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19
Mar

I Got a Secret

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I Got a Secret

By Lorraine Montanari

 

Shhhh…come close—no closer.  I need to whisper something in your ear and tell you a secret. What is the secret? you may ask.  Well, maybe not so fast.  If you’re willing to take a journey with me, let’s discover it together. Game on? I even brought along a map to help us find the way. Ready?  Let’s go…

 

First, you and I need to arrive at a destination where secrets thrive, for our maximum spiritual good, and that it is in the secret place of the Most High where we will find shelter as we are shadowed by the Almighty. For who doesn’t love to tell and be told secrets?  From our earliest school memories on to adulthood, we feel particularly special if we are the privileged ones to be the recipients of our friends’ deep and innermost secrets

 

So much more then is the Almighty’s desire to share His secrets with us, a definite mark of an intimate friendship with our Lord.  But to hear those divinely-inspired secrets, we must purposely move up close and personal, with pure hands and hearts, and then we will qualify to become part of His inner circle.   Charles E. Orr, a prolific writer of Christian books, states: It pleases God to reveal some of His sweet secrets to man.  If you would know much of the secret things of God, you must live near Him.   

 

How we all need to assimilate this same principle necessary to cultivate a friendship with our God.  The Psalmist states that The secret friendship of the Lord is with them that fear Him and He makes His covenant known to them. Sadly, though, we still may not be in the inner circle as yet for perhaps much of our relationship with our Lord has not matured enough.  For many of us, we still mainly focus on a God, whom we want to meet our every need, answer every prayer request, show us primarily His favor, and cushion us against every trauma—almost a quid pro quo relationship.  We may even be tempted to think to ourselves and mentally ask the question: “God, doesn’t serving you count for something--an even exchange of our devotion for your blessing”?  A relationship, though, that subconsciously curries favor for favor, is a relationship hardly fit for a sovereign, secrets-shared, and special interaction.

 

Such a mentality is dwarfed and decimated by another question posed by Oswald Chambers when he writes: At the beginning of our Christian life we are full of requests; then we find that God wants to get us into relationship with Himself, to get us in touch with His purposes.  Are we so wedded to Jesus Christ…that we catch the secrets of God?  Catching anything of substance requires patience, pursuit, and growth.  Let’s think of one of our oldest and best friendships:  that relationship did not become old and best overnight—took perseverance, step-by-step communication and interaction and before we knew it, we both grew into a relationship where our secrets and tiniest details of our lives were poured out and indeed intimacy was evidenced. We broke through into the inner circle of that relationship and felt such comfort, camaraderie, and compassion from and with each other.

 

Let’s now move way on up-let’s watch our step-where it counts even more, when our friendship with Christ could indeed be defined as the proverbial match made in heaven or defined as the club of secret-catchers.  Paul, the Apostle, describes it thus in I Corinthians 2 where he states: We speak a message of wisdom among the mature…..of God’s secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began.  Imagine that: what an inimitable friendship could be ours with our Lord, based on maturity and wisdom and sprouted by the Spirit, which was set in motion before the foundations of the world were laid.  A friendship, indeed, which obviously transcends the lip service that we usually give to the same when we blithely sing “What a Friend we Have in Jesus” but have hardly come anywhere near the inner circle of an intimate friendship with Christ in practice.

Granted, often this concept, as fragile and finite human beings whom we are, could be hard to grasp.  For Deuteronomy 29 clearly states that at times The secret things belong to the Lord our God and mysteries do abound in the Godhead.  How else could we then ever reconcile and cope with the inexplicable concept of suffering, sickness, and unspeakable tragedy except to explain them as indefinable mysteries embedded in a fallen world?   

 

Becoming an intimate of Christ, searching for that secret place, hearing God’s secrets, and panting after a friendship, which trumps all earthly ones, in no way precludes us from heartache.  Just as we race to our closest friends when we face our individual traumas, the personal and spiritual benefits of already having a seat in the secret place, is beyond estimate or explanation.  Ray Stedman, a famed biblical expositor, describes it best when he states: Even Christians struggle a great deal in their lives.  The knowledge of [God’s] secrets do not exempt us.  But one thing they do is they enable us to find the solutions and to handle the circumstances which come and without them, we are unable to do so.  Therefore, how unfathomably shortchanged we would be, if at the end of our journey, we would have spent a lifetime of skirting outside the circumference of our Christian walk in a superficial, surface, and stagnant movement and never puncturing through to the inner circle, a harbor of solace and safety. 

 

Sincerity, however, even in all of our spiritual rituals, still does not equal intimacy; knowledge of the secrets of our Lord, which could flow into an intimate friendship, also requires determination and time.    Calvin Miller, author of the book, The Table of Inwardness, states: Holy living is not abrupt living.  No one who hurries into the presence of God is content to remain for long.  Those who hurry in, hurry out.    Consider, then, the determined role models of Scripture, whom we should all attempt to emulate on our journey, and have demonstrated the way in this pursuit:   Paul, the remarkable servant and missionary;  Peter, the towering church-planter and intrepid disciple following Pentecost; Mary, sister of Martha, the devoted follower and patient learner--servants, missionaries, disciples, followers, and learners.  If such positions would define us in the faith, they would be exemplary in themselves, but there is more…….    

 

Because there was John-the only disciple distinctively described as loved by Jesus; the only disciple, who leaned so closely toward Christ, that he was in the position where he could hear His secrets; the only disciple, who showed up at the cross, did not run and hide, and shared in His Savior’s sufferings with a shattered heart; the only disciple, who lived long enough to write the Revelation of His Lord, because he intimately knew Him best, and finally one of the only few disciples, who was a member of the inner circle, of his unparalleled friend, for he learned and experienced that intimacy reciprocates.

 

John’s example speaks the loudest for out of the mouth of Christ Himself, who endured the brutality and agony of the cross, He stated that there was no greater love than this that He lay down His life for His friends: Incredulous- Christ not only died for the faithless sinners but also for His faithful friends……..

 

So, now you know my secret:   to become God’s secret-catcher, to develop a lifetime of intimate friendship with our Lord to the extent that we would willingly share in His sufferings, and to puncture through to the inner circle just like John had done—that is what I sincerely hope you and I would attempt to do together as we continue on in our journey…..

 

But wait and look: the map indicates that just up ahead we have arrived at the Secret Place.  It’s time we entered, don’t you think?  Ready?  Let’s go in and with great confidence and anticipation, let us not only rejoice for Christ has resurrected, but let us also resolve to remain--patient, attentive, determined, and ready--for the start of a truly intimate and abiding friendship with our Lord even as we are shadowed  by the Almighty Himself… Until we share again, a most memorable Easter holiday season to you all……..

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Guest Saturday, 20 December 2014

 


Combined Service on December 28
Created On Friday, 12 December 2014
On December 28 at 10 :30 there is a combined service. There will be no Sunday School or childcare available that day....

Christmas Eve Service
Created On Friday, 12 December 2014
Join us for A Christmas Eve Candlelight Communion Service. 5:30-a traditional service with choir and orchestra. Childcare...

The ADVENTure of Commitment
Sunday, December 21, 2014
 
 
 
Contact Address: 13600 Minnieville Road Woodbridge, VA 22193                         Phone: 703-730-9009
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