It is a while since I have put anything on the blog – almost a month. In that time Esther and I have been to Northern Iraq. I read this challenging word from Bobby Connor of Eagles View Ministry this morning and was deeply blessed by it and wanted to share it. I trust that it will bless you.
In my own quiet times I have been reading the Book of Daniel and have been deeply blessed. Perhaps in the weeks ahead I will write down on the blog some of the thoughts that the Lord has given me from each of the chapters of Daniel. In the meantime be blessed by Bobby Connor’s article.
The Hungry Heart: Seeking the Secret Place
Deep Calling unto Deep
This is a season when the saints of God will discover that true intimacy is stirred in the secret place of the Most High, a desire not merely for power but for His living presence.
The first step toward the “secret place of the Most High” (Psalm 91:1) begins with a desperate, hungry heart. This longing draws us to seek true, deep intimacy with Christ. One can hear the cry of David’s longing heart in Psalm 42:7:
“Deep calls unto deep at the noise of Your waterfalls; All Your waves and billows have gone over me.”
Beloved, now is the time to go deeper into the Word of God in order to go higher with the Lord. The Spirit of God has stirred this desire! He has been fanning the flame of discontentment within the hearts of God’s people, resulting in a deep hunger for not merely the power of God but the presence of God.
David’s Burning Desire
Many in our day can relate with the hungry heart of David as he pens the Psalms. These love poems to God are filled with the heart-cry of a man seeking for a deep, personal relationship with the Lord Himself. Again and again, David expresses a burning desire to intimately know the Lord on several levels of experience. First, he desires to know the Lord face to face. In this regard, I so appreciate The Message Bible Psalm 63:1-4:
“God–You’re my God! I can’t get enough of You! I’ve worked up such hunger and thirst for God, traveling across dry and weary deserts. So here I am in the place of worship, eyes open, drinking in Your strength and glory. In Your generous love I am really living at last! My lips brim praises like fountains. I bless You every time I take a breath; My arms wave like banners of praise to You.”
And from Psalm 42:1-2: “As the heart pants after the water brooks, so pants my soul after You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?”
David has gained the knowledge that he cannot find the soul satisfaction and fulfillment that he deeply desires from other relationships. He now desires to know the Lord as a Person with whom he can share times of intimate fellowship. When he fell short of this experience, David repented before the Lord.
“I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, I will confess my transgressions to the Lord, and You forgave the iniquity of my sin.” Psalm 32:5 NKJ
Now, after coming clean with God, David is free from all guilt and condemnation and he can say from within the depth of his being:
“You are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble; You shall surround me with songs of deliverance.” Psalm 32:7 NKJ
David has come to understand that only the Lord can satisfy the longing of his soul. He has completely abandoned himself to the Lord as his “hiding place.”
As a result of this deep heart rending repentance, David then desires to know the Lord as one in whom he can place infinite trust. In Psalm 56:11, David the Psalmist writes:
“In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do to me.”
There is a bold clarity in the expression of David’s trust and expectancy in these words as they flow out from a heart of love, appreciation, and worship. With clean hands and a pure heart David discovers he has been brought into a new level of intimacy with God, the Lord spoke to him and imparted this very encouraging promise:
“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye. Do not be like the horse or like the mule, which have no understanding, which must be harnessed with bit and bridle, else they will not come near you.” Psalm 32:8-9 NKJ
David’s repentance has brought him into such an intimate closeness to the Lord (“I will guide you with My eye”), that David is able to sense the desire of the Lord concerning him, apart from words being spoken. Seeking to take David even further into true intimacy, the Lord exhorts him to be both responsive and obedient: “Do not be like the horse or like the mule.” As followers of Christ we should not be self-willed, like a horse, nor should we be stubborn like the mule. Our goal is to become easy to lead, swift to obey. Desiring to fully follow the Lamb wherever He will lead.
Unwavering Desire and Focus
We also desperately need this same clarity of Spirit-led protection and guidance that David experienced. As world pressures and religious confusion increase, we must heed this exhortation in the Word to unconditionally make the Lord our portion; He alone is our impenetrable rock, and refuge (see Psalm 59:16-17)!
Psalm 91 promises deliverance and victory in the time of trouble to those abiding in God’s presence. “He that dwells in the secret place of The Most High.” This “secret place” is a place “set apart” where we can withdraw from the activities of our everyday life experience. Here, we will be able to clearly hear with our spiritual ears, and then appropriate His Words into our spirit and digest them until they become a personal reality within us. Only as we learn to act upon the Word of God does our life start to transform and true change occurs (see James 1:22).
There are many distracting influences that seek to draw us away from a sincere devotion to the Lord. These forces have absolutely no power or control over us, unless we allow them to do so. There must be within each of us an active resistance to anything that will hinder our times of fellowship with the Lord. It is when we resist the devil that he takes flight from us (see James 4:7).
The Lord will not over-ride our will; He will urge us and prompt and provoke us but the choice must be from our heart. He will guide us, but we are given the freedom to choose our level of response to Him in every area of our life encounter. We must abide continually in an attitude of choosing to respond to His wooing our hearts into this place of “a secret abode of intimacy with Him.”
The foe of our soul will do all he can to distract us away from our quest for the secret place. The enemy’s strategies that pull away from this secret place are many and manifold: there continually lurks in the shadows the desire for success, recognition and earthly security against what might happen. If allowed, these things will step forward to obscure Jesus. Our goal is to truly seek first the Kingdom of God (see Matthew 6:33). As this becomes our quest then everything else will find its proper place in our life.
We easily forget His promise in John 16:33, “In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” Here, Jesus is saying, “Do not fear, in Me you will have peace.” He has promised to care for us, for He is our Good Shepherd. As we have need, we can freely partake of all that He won on the Cross in our behalf (see Romans 8:32-37)!
Set Our Affections Above
If we are not receiving His care and protection, we have either chosen the wrong dwelling place or we have set our affection on something or someone other than Christ Jesus, our King. When this happens, He patiently waits, ready to help us when we finally turn to Him.His “Word” to us is that we enter into “the secret place” where He dwells and then make this our real, experienced home.
David erected a tent on Mount Zion for God to dwell in, but David’s heart became the Lord’s abode. The Lord promises to reward those who seek Him. This reward is God Himself. Nothing can compare to this eternal treasure!
In Romans 8, we are presented with exhortations, promises, and the marvelous Word that “all things work together for good to them that love God” (to those who make Him their secret abode). Then comes the encouraging word, “If God be for us, who can be against us?”
Victory is guaranteed, as we put our trust completely in Christ Jesus and seek this place of rest in His presence (see Psalm 16:11). As we do this, we will be eternally grateful and satisfied! Abiding in Christ’s presence produces the peace that surpasses all understanding.