Imagine yourself surrounded by an impenetrable wall of protection. Picture yourself enveloped by an invisible force field that no sickness, injury or evil can penetrate. Does that sound too good to be true? That level of security is no fantasy. It’s the Secret Place. And it’s precisely where God wants you to live.
The psalmist called it “the Secret Place” in Psalm 91: “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty” (v. 1). We see that abiding in the Secret Place was actually a state of living in which the believer enjoys absolute protection from all evil.
You may be thinking, Surely finding the Secret Place must be a complex, mysterious thing available only to super-Christians. On the contrary, abiding in the shelter of God’s protection is startlingly simple. And it’s accessible to even the newest of believers.
Of course, “simple” doesn’t mean easy. If abiding in the Secret Place was a piece of cake, more of God’s people would be enjoying this extraordinary level of security. Still, those who know the key to entering this fortress of peace, reap rewards most Christians only dream of.
The Key to the Secret Place
Simply stated, the Secret Place is a place of fellowship with God. When you are in a place of close fellowship with your heavenly Father, you’re “abiding in the shadow of the Almighty.” Perhaps you’d already guessed that. Yet, I almost hesitate to use the term “fellowship” to describe this level of relationship with God. The word has been so overused in Christian circles it has almost become meaningless.
The type of fellowship I’m talking about refers to deep, intimate friendship. Achieving this level of intimacy with God requires more than simply attending church regularly. It demands more than an occasional “quickie quiet time” in the morning.
No, abiding in the Secret Place does not come cheaply, but it is possible. Otherwise, God wouldn’t have told us it was available. It’s just that most of us don’t want it badly enough to pay the price.
You may be thinking, I don’t have to go through all that. I’ll just read Psalm 91 and receive it by faith. It doesn’t work that way, my friend. These benefits don’t come by faith. They come by fellowship. They are a natural by-product of a constant, intimate relationship with your heavenly Father.
Sure, faith is involved. But you’re not going to have the faith necessary to receive this level of protection outside of fellowship with the Lord. Only when God is your ever-present companion will you be able to lay claim to the promises of the Secret Place.
Don’t despair. It’s not as difficult as it may sound. The Bible gives you some clear and simple steps you can take for developing a rich, deep, exciting relationship with God.
Read All About It
Do you remember the wording of the first verse of Psalm 91?
“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.”
The words “dwell” and “abide” mean very much the same thing. To dwell or abide in a place means to live there continually.
One key to living in the Secret Place is “abiding” in God’s Word. This is precisely what Jesus meant when He said, “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, you shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you” (John 15:7).
If you’re serious about getting to a place in which you live each day in the safety of the Secret Place, your first step is to immerse yourself in the Word of God. That means serious, concentrated Bible study.
Spend enough time abiding in the Word and it will eventually begin abiding in you. How do you know you’ve reached that point? When your first response to any situation is to speak the Word. When you’re asked a question – out comes the Word. When you’re faced with a problem – speaking the Word is your instinctive response.
It is unavoidable. When circumstances start putting the squeeze on you, the stuff that fills your heart will come out of your mouth. Think about it. When the pressure is on, what is the first thing out of your mouth? Is it the standard junk everyone else says? Or is it what God’s Word has to say about the situation?
“Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh” (Matt. 12:34).
Bible study alone, however, will not produce the level of intimacy with God required to dwell there. Another dimension must be added.
You can find out a lot about someone just by reading his letters. But there is a certain level of friendship that can only be developed through many hours of face-to-face, personal contact. The same is true of relationship with God.
If all you ever do is read God’s letters (the Bible), you will never truly know Him in the depth and detail of a true friend. It is only in the prayer closet that you will discover God’s personality, His character, His methods and His love. Nowhere else can you plumb the depths of your father’s mercy or explore the riches of His wisdom.
Through the Bible you can know God as Savior, Lord, King, and Deliverer. But only through prayer can you truly know Him as Friend.
In Psalm 103 we’re told, “He [God] made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel” (v. 7). This describes two different levels of relationship with God. The children of Israel knew about God. They knew what He had done. But Moses knew God’s ways.
How did Moses develop this deeper knowledge of God? By spending time with Him.
“And the Lord spake unto Moses face to face as a man speaketh unto a friend” (Ex. 33:11).
In Old Testament times, this level of access to God was limited to prophets on mountaintops and priests in the Holy of Holies. But now every believer can know God in this extraordinary way – just as Moses did.
