We live in a world highly sensitized to personal confidentiality and the risks involved in its loss. Information data breaches, identity theft and information system compromise are news headlines we hear about almost daily and even experience ourselves.
The evidence is out that keeping anything “secret” is becoming more and more difficult as our personal lives are being increasingly intertwined with globalized information networks that we all inter-operate with.
However, there are some secrets that must be held in confidence, and if not, result in devastating consequences. National security, intellectual property and personal medical information (to name a few) all fall into the “secret” category. A breach in any of these areas could potentially result in massive loss of life, wealth or dignity.
Thinking on a more spiritual plane, I wonder if God Himself also has some secrets He wishes to keep confidential. Are there some “God secrets” He wishes to share, but cannot because of the presiding spiritual climate?
Could it be that the Lord does not reveal some things to His people because either they will not appreciate them or they cannot be trusted with the information (a Heavenly data breach)?
The Secret Place
“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” Psalms 91:1
There is a place in God where secrets are shared, intimate thoughts exchanged and deep revelations of truth and knowledge is transmitted; it is called “the secret place” and getting there will cost something. There will be resistances of flesh, the world and the powers of darkness that will try hinder one from arriving. But, it is worth the trip.
It is not a place for cowards, lairs, backbiters or the insincere; it is a place for the thankful, those with wholeness of heart, a hunger for truth, right intentions and pure motives. The secret place is where God shares His most private thoughts.
The biblical record tells us that many have visited the secret place and they were never the same afterwards; Moses (Exo 34:29), Jacob (Gen 32:24, 30-31), Hannah (I Sam 1:10-12), Ester (Est 4:16), Jonah (Jon 2:1-10), Cornelius (Act 10:1-4), Saul of Tarsus (Act 22:6-11), the Apostle John (Rev 1:10-17), and of course Jesus (Luk 22:41-45).
There are some things that cannot be disclosed to just anyone, things only discussed behind closed doors and in intimate places. Can we be trusted with the secrets of God? Can the Lord speak “things in the dark” to us and trust that they will be protected by heart and mind?
Touching the Holy
“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;” I John 1:1
As the disciples physically touched and “handled” Jesus (the Word of life), we today are touched and do touch God’s Holy spirit, the Holy Ghost. When the Holy Ghost fills the human soul with that infusion of new life (Acts 2:38), we are at that point literally “handling” the Word of life; Jesus Christ himself (Rom 8:11).
How do we act when our hands touch the Holy? Am I handling Jesus the way I should? Do I really appreciate the “secret” that God has revealed to me, the secret that was hidden in the O.T. (Gen 49:10, Psa 110:1), the secret the prophets could not yet perceive (Isa 28:11-12, Joel 2:28-29) and the angels themselves could only wonder about (I Peter 1:12) ?
The Good Part
We read in the N.T. a very personal narrative and discourse between Jesus and two of his favorite companions outside of his circle of disciples, Mary and Martha. There is hardly anything like it in the gospels. Here we see Jesus in conversation who delves down to the bare metal to unravel and defuse conflicting emotions between two sisters:
“Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word. But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.” Luke 10:38-40
As Mary clearly understood, some things can only be found close to Jesus, by sitting right at his feet. This is the place where his secrets are heard, felt and understood.
“But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:42
The “Good part” is a “God part“, it is a place where secrets are whispered, secrets that make the mind spin and the heart burn. It is a place where life takes on new meaning, one’s God-walk is energized and faith is rekindled. This is what the “good part” did for Mary, it will do the same for you and me.
As with Mary, we all need to strive to find the secret place in God, to desire the “good part”.
Could it be that the Lord wishes to give more people “the good part”, but because of a lack of interest his wishes often go unnoticed?
And can Mary be faulted for her desire for deeper truth, and to the chagrin of her sister Martha, neglect fleeting earthly concerns in the process? Apparently, Jesus did not think so. Am I spending more time on earthy pursuits, on mindless time drains and less time “at the feet” of Jesus?
The Lord has some secrets to tell us. Are we listening?
“Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures.” Luke 24:45