 1:18-23 BSB

Look into the passage again. Once our imagination eyes are opened and we are healthy, we see the light of God in everything around us.

  • We see and know by personal experience the hope and God’s call on our life.
  • We see and know firsthand the inheritance we now have.
  • We see the greatness and power of God displayed to us.
  • We see and experience the mighty resurrection strength of Christ.
  • We see Christ seated on the throne in the heavenly realms.
  • We see the authority of Christ’s over and above every other name.
  • We see the power of Christ over what is now and what is to come.
  • We see that everything is under the authority of Christ.
  • We see Christ as our head of governmental authority.
  • We see and recognise the fullness of God filling every part of our lives.

How beautiful is the promise God gave through Isaiah long before Jesus came to the earth, that the darkness of the blind would be turned to light and they would be brought into level ground so that we will not stumble.

And I will lead the blind in a way that they do not know, in paths that they have not known I will guide them. I will turn the darkness before them into light, the rough places into level ground. These are the things I do, and I do not forsake them. Isaiah 42:16 ESV

What do you see in your future? Is your eye filled with darkness or light?