Deep Secret – April 12, 2022 (102/365)

Apologies are in order. Internet is down here where I’m at and I’ve had to post this using cellular data.
**Update: Internet back up, added featured image, tags, categories, excerpt

But now even more the report about him went abroad, and great crowds gathered to hear him and to be healed of their infirmities. But he would withdraw to desolate places and pray.

Luke 5:15-16

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High

will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.

I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress,

my God, in whom I trust.”

Psalms 91:1-2

Other translations point out a ‘secret place’. Earlier on, we are brought to understand that Christ Himself is our secret place. Someone we could withdraw to. Someone who, unlike fictional heroes, is a real Champion we could place our trust in. John points out in His Gospel that there isn’t enough space in the world to write down all of what Christ has done for them, and for us. 

But, apparently we could go deeper: what is His secret? What is the source of His power? We can look at what the disciples shared in their Gospels and in the Epistles as well, because they themselves were eyewitnesses of Christ in this reality – John goes through an entire chapter (1 John 1) sharing this. Matthew shares that Peter, James, and John saw Jesus AND Moses and Elijah as well in the transfiguration (chapter 17). They were also witnesses of Christ’s prayer and power – refer to Matthew 17:14-21, where Christ rebuked the demon possessing a child, saying that prayer and fasting was involved. Yes, the famous line of faith the size of a mustard seed was mentioned, and there was unbelief that was in play (which is why the disciples could not heal the child); But I’m being led to think that any unbelief we have could be purged through prayer – like, an open conversation with God, where we could open up any doubts we have. 

Going ahead of Pastor Joedy here, is it possible that when Christ was mentioning prayer and fasting, He was saying intentional connection with God, which naturally disconnects any doubts from further dragging our minds down? One thing is for sure: The Disciples wanted to know how to pray. 

But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

Matthew 6:6-8

The moment you enter the secret place of prayer is where heaven and earth meet. Apparently last meeting they talked about the wrong ways to pray – not about how long or how loud or how many times you say a particular prayer. 

It’s a secret place, because God our Father sees us in secret. And when He says He would reward us, He would reward us with the best – Himself. Prayer is an intimate time between you and God. It was practiced by Jesus, and through Him we have it as well. The secret place is your chosen place to commune with the Father. But take note! It’s not an ACTUAL place – it’s a position of our heart and mind, a desire to commune with the Father. And really, as mentioned in previous studies, God wants to be with us in this capacity. He wants to enjoy as He wants us to enjoy. 

Christ withdrew to pray. Christ wanted to be alone with God. If possible, we would also do well to seek solitude; that not only would we be alone, but also separate from distractions. Pastor Joedy goes on to point out Matthew 6:33 – we would de-prioritize company with others and distractions, but we would also prioritize – seek first the Kingdom of God. This act in itself prepares our heart to commune, and tune in to the songs of deliverance God has for us (Psalm 32:7). Deliverance is God’s reciprocation of sorts, meeting us as we intentionally meet Him – Delivering into a secret place. 

Picture it also like how you spend time with your family. You know they’re around, you have short exchanges… but it’s different to have a conversation. Prayer is that conversation. It removes any strain. It renews any important affairs. It clarifies any tension. It redirects energy, as long as both people are engaged. And we could be sure that God is definitely engaged. 

This secret place with God is a sanctuary. He is a refuge; Security in the face of danger, as mentioned and elaborated on in Psalm 63. 

In the sanctuary is safety, and serenity. Peace. Peace, as I would say, mingled, united with power that secures. Just like saying that Peace always comes with Power, safety is never without serenity. And there’s more. There’s solemnity in the sanctuary. Refer to Philippians 4:6-7 and Psalm 16:11. Solemnity, that is, to be alone with God, in all His glory and in the presence of His everlasting love, just for you.

Pastor Joedy goes on to point out the fourth privilege / property that is present in the secret place – that is, in the presence of safety, serenity, and solemnity, we are able to voice out our supplications. 

I suppose this is why I haven’t really looked into praying as of late. It’s been more like me saying my supplications before even realizing and enjoying safety, serenity, and solemnity in His arms first. It’s not a religious act. This is real talk, applied. It’s really a conversation, a one-on-one with God. God wants to spend time with you, and not only are we willing to spend time with other people, man, we could also reciprocate by spending time back with Him. That’s one thing I’m realizing throughout all of this. 

Pastor Joedy was supposed to add sanctification, but went through it. We are transformed by beholding Jesus. We are brought from glory to glory, by beholding Jesus; and we surely can see this more in detail, when we spend time with Him in the secret place. What a beautiful thought. 

In the secret place, we find who we are and we are reminded of our identity. We are reminded of our strength, and our empowerment as Christ has poured out upon us. Indeed, as we wait upon Him our strength is renewed (Isaiah 40:31). We are empowered to love, as we behold God’s great and everlasting love in detail (1 John 4:19) – in fact, not only do we do great things with love, we literally OPERATE – from the small details to the big decisions, we operate out of love by default, now that we settle into Christ and His finished work.

In our operations we move as ambassadors, as heralds of impossible love that this world needs, especially at this time. The Gospel is what we prioritize and communicate to our dying breath – Acts 20:24.  

This is mostly me now. I mean, Pastor Joedy is still talking but I think I need to share what’s on my mind. 

For the longest time it’s been hammered onto my mind that I ought to be meditating. I mean, I’ve been listening to Naval and I was convinced that it could certainly help me as well… but I also came to the conclusion that if I was going to be doing any meditation, I would really rather be praying instead. 

All of this that Pastor Joedy is sharing is a reminder for me, especially as I stand as a minister of the Gospel of Christ, that I should really take advantage of this secret place.

I thought the secret place would be found in financial security, grounded in a combination of passive and active income… That’s still going to be on my agenda but really, the Rock lies deeper than this foundation I’m working for myself.

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