Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
The Lord’s prayer is a template for what you ought to pray in your secret place. Jesus set this example of the “Lord’s Prayer” in contrast to those who “pray standing in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men” (Matt. 6:5). That’s not to say we should not pray in public, on the contrary the great commission makes such an idea null. What this means is that no amount of praying in public should ever satisfy your desire to connect with God. Unless you’re getting your supply from somewhere other than God, you should not have any resources if you don’t pray in your secret place.
(I DARE you to spend 15 minutes each day doing exactly what Jesus said to do in Matt 6:7-15 for one month.)
Moving on, our hearts should not be in such a state that we crave attention from men instead of God. If you are working that your works be seen by people, then you lay up treasures on earth. Likewise, if you are praying in your secret place, and being humble in your actions, you lay up treasures in heaven.
If you find yourself wondering where you are laying up your treasures, consider that you may have blind spots needing to be exposed. In fact, if you are not certain what your motives are in everything, you have blind spots, and need God to reveal them to you, which is the basis of an active relationship with God.
Blind spots can be the result of two things: ignorance or deception. If you are ignorant, you simply have no knowledge of the subject at hand. Ignorance is easily overcome compared to the second option; if you want to overcome ignorance, pick up the Bible, question your pastor or counsel about your ignorance, and spend time in prayer.
Deception, on the other hand, is from the devil, plain and simple, for he is the father of lies. Deception is knowing something that is false to be true. An elementary example would be if you are convinced that 2+2=5. In the state of deception, you are sold on an idea or fact that is not true. Furthermore, your position does not make that idea true – 2+2 will never equal 5. Why? Why won’t 2+2 ever equal 5? That’s right!
Jesus says “if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!” (Matt 6:23).
The word “eye” here is not a simple one. It means not only the physical eye but also “showing mental qualities” and “of mental and spiritual faculties.” A most simple understanding of this verse equates the “eye” to a person’s perspective, because the eye is how we see, and is the understanding of the word I will use here. Consequently, Jesus’s warning in verse 23 is of the perception that would cause us to lay up treasures on earth. This perception is dangerous, and it is hidden from your knowledge so that “the light in you is darkness.”
So I ask you, according to the Bible: will leaning on your own understanding ever cause God to make straight your paths? (Proverbs 4) Will thinking highly of yourself ever make you a good part of God’s body? (Romans 12) Will walking in the law ever keep you from fulfilling the lusts of the flesh? (Galatians 5). The answer to all of these, of course, is no, for the Bible clearly says otherwise. If, however, you believe other than what the Bible says in any situation, and perceive your life through that belief, you are deceived and what you perceive as light within you is “great darkness.”
If you think you may be a victim of deception, do not fret. There is always hope. Against this deception Jesus gives the following advice: do not pray, give, or fast in order to be seen by men, do not lay up treasures on Earth, and do not worry. Pray, give, and fast in secret, lay up treasures in heaven, and seek first the Kingdom of God. Likewise, If you’re not sure where you are laying up your treasures, let God reveal to you the truth. Ask the Holy spirit for he teaches all things (John 14:26).
Remember when I said “In fact, if you are not certain what your motives are in everything, you have blind spots, and need God to reveal them to you, which is the basis of an active relationship with God.”? The motivation for my saying this comes from Matt 6:6b. “Your Father, Who sees in secret, will reward you in the open.” Here, Jesus was teaching us how to seek God and become mature in God, for the rewards which God gives us restore and build up our entire being- spirit, soul and body. When we go to Him with supplication, that is an earnest, humble, heartfelt petition, we entirely reveal our inward nature to His inward nature. When we reveal all of who we are to God, he does the same and by doing so, shines light on our blind spots.
I love exploring the subject of the secret place, so expect more on this soon.
Comments are appreciated.
I love you all!