Buck up, heart | Secret Place Pt. 3

When all around me is darkness, and the darkness seeks to overtake the light within me I tell my heart, “BUCK UP!” I cannot allow myself to be declined towards God. I must lift my face to Him, and as the psalmist said, “incline my heart to perform His statutes.” My heart does not default to look to God. Just like every other aspect of my being, my heart must be woken up, stretched and risen. I incline my body to get out of bed in the morning, I incline my mind to become active and quick-thinking, so also I must incline my heart to look to God for “out of the heart flows the issues of life.”

I thought I had to find a physical secret place before I could enter into a secret place, before I could connect to God, I thought I had to be in a place I had named “secret place.” How incredibly ignorant of me, because I know better than to think the secret place is anywhere except in my heart. Truly, I can say at any time to my heart, “BUCK UP!” I will sing a song of worship declaring, “I run to the throne room,” and I will incline my heart to God. Even in the midst of the darkness, I keep my light alive by inclining my heart toward God. I protect my heart by inclining it toward God. That’s not to say I will never sin, but it is to say that I will not be overtaken by my sin and come to regret the decisions I made as long as I am active in inclining my heart toward God.

I’m on a California vacation right now with some of my extended family and it’s hard not to succumb to drinking too much, and taking the Lord’s name in vain, and talking about women as if they are only objects of my sexual desire. In fact, in vacations to California before this one I had no idea how to be among my family in such a setting and not do these things. Last time I was here, roughly a year ago, it was all I could do to give in to the smoking, drinking, and other immorality, because I did not know how to find a secret place among the darkness. I was overcome by the darkness around me and I regret the things I did.

So you might ask (as I have asked myself) why did you even go with your family if they are not a good influence? Well, at most points after my last California vacation, I have rejected any time with my family because I knew that I was not strong enough or in touch enough to control myself and not regret my behavior. So, I have stayed away from parts of my family which influence me too strongly to sin, but I know I am called to influence them toward the Truth and Light. However, how can I do so when I can’t even overcome their darkness because the light in me is hardly enough to light my own path? Remember Jesus said the light within may be a greater darkness than the darkness on the outside!

So many more questions and points to make, as always, but I’ll leave you with the challenge to incline your heart to God when it is most difficult. Take any opportunity to tell your heart, “BUCK UP.”

Give me your comments, I love them!

-Frederik

Treasure|Deception|Blind Spots – Secret Place Pt. 2

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.

Amen.

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!

-Frederik

 

 

Who am I?

I am part of a race, made by a divine and perfect being. I have within me the image of that creator, surely. How could a creation not somehow bare the mark of its maker?However, I  have also in me hatred, lust, pride, and every sinful thing. My thoughts are impure, my actions are selfish, and my character is full of itself. “Create in me, Oh God, a pure heart… Do not cast me away from your presence,” for though I am not deserving of you, all I am within me craves the perfection of your love and the pleasure of your countenance. God, I want to know you but
Who am I?
This question weighs on my soul, brings me to tears and withdraws every ounce of will I have as a offering unto you. Any part of who I am, surely, every part of who I am is yours. How do I truly surrender it to you, God. I must know. I must know the secret of your sanctification so I may never be apart from you. How do I know you, and how do I know
Who am I?
“I will hide your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” I will seek you, as you call unto me past the deep into the deep’s deepest deep. I want nothing more than to follow you and sit at your feet. I cannot contain the weight of who you are, but since you insist on calling unto me, what can I do? what can I say?
Who am I?
When you call, surely I must answer, and I must seek to serve you. If I do not answer, what then? If I do not answer how will I follow? “My sheep know my voice.” God, I know you and I want to know you more. Help me know you more. I want nothing more than to know you, and embrace your love and life everlasting. God, I need you. I am a slave to you and how great a master are you. Much better your love and grace than death and destruction. Evenstill,
Who am I,
that you would redeem me from the grasp of the evil one. Your revelation to me of the truth and freedom from the prison of lies is a mystery to me. How is it that you saw fit to sacrifice your all for me?
Who am I?
I am… a recipient of “the spirit of adoption, by whom I CRY ABBA.” Daddy, God, tell me your secrets. What are your plans, I want to help you. Make me a servant to your Kingdom. I choose to follow you and serve you. I want to know you. God, I want to know you.

