Press in—Finding Your Secret Place in God

Spending quality time in the presence of the Lord God is absolutely necessary to secure your personal relationship with Him for eternity.  Living a holy and powerful lifestyle as a Christian requires spending private time in prayer, praise and worship, study of the Bible, meditation (thinking) on Him , and even just sitting in silence listening. Being in the presence of the Lord on a regular and consistent basis makes a difference in your attitude, altitude, and certainly your perspective on life. In essence, finding your secret place in the presence of God will determine whether you live here on earth in victory or defeat!

Do you realize there are many unstable, insecure and uncertain Christians? They are insecure about who they are and where they belong. They are uncertain about what they believe. They are insecure due to ignorance about their spiritual inheritance, and the abundant life that’s promised by being in relationship with Jesus Christ.  Consequently, they live beneath their privileges in the natural and cannot tap into the supernatural realm of dominion, power and glory. To live beneath your privilege as a Christian equates to not having a solid foundation in the Word of God—not understanding your life is hidden in Christ. In other words, not finding your place of security and significance, which comes from being in the presence of God, makes you open prey for the enemy because you have no supernatural protection.

“Press into His presence” is not some cute, religious church jargon. It speaks of progressive course of action that Christians should take, as well as an aggressive attitude that is absolutely essential in order to experience spiritual growth in your relationship with God.  Spiritual growth means developing Christ-like character, godly conduct and contentment, as well as faith and trust in God regardless of external circumstances and conditions. Usually going through a process of any kind is unwelcome by most people merely because of the time factor involved. Spiritual maturity is not instantaneous as some would have you to believe based on the world’s belief system.  Spiritual growth is achieved through trials and tribulations. James 1:3-4 substantiates the need for patience as believers walking by faith and not sight. Sadly, many Christians have been deceived into believing that instantaneous success and spiritual growth can be achieved without seeking God—being in His presence in private worship and fellowship.  But this is not the case for those who hunger and thirst for the glory of God’s presence and power in their life above all else.  Of course, as with anything in life, it is a personal decision. It is an individual’s choice to press into His presence and find your secret place in God.

To press into Father’s presence requires self-discipline and determination. It is a ‘press’ because of the antagonism between the Spirit and human sinful nature (Galatians 5:17). This resistance comes disguised as distractions, interruptions and pressures of life, but mostly due to the dominant and controlling area of your life—the sin nature (flesh). Pressing into God’s presence requires not only time, but also effort and mind exertion for elevation above the many distractions and interruptions in the course of a day.  Ultimately, your thought process and your thinking initiates the “press.”  In addition, you must resolve to train your spirit by pressing into the presence of the Lord and spending time with Him until it becomes part of our lifestyle like everything else we do in the course of a day or week. Once your spirit is trained and disciplined, your secret place is established, and it becomes part of our routine; although there is nothing routine about the benefits. Finding and dwelling in your secret place in God will change your life eternally!

For many Christians, a simple lack of interest is the reason for not spending time with God and finding their secret place in Him. Many are satisfied with being mediocre Christians, and indifferent in their spiritual walk. They are the ones that say, “It don’t take all that.” In essence, they are blind to their instability, uncertainty, ignorance and insecurities. Basically, they have another “god” before the only true and living God. Satisfaction with being a lukewarm Christian qualifies them as a scapegoat and gives them an excuse wherein they justify their own pleasure-seeking desires. They substitute sensual pleasures for eternal treasures. Mediocrity and indifference among Christians promote self-gratification and self-indulgence in things that will prove detrimental in the end—a small three-letter word called “sin” (Romans 6:23).

I compare the psalmist’s declaration to that of a parent-child relationship experience. Oftentimes, because of experience, parents will try to advise their children in order to protect them; however, the child is consumed with doing what they want regardless of impending danger. Of course, after ignoring parents’ advice and warnings they suffer the unpleasant consequences of their actions. Then and only then do they realize the error of their ways. And thus the familiar confession, “I should have listened to you!” Instead of an after-the fact confession, a lot of unpleasant experiences could be avoided if Christians would heed the voice of God, obey His Word, listen to the voice of experience and grasp the promises of God, such as the one in Psalm 91:1-2. The writer says, “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty [Whose power no foe can withstand].

