The Secret Place

“O Lord, give us this day life within, and it will reveal itself without to thy glory.” – Charles H. Spurgeon

“Those things that are hidden are meant to be revealed, and what is concealed is meant to be brought out where its light can shine.” – Mark 4:22 (The Voice)

How glad the heart

Below is an honest expression of the heart that surely many of us can identify with in our own lives:

Oh how I guarded my secret place, that nothing would be revealed lest I be ashamed. Yet even though my inner gates were closed and darkness prevailed there, a piercing light still shone through and illuminated all that was hidden within the gates: thoughts, intentions, loves, desires, motivations – all the things that the Spirit of God examined. I was terrified of these secrets being exposed to the light.

But how glad the heart that turns to follow Jesus! Though He saw it all – and more than I know – hidden there, yet He still rescued me. Jesus is always ready and able to restore a soul willing to follow Him, no matter the darkness hidden behind the gates of the secret place.

Today, the secrets being revealed in my secret place are the Way, the Truth and the Life! Everything hidden will be revealed, and what a joy now that my secret place reveals the presence of Christ and blesses others.

Today I still guard my secret place. Those gates are still closed. But today they’re closed to keep the darkness out, and the Light shines brightly inside! Christ is at home there now. His light shines forth. He lights my way. I am redeemed by His grace, transformed by His love, set free by His life in me.

“For as he thinks within himself, so he is…” – Proverbs 23:7 (NASB translation)

The Holy Spirit always examines your secret place before all else because this is where the “real” you lives. This is of utmost importance to God because the thoughts and intentions living there will ultimately be revealed – perhaps not intentionally – in external ways, through speech, choices and behavior.

“Men judge by outward appearance, but I look at a man’s thoughts and intentions.” – God speaking to the Prophet Samuel in 1 Samuel 16:7 (The Living Bible)

Your divine architecture

It’s critical to grasp the truth behind your divine architecture. God has designed you to live with a transmissive Spirit-to-spirit-to-soul-to-body existence because this is the only way Christ can live through you and be formed in you – God’s perfect will and purpose for believers. As you begin responding to Him, day by day the darkness residing in your inner life will be dethroned and your entire life will begin to change for the ultimate fulfillment of your true purpose, for the edification of others, and for His glory.

Many believers, even in our churches and religion in general, live as if believing and following Jesus are largely external behaviors and actions. Sadly, the divine design is neglected, leading to a life that is faithless, futile and powerless. This is not the life that God intended for you, friend! That’s what we call a “grave-lingering life.”

To the believers in first century Rome:
“For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being.” (Romans 7:22, ESV translation)

Now here is one of the most incredible passages from a letter, preserved for us across the ages, written by the hand of Apostle Paul to the believers in Ephesus, one of the largest and most important cities in the ancient Mediterranean world:

“My response is to get down on my knees before the Father, this magnificent Father who parcels out all heaven and earth. I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit—not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength—that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in. And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you’ll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God.” – Ephesians 3:14-19, (The Message)

This passage is an all-encompassing, and surely an oft-repeated heartfelt prayer whispered from Paul’s lips. We’ll place special emphasis on four smaller phrases within this prayer that accentuate this inside-out process leading to the new life you’ve been given by God’s grace to live out:

“…I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit—not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength…”
(the drawing power of God)

“…that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in…”
(the inner response of the will in the soul of a disciple)

“… you’ll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights!”
(the action resulting from a surrendered will)

Live full lives, full in the fullness of God.”
(reflecting in the outer life)

If all believers today could be the kind of people that are truly strengthened with power by the Spirit of God in their inner lives – the secret places – so that Christ would dwell within them, and they would reveal in themselves the fullness of God! Oh that you and I could be this kind of Christ-following believer…

You can be. And so can I.

The divine nature

Another of the twelve in Jesus’ closest inner circle named Peter wrote about the nature of this fullness of God, calling it in some translations the “divine nature.” Note that the inside-out process to the life God intended is clearly traced in the emboldened words in this passage.

“His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. – 2 Peter 1:3-7 (NIV)

Eighteen centuries after Peter penned those words, Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834 – 1892), an English Baptist preacher, expounded on this same divine nature in illustrious language:

“To be a partaker of the divine nature is not, of course, to become God. That cannot be. The essence of Deity is not to be participated in by the creature. Between the creature and the Creator there must ever be a gulf fixed in respect of essence; but as the first man Adam was made in the image of God, so we, by the renewal of the Holy Spirit, are in a yet diviner sense made in the image of the Most High, and are partakers of the divine nature. We are, by grace, made like God. ‘God is love’; we become love–‘He that loveth is born of God.’ God is truth; we become true, and we love that which is true: God is good, and he makes us good by his grace, so that we become the pure in heart who shall see God. Moreover, we become partakers of the divine nature in even a higher sense than this–in fact, in as lofty a sense as can be conceived, short of our being absolutely divine. Do we not become members of the body of the divine person of Christ? Yes, the same blood which flows in the head flows in the hand: and the same life which quickens Christ quickens his people, for ‘Ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.’ Nay, as if this were not enough, we are married unto Christ. He hath betrothed us unto himself in righteousness and in faithfulness, and he who is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. Oh! marvelous mystery! we look into it, but who shall understand it? One with Jesus–so one with him that the branch is not more one with the vine than we are a part of the Lord, our Saviour, and our Redeemer! While we rejoice in this, let us remember that those who are made partakers of the divine nature will manifest their high and holy relationship in their intercourse with others, and make it evident by their daily walk and conversation that they have escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. O for more divine holiness of life!”

So hopefully you’ve learned that you’re designed with an “architecture” that makes it possible for the God that created you to live within you, so that your inner life – your secret place – will externally reveal the life of Jesus being formed in you.

The next question you may be asking is this: “I really need to know the way to make this happen in my life. How do I actually respond to God’s drawing?”

The next article will help you get started.

Key takeaways:
1. The “secret place” is the inner life, the human spirit, soul (heart and mind); the immaterial “core” of every person.
2. All speech and behavior inevitably reveals externally what resides internally in the secret place (i.e. cause and effect).
3. The human architecture is designed by God to operate with this flow: Holy Spirit > human spirit > soul > body, to fulfill His purposes and perfect will. In this design, the Holy Spirit (the Spirit of Christ) is the source for a holy life that is set apart to follow Christ.
4. In Scripture this divine design is often referred to as the “divine nature.”

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Photo by Tim Hufner

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