“You are the God who knows and loves me. The God of David, The Rock of Ages. You are the King who dwells above me, The King of Zion, The Might Lion.

The Journey of Hope

Romans 5.

7:36 a.m.

Sleep: none

“Have hope,” they said. “It’s all you can do,” they said.

True, true… well, actually no it’s not true, but that’s beside the point.

Hope is very similar to faith, only hope objectifies promises and experiences which are of God independent of us; faith, as you may recall, calls what is not as though it is into existence within us and around us (Hebrews 11).Hope is how I survive and when I come upon it as is laid out by the Bible, it does not– cannot –disappoint. It is the culmination of tribulation leading to perseverance, leading to proven character, resting finally, free from disappointment (Romans 5:3-4). This is why, when, last month, I hoped I had found my future wife, I was disappointed, and the year before that, the same, and before that, the same, and as far back as I can track some ten years to when I was twelve– the same.

I left those relationships much more than disappointed, but for the sake of clarity, I’ll leave it at “disappointed.” I had hoped for so much, knowing that God wants good things for me, but not knowing that I was pursuing those good things with a separate life in mind than the one I was pursuing God with. In other words, I was pursuing God’s perks, without pursuing God.  In Romans 5:1 Paul writes that we exult in the hope of the glory of God, and this road to hope which we are blessed with through tribulation is how we come to this exultation. In my life, I could not truly experience God’s glory without my willingness to cling to hope in God through my tribulations, and once I had just one glimpse of his glory, my whole world and life was changed, I now seek it at every turn, and I long day and night to experience his glory without end.

So, what is God’s glory? One definition given by Strong is splendor or brightness — both things you must “see.” You can’t see the light of a bulb if you’re not in its presence, can you? In the same way, I have become desperate for God’s glory. I have spent too much time, with little success thinking of how much I need God. This need for Him is apparent to me, and while I make no attempt to belittle my need for Him, I, above this need for Him, have come to want Him. I need Him, undoubtedly, but more so, I need to want him.

I choose to hope in Him, in his glory, in his promises. Throughout everything that comes against me (even as seemingly insignificant as when my roommate eats all my planned meal for a day without inquiry), I hope in his promises as specifically as I possibly can. In the case of my roommates appetite, I remember his promise, first about the bread of life and its permanent fulfillment, but then about the sparrow whom He clothes and feeds. Above all, and all the time, I hope in knowing, being deeply acquainted and intimate with God– I do not want to know of God, for I have known of God my entire life– I want to experience his physical presence, always.

 

Secret Place [The Most Holy Place]

What is the Secret Place? Well, of course, it’s a secret! A secret between you and God in which God is “our refuge and fortress.” In the Old Testament God gave very clear and detailed instructions as to how His children should enter into this Holy Place. Of course then, just like everything else, the Holy Place was a physical place, in the physical world made with wood, gold, bronze, and many other resources still found on this earth today (Exodus 29). Likewise, in the Old Testament those who worshiped God needed an intermediary to be the High Priest and enter the Holy Place for them. In the New Testament, and today, The Secret Place is now your Secret Place (Matthew 6:6), wherein we may (and should) freely worship and pray to God.

My Secret Place I make known to you in the physical, with words and ideas. Although my experience you may never know, because you will experience such a thing in your own way. When I exclude my senses from the world, I make communication with Him the only reality. Reality becomes a glorious place, and I am free from all the chains in my life that hold me. I pray to God with all that I am, mostly that I may know Him, and that he will make His plan for me as clear as day. I spend time thanking Him for all that He has given me, which is beyond anything I could even begin to understand. At times, He lets me understand a taste of what He has for me, and, regularly, I weep. Knowing God in this way clears my mind that I might be transformed to make His Glory known.

Jesus said in Matthew 6, verse 6:

“But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the Secret Place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you in openly.”

So, I invite you to find this secret place for your own, truly, as Jesus himself said. God will reward you, openly, for your prayers which are in secret. Find out how He rewards you. What do you need? Tell Him, daily, in secret. And remember, God knows what you need, we pray to Him to build the relationship, and, my personal favorite, to make good on the promise of Philippians 4:6-7.

Thank you for your support and encouragement. Especially you, Dad.

God Bless you, and feel more than free to share you experiences with God in His Secret Place in the comments.

-Frederik