I love reading Psalms. I think they often show how times might have changed but the things people go through are really the same. Psalm 91 is beautiful and its about how when we choose to be with God he will be our protector.
“He who dwells in the most secret place of the Most high shall abide under the shadow of the almighty”, Psalm 91:1 (NKJV).
I think this Psalm paints a picture of an intimate place that God invites us to live with him. To me it implies a place where it’s just us, where there is openness and honesty. To go there we need step away from the world and from the busyness. He doesn’t invite us to visit he invites us to live there. When you live somewhere it is the place where you are comfortable and can be the real you (in fat pants with un-brushed hair) the place where you rest, somewhere you leave but always come back to and the place you are safe. That’s the secret place that God wants to inhabit with us. He wants the real broken unedited, no make-up, version of you.
(side note, that lyric written in the tent is from a song by Phil Wickham called The secret place )
In Matthew 6 there is a section about prayer and it speaks about this secret place that we can choose to go to with God.
“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you”, Matthew 6:5-6 (NIV).
I think sometimes it’s so easy to fall into what I call the hypocrite trap. It’s so easy to learn the right things to say at church and when to put our hands up in worship. We can so easily go from being genuine to just putting on our perfect little christian faces and just go through the motions. Sometimes if you like me you’re really good and you can even carry it on throughout the week. But there is so much more. If we aren’t spending time with God on our own. If we don’t make time and create a real relationship what is the point? We are missing the that beautiful secret place. What we have then is what everyone can see. There is nothing more. God wants us to be deeper in him, he wants us to know him. There is so much more he wants to give us. I think the reward we get for what is done in the secret is Him.
I want to encourage you by saying that I think everyone goes through a phase where they get caught in the hypocrite trap. You don’t need to be embarrassed or ashamed. Sometimes pursuing God can be difficult. Some days I hear and feel God all the time and others I don’t at all. When you go through these dry seasons don’t give up. Keep pressing in, keep going to the secret place, don’t give up. Don’t settle for the superficial reward but continue to seek a genuine relationship with God and He will meet you.