“Therefore, brethren, since we have full freedom and confidence to enter into the [Holy of] Holies…Let us all come forward and draw near with (honest and sincere) hearts in unqualified assurance and absolute conviction engendered by faith… having our hearts sprinkled and purified from a guilty (evil) conscience and our bodies cleansed with pure water” (Heb. 10:19-22, AMP).
Think of it. You have been granted unlimited, personal access to the Creator of the Universe. Even more mind-boggling is the knowledge that He desires your company. He wants you to know Him as intimate friend.
Push for the Breakthrough
The question remains: If God’s offer of friendship and communion is so wonderful and free, why do so few Christians ever move into this level of relationship?
I believe the answer is that most believers give up in discouragement before they ever get a taste of it. Many new Christians hear about the joys of experiencing God in a quiet time and want to get in on it. With high hopes, they start having a regular time of Bible study and prayer. But when they don’t experience fireworks, a cloud of glory or an audible voice from heaven right away, they simply quit in frustration.
The truth is, it takes perseverance, patience and consistency to develop an intimate walk with God. And while there are exceptions, for most of us it is very much a journey of faith in the early stages. It certainly was for me.
When Lynne and I first started walking wholeheartedly with the Lord, I would get discouraged when I compared my devotional life with hers. Here I was, striving and straining to get the Word and press into God’s presence, yet coming away with absolutely no sense of fellowship with God. Lynne, on the other hand, seemed to be able to simply close her eyes and be transported into a glorious rendezvous with Heaven.
I would wonder at times if there was something wrong with me. Still, I continued to press into God’s presence though I got no discernible results. Then one morning, I awakened to find my room filled with the presence and glory of the Lord. At that moment, He was more real to me than my wife lying beside me.
You, too, will experience a breakthrough in this area if you don’t grow weary in well doing. Stay in the Word of God. Stay constant in prayer.
The day will come when the accumulated force of all your prayer and praise will propel you into an entirely new dimension in your relationship with God. It will be that proverbial “quantum leap” forward.
That doesn’t mean you walk around in some kind of spiritual daze. In reality, you’re sharper, more discerning and more sensitive to what’s going on around you than ever before. It’s just that you now are so connected to the Spirit and His voice that you are able to hear His promptings, warnings and instructions. It is truly a wonderful way to live.
Do you want to abide in the Secret Place? Do you want to experience the kind of supernatural protection from evil that Moses described so vividly in the 91st Psalm? Then purpose in your heart to spend time in the Word, in prayer and in praise. Follow through with consistency and patience.
Imagine life without fear. Picture yourself doing the things God has called you to do without a trace of anxiety or worry. It’s not a religious pipe dream. It’s not only for an elite class of Christians. It’s a reality called the Secret Place of the most high God and you belong there. It’s part of your inheritance as a child of God.
Begin familiarizing yourself with the many wonderful protections of the Secret Place by repeating this confession based on the Amplified translation of Psalm 91:
I dwell in the Secret Place of the Most High and remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty, whose power no foe can withstand. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress, my God on Him I lean and rely and in Him I confidently trust.
For then He will deliver me from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. Then He will cover me with His pinions and under His wings shall I trust and find refuge.
His truth and His faithfulness are a shield and a buckler. I shall not be afraid of the terror of the night nor of the arrow, the evil plots and slanders of the wicked that flies by day, nor of the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor of the destruction and sudden death that surprise and lay waste at noonday.
A thousand may fall at my side and ten thousand at my right hand, but it shall not come near me. Only a spectator shall I be inaccessible in the Secret Place of the Most High as I witness the reward of the wicked.
Because I have made the Lord my refuge, and the Most High my dwelling place, there shall no evil befall me nor any plague or calamity come near my tent, for He will give His angels especial charge over me to accompany, defend and preserve me in all my ways of obedience and service. They shall bear me up on their hands lest I dash my foot against a stone. I shall tread upon a lion and adder, the young lion and the serpent shall I trample under foot.
Because I have set my love upon Him, therefore He will deliver me. He will set me on high because I know and understand His name; I have personal knowledge of His mercy, love and kindness. I trust and rely on Him knowing He will never forsake me, no never.
I shall call upon Him and He will answer me. He will be with me in trouble. He will deliver me and honor me. With long life will He satisfy me and show me His salvation.
Source: Living Safely In A Dangerous World by Mac Hammond
Excerpt permission granted by Mac Hammond Ministries