March 18, 2006
Secrets of the Secret Place
I recently exchanged “All-time Favorite” books with my new best friend, Priscilla. I gave her a copy of “Celebration of Discipline” by Richard Foster and she handed me, “Secrets of the Secret Place” by Bob Sorge. I have been devouring this book, one chunky chapter at a time.
The truth is, this book is so meaty that God has given me specific instructions to only read one chapter a day. This has been extremely difficult to obey. As a matter of fact, I asked for special grace yesterday to read two chapter because I just couldn’t wait to learn more. (I asked again for a third chapter but I was met with the “Dad” look.)
I have only read the first fifteen chapters out of a fifty-two chapter book but I couldn’t wait any longer to tell you about it. I would like to share some of passages I underlined and have already read over and over again.
“When you enter your room, and shut your door, you are in the presence of your Father. Instantaneously! It matters not how you feel. Regardless of your soul’s climate at moment, you know with absolute confidence you have stepped into the chamber of your Father in heaven. The secret place is your portal to the throne, the place where you taste of heaven itself. Because when you know you are in the immediate presence of your Father, your spirit and soul will often respond to that knowledge with heartfelt connectedness. The knowledge of this truth will set your spirit free to soar.”
“The word ‘hear’ is the most important word in the Bible!...For this reason, I strongly advocate for a prayer life that is comprised mostly of silence. It’s a great delight to talk to God, but it’s even more thrilling when He talks to us. I’ve discovered that He has more important things to say than I do.”
“No, I’m not talking about obvious sins…I am talking about repenting from our iniquities. Iniquities are the hidden faults that we don’t see. (They) are wrapped up in much more subtle areas of sinfulness, such as pride, rebellion, unbelief, envy, selfishness, ambition, and covetousness. … As you are in the secret place and meditating in the word, God will use the fire of circumstances mixed with the fire of His word to reveal your hidden faults to you.”
“The closer you get to God, the more obedient you must be.”
“New levels, new devils. As the attacks increase our cry only intensifies, ‘Hide me!’”
“When facing major decisions, Jesus set an example by going to the secret place...Those who make decisions based upon external data become thermometers of society: Their lives reflect the natural forces that shape their destiny. But those who make their decisions based upon what they see in God become thermostats of society: They influence their world through the forcefulness of bringing divinely received initiatives to bear upon this earthly sphere.”
“One of the greatest secrets to intimacy with God is to come to Him as your only source of help and hope. ‘Lord, in this situation I have no Plan B – no other options to default to if You don’t come through. You are the only one who can help me!’ He loves it when you look to Him alone for deliverance. And the inverse is also true: His jealousy is kindled when we entertain other saviors.”
“The Lord describes the idolaters as saying to their block of wood, ‘Deliver me, for you are my god!’ So a god is defined as this: anything to which we ascribe the power to deliver us.”
“God-worshipers are those who come to God first in their time of need. They seek God’s face and wait on Him to receive directives for the course to take. The secret place becomes the threshold where we wait upon God, seeking His powerful intervention, and crying out to Him for wisdom and revelation.”
“You can pray nothing more dangerously sublime than to say, ‘Holy Spirit, let Your burning jealousy have its consuming way in my life, until every competing affection and false god is completely burned away and until one raging, all-consuming passion fills my entire being-love for the altogether Lovely One, the Man Christ Jesus!’”
“One of the most violent things you’ll ever do is wrestle down all the competing elements in your calendar and consistently carve out the time to shut yourself into the secret place….Which voice will rule, the voice of uncompleted tasks or the gentle voice that beckons you to the secret place?”
“Fasting, when combined with prayer, is one of the most direct and efficient ways to accelerate the pace of your race, especially if you’re feeling a little sluggish in your spirit…There is no spiritual merit in fasting; it doesn’t earn extra points with God. But it does tenderize your spirit, sensitize your hearing and accelerate the pace of divine flow in and through you life.”
“One of the most profound ways you can love someone is by praying for them. Intercession does something very powerful in the intercessor: It joins the heart of the intercessor to the heart of the one being prayed for. In intercession, you are investing yourself in another person’s life.”
“Prayer is the immunity system of the body of Christ. Through prayer, we fight off the invasive forces that seek to disease and afflict the body of Christ.”
“Intercession as a response to pain. We cry because we are in pain. Cries of intercession are the vehement cries of believers beseeching heaven on behalf of one another.”
“Sin is like a cancer; God’s presence is like radiation on that cancer…The only way we change is when we come close to the Lord. His presence is the place to change. Distancing ourselves from God always produces spiritual regression; proximity to God always produces spiritual progression. The purpose of the voice of condemnation is to push you away from His presence – that which is the very source of your victory. The purpose of the voice of conviction is to press you into the face of Christ. You can distinguish between conviction and condemnation by considering which direction the voice is goading you – toward or away from the Lord.”
“Now, through the blood of the cross, sinful man is able to come into the immediate presence of the holy God and subject himself to the glory that will change him…When we step into the presence of God, we are exposing ourselves to eternally powerful forces….Powerful things happen inside when you spend time with God. When you’re in His presence for extended periods, the molecular composition of your soul gets restructured. You start to think differently, and you don’t even know why. You start to have different passions and interests, and you don’t even know why. God is changing you on the inside in ways you can’t cognitively analyze. All you know is, sinful affections that once pulled at you soul no longer have their former power over you. The secret is simply this: large chunks of time in God’s presence = loving Him and imbibing His word.”
Is this great, life-changing, stuff, or what! And this is even but a small fraction of the book. If this has whetted your appetite, I encourage you to order this book. I’ll share more in the weeks to come as I work my way through this book, hopefully being changed from glory to glory.
Posted by weblion at 06:11 PM