I remember watching a movie growing up called the Secret Garden. A young boy who was crippled and, in a wheelchair, discovered a place of identity, safety and tranquility. The place he thought was safe wasn’t, so here he could be free. It was a place of healing. As the story went on, the boy came out of this secret garden with a greater sense of identity and with the strength to release his disabilities and to rise up and walk again.
This is how I think of my secret place with you, God. When I enter in your Presence, I often feel lost, confused, chaotic. I have trouble taming my thoughts. It’s hard to focus. Yet, you, Great King, you meet me here.
You don’t think I’m a waste of your time. You don’t pressure me to perform, or to be a certain way. You simply allow me to let down my guard, feel your peace so the real me can emerge. A woman confident in your love, safe in your Arms…The woman you created as an expression of your Glory emerges.
This is the power of the secret place. A weak girl becomes a mighty woman. A fearful, timid, ordinary one discovers the glory of God impressed upon her thoughts, emotions and decisions. I rise early to be here with you, to minimize all distractions, so that it’s just me and you.
You go on to tell me all the promises that you’ve given me as I dwell here with you. You promise protection, deliverance, safety, and victory.
I don’t have to walk in darkness, because in the secret place, you whisper your will. You give me instructions, things to do, people to call, you let me in on your priorities. I get a glimpse of your heart and I am there, with you, at the center of your heart. You have plans for me. You haven’t forgotten about me. You love me.
The secret place is the center of humility, exaltation and spiritual growth. It is to be in the presence of God, to reserve a place in our lives only for Him. It could be a physical time and place, a rhythm or a routine. It could be a spiritual place accessed quickly with a simple breath. It could be an inner voice of instruction or loving confirmation. It could mean being in the right place at the right time.
Your secret place is the birthplace of godly prosperity. It is where you receive the vision for your life. It is a heart posture to keep your soul, your mind, your decisions, and your emotions open to the direction of the Holy Spirit.
Hezekiah was a king who took his troubles to his secret place of prayer. When he received a letter of war in 2 Kings 19, he brought the letter before the Lord, worshipped and asked God to save Israel.
Hezekiah had a secret place that he could return to when he was in trouble. The secret place offers peace, confidence and trust in God. It is a place that is beyond the plane of this world, with its difficulties. It is higher ground that is uneasily shaken.
Never lose your secret place. Here is how you can cultivate a secret place with God:
- Read your Bible daily | You may start with a Bible plan on the Bible App or you may study the scriptures shared by your Pastor or spiritual leader. One way or another, you must know the Word of God for yourself. The Bible is God’s love letter to us. In the Word of God, He is sharing His story, His character and His identity. You may receive a message intended specifically for your situation. You may learn more about your identity and the promises of God. However, in order to get to the place where you can apply the word, first aim to understand the Word. Approach the scriptures with curiosity and a desire to understand who God is. If you feel far from God, you may need a fresh start through repentance.
- Pray daily | How can you build a relationship with someone you never talk to? God has the designs for your life. He knows your skills, your desires, your joys and your pains. He understands your makeup. Whatever challenge you’re facing right now, God knows how you got there and how to get you out. Talk to God before you talk to anyone. If you were meeting someone for lunch and they were staring at their phone or distracted the entire time, you would leave that lunch date feeling as though you never truly connected. Be intentional about your prayer time and give God the undivided attention He deserves. If you are unsure how to pray, find a prayer devotional. Chrystal Evans Hurst has an amazing prayer devotional, 28 Days of Prayer that can serve as a guide to jumpstart your prayer life. I also recommend Fervent by Priscilla Shirer as a guide to strategic prayer to see forward momentum in your life. Invite God to speak into your challenges. Thank God for what you have.
- Be quiet | Build some margin into your day to simply be quiet. I have to admit this is tough for me. It could be while you are driving to work, in the shower or in the moments between your day to day assignments. You could simply pause and breathe for a few moments throughout your day. Listen for the voice of God to enter into your home, your workplace, your thoughts, your marriage. Take time to simply be aware of His presence.
God is evolving my secret place into something new, a place of purpose, where we spend time, worship and create together, where He performs His work on earth through me. I am learning to invite God in more spaces and places in my heart and in my daily rhythms. I am learning that He enjoys spending time with me as much as I love being with Him, that I am not alone in my quiet time of devotion, but He is right there. This has been a process.
When I first started out, I felt tired, bored and lonely sometimes, but this secret place has surely become the fire of my life.
What are some ways you build your relationship with God? How has your secret place been a source of peace, strength and joy in your life? Share in the comments.