Naturally, physical protection immediately comes to mind when reading the above passage. However, while meditating on this scripture, found that it speaks intrinsically of mental and emotional protection. In essence, the mind is covered and protected if you take refuge and stay in the presence of God—a place hidden and secure—a place that protects my mind and soul (spirit). Stability is a state of mind. If your mind is unstable your actions and behavior will reflect the instability of mind. And, instability is accompanied by insecurity. The main reason Christians are unstable and insecure is because they have not found their security (secret place) in God. They do not know that their new, real life is hidden with Christ in God. A combination of ignorance, distractions and disinterest have stunted their spiritual growth, and their desire is to always please their flesh/sin nature (Colossians 3:3; Romans 8:1-14). If Christians fail to get into their secret place by spending time in God’s presence, not only do they suffer the consequences personally, but society as a whole suffer. Our communities, families and homes also suffer.  When Christians spend less time with God and more time with things that satisfy their natural desires, and fit into their personal agendas, our witness is weakened and we are powerless in handling Kingdom business for the King.

As darkness and gross darkness cover the earth, there will be no substitute for pursuing the things of God. Your security, stability and protection come only from spending time in the presence of God Almighty. The need to press into His presence and find your secret place in Him will literally be a matter of life and death. Being covered, protected, and secure in God during the transitions of life will provide the mental and emotional stability needed to be more than a conqueror in the challenges ahead. It is my sincere prayer that everyone reading this article will evaluate and examine where you have placed your trust. Ask yourself: “Do I have a secret place in God?”
 

If you haven’t found your secret place, I encourage you to get into God’s presence and dwell (abide, stay, remain) because spending quality time in the presence of the Lord God is absolutely necessary to secure your personal relationship with Him.

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This article was originally published in Blessed Room Magazine. Rev. 9/3/12.

© 2003, 2012.


God is on our side!

Oh, how I love the word of God.  I have put my hope in God’s word; therefore, it is my comfort in sorrow.  It is my strength in weakness.  It is my light in darkness. It is my song of victory!

 Do you recall how it made you feel when you knew someone was on your side?  A more modern term now is “got your back.” There’s a sense of boldness, defiance, and confidence that escalates when you know someone’s got your back, and you don’t have to face the enemy alone. 

 I recall my school days when occasionally I’d get into an altercation with a peer.  Thankfully, it was not a way of life for me.  Nevertheless, it was the seldom occasion that being an only child was a disadvantage.  However, I did have an ally that I could depend on.  I knew my cousin, Joe, was on my side, and was well able to throw a good punch in my defense.

Usually after-school showdowns were planned in advance.  Advance planning allowed for a build up of assurance and confidence as well. It helped you to prepare mentally.  Although this was many years ago, I still recall the positive affect that having support had on me when facing a challenging encounter.

 Consequently, when I read Psalm 124, I could easily relate to how the Israelites could prepare themselves mentally and emotionally for worship.  What an assurance to know that God is on our side.  This particular song was one that the Israelites sang as they made their pilgrimage to the temple centuries ago. Yet, it is relevant today.

These are difficult times, and yet glorious times for the people of God.   How reassuring it is to know that God is on our side.  God’s got your back! We don’t have to face the enemy alone.  He has provided an arsenal for defense, and a physical location that we can gather to be restored, or regroup, and refuel to continue walking in purpose and pursuing destiny.

 Ah! The Temple. The Church House. The House of Prayer. The Sanctuary. God’s house. The local assembly…. Or, whatever you choose to call it.  It should be the place where Christians gather—the Church—the “called out” gather in one place with one purpose—to experience the Presence of God.  It is the place where “like-minded” people of faith come to give thanks and praise to their God for being on our side, and not allowing the enemy, or the storms of life overtake us.

 Each week, as we prepare for the Sabbath Day of worship, we should plan in advance through meditation, prayer and devotion, and private worship.  And when we meet our sisters and brothers, we will be ready…having one mind; assembled for one purpose—a corporate worship experience as we reflect on the goodness and faithfulness of our God saying with one voice, “If the LORD had not been on our side…Praise be to the LORD! Our help is from the LORD, who made the heavens and the earth.