“Jesus is saying to you that you need to come away with Him, to the secret place.” The lady praying for us whispered in my ear, as soft worship music played in the background, and people streamed out of church, and the baby wriggled madly in my arms, hanging herself upside down.
And I knew that. I knew I needed to be spending more time with God, and I guess that is what she meant. It was a phrase I heard over and over in my teen years and I thought it meant having some great revelation and vision like the prophets of the Bible every time I sat down with God, and feeling His presence whirling around the room. When that didn’t happen I’d get disappointed. It sounded mysterious and out of reach for anyone who didn’t have 3 hours a day to spend with God, but that is just a lie to prevent us spending any time with God. It can be three minutes.
Photo Credit: Suzanne Rowe, author of China Ramblings
What does it mean to come away to the secret place? I’ve been pondering these words over the last few weeks, and I’ve come to some conclusions that have somewhat surprised me, and help me also see my marriage in a new light.
To Come Away – is a literal walking away from the stuff that’s distracting you, TV, social media, phone, facebook, even that lovely Christian novel to spend that time quietly praying or reading the Word. Those things are bad in and of themselves, but where they are placed in our lives are the issue. I’m talking to myself here about not being quite so quick to pick up my Kindle in a spare moment when I’m breastfeeding and to quiet my heart before God and pray quietly.
Praying in tongues is my favourite way to refresh, recharge and refocus. I find that as I pray to God in this unknown language it focuses me on what’s on His heart. It brings to mind sometimes people that I haven’t thought of for weeks, and situations that I otherwise wouldn’t know about. It’s a gateway into the prophetic. Of course this is not the only way to pray, just one of many.
After a bunch of ladies from our Bible Study spent some time going to the Colour Your World women’s conference, we were discussing the value of conferences and it was put forward that our walks with God should be solid day in and day out regardless. And they should, but in the Old Testament God knew the value of getting His people to Come Away from their daily activities to spend time with Him for the different feasts he orchestrated, and I think it’s something that we have lost in our busy worlds.
Photo Credit: Shelly Neideck
The point is at times we need to get away from our normal distractions for a holiday or as my Dad says, Holy Day or to surround ourselves in an atmosphere where there are many hungry people seeking God. Either way good stuff happens as we make Him a priority, and it’s something we certainly need to work on as a family.
And the Secret Place, where is that exactly?
I don’t know that it’s necessarily a physical location. It’s a place that is just you and God.
Jesus spent a lot of time ministering to others but He also regularly escaped to spend time alone with God.
We know this but need reminding so often.
It’s a place where you can be totally honest with Him, and in that place you experience intimacy. You can’t be truly intimate with someone when you are trying to hide bits of yourself.
As I have been pondering this over a period of months, the analogy of marriage has come to mind many times.
In marriage, most of the time you are surrounded by other people, family, co-workers, friends etc, and in our Christian walks its similar. The only way for that marriage to truly be solid though is in intimacy. We don’t always feel like it, but it is what separates that relationship from every other. It’s about faithfulness and protecting that relationship. Whether it’s marriage or our time with God, if we aren’t protecting it, we allow other influences to come in.
In marriage it doesn’t always have to look romantic, our legs don’t have to be shaved. With God, it’s not always going to be perfectly quiet and the kids might be hanging around, your coming away might be in the shower.
My favourite resource in regards to marriage and how to truly protect it with intimacy has been Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage by Mark Gungor.
Like the title suggests its fun and funny, and you learn best when you’re laughing and disarmed through humour. Mark explains not only how male and female brains work with practical applications for communication but also what porn and masturbation actually does to the brain, how to be free of it and build yourself a good foundation. It’s pricey, but it’s a resource I would buy as a wedding present for those getting married, but it’s not just for newly weds. My husband’s parents found it incredibly helpful even after 30 years of marriage.
I hope this has encouraged you to keep pressing in and on towards God.
He promises that if we draw near to Him, He will draw near to us. James 4:8