Tuesday, June 28, 2016


Who do you share the secrets of your heart with? Most of us save our secrets for those closest to us, not strangers or causal friends. We tell them to people who really know us and understand where we are coming from even if we get the words wrong, because they know our heart.
That’s who God shares His secrets with, too. Strangers and casual Christians will misunderstand what He is saying, but those who know Him will have understanding.
Proverbs 3:32 says, “For the perverse are an abomination…to the Lord; but His confidential communion and secret counsel are with the [uncompromisingly] righteous (those who are upright and in right standing with Him). (Amplified Bible) 
It is God’s desire to open the depth of His Word to us. “Whosoever will” can come to know His “confidential communion” and “secret counsel”. He wants us to know His secrets, the deep things of God, but He cannot trust them to those who are casual Christians.
Jesus shared the secret things with those disciples who were closest to Him. He shared things with them that others would not be able to comprehend. In Mark 4:11 He said, “Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables.” It took the disciples awhile before they understood what Jesus was saying, because they had to get to know Him.
Progressively, we come to really know Him and learn to live in the kingdom of God.  But it comes on a spiritual level, not a natural one. We need to open our hearts to have spiritual encounters with God. It happens as we follow Jesus over a course of time, seeking His kingdom first. The disciples encountered Jesus’ healings, life choices, His character, and His teachings firsthand for three years.  Those encounters changed them into Christians – “little Christs.”
Immediately after Jesus called His disciples, He began to teach them. He taught them throughout His whole ministry. After His death and resurrection, He continued to teach them the things of the kingdom of God until He ascended into heaven. Then He sent the Holy Spirit to teach them ‘all things’. He is still teaching those who are teachable, who want to learn.  We can’t follow Him in physical form, but we can read of His miracles, character, life choices and teachings in the New Testament and allow His Word to transform us.
Spiritual encounters with God make a lasting change in us. Regardless of whether they seem insignificant or dramatic at the time, they will be life-changing because they are on a spiritual level, not a soulish one.
Our soul was given to us by God. Because of the fall, it is bent toward sin.  It is made up of three essential parts: (1) Our mind - how we think and reason things out, (2) Our will - our determination and the power we have to make reasoned out choices, and (3) Our emotions - how we feel and how those feelings cause us to react to things around us. Our emotions are volatile and change with circumstances.
Our mind, will and emotions can be for us or against us. They cannot always be trusted because they are fleshly, but God’s Spirit can be trusted. Jesus wants to take us beyond the soulish part. He wants us to rise above the natural and enter a depth where only his Spirit can take us. We cannot reason, determine or feel enough to get there.
Anytime we have a true spiritual encounter with Jesus, something changes in us for the good. Isaiah saw God in His glory in the temple. That was a spectacular encounter! And he was never the same. Several things happened during that encounter.  He saw his sin for what it was and knew he was doomed! He admitted it out loud. He received cleansing. He was called to be God’s spokesman. His life took a dramatic turn.
Every encounter may not be that dramatic, but it will be just as important. There were other times when Isaiah heard from God and delivered God’s message in a less dramatic way. It is always a turning-point when we experience God, even if it is as seemingly small as having a Scripture verse come alive in us during our time with Him. So when we have an encounter with God, something will change. He may show us our sinfulness so we can have it out in the open and finally deal with it. He may offer cleansing, breaking an obstacle that has been in the way of us going through with Him. He may encourage us and give us confidence so that we can go forward instead of sitting still. He may call us to a specific work. But whatever we experience in His presence will take us up another level. Soulish experiences are temporary, but spiritual encounters with Jesus are life-changing. He continues to call us to “come up higher”.
There are times we have to silence our soul so our spirit can hear the still, small voice of God’s Spirit speaking to us. We have to silence our minds from trying to reason everything out in our limited knowledge – His thoughts are higher than our thoughts. We have to silence our will from choosing its own way – His ways are higher than our ways. (Isaiah 55:9) We have to quiet our emotions so we won’t act out of how we feel rather than according to what God’s Spirit is saying. 
All through His life on this earth, Jesus called people to Himself. And Jesus still calls us today to come. And there are a lot of secrets we can learn if we come when He calls.
He calls out, “Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)  This is the secret of ceasing to strive to make things happen on our own and learning to rest in Him. But we must take the time to learn from Him. We may know it in an intellectual way, but we don’t have the secret of that truth until we come to Jesus and let Him help us walk it out.
He calls out, “If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” (John 7:37-38) That is the secret of being empowered, refreshed and satisfied by His Spirit. Once again, we know that on paper. But we need to come and drink deeply and often if we want to experience it. Many never learn the secret and live their whole lives looking for something to satisfy them.  Some say they “tried Jesus” and it just isn’t for them. But we can’t “try Him” on our level.  We have to move up to His.
He called out to Peter to come out of the boat and walk on the water…in the middle of a storm. It’s the secret of stepping out in faith and not drawing back in fear. He gives us boldness and authority. Not arrogance, but boldness that moves out with confidence in Christ. But we won’t trust Him enough to step out until we know Him.
He calls out, “Come and follow me.”  (Matthew 19:21) It’s the secret of choosing the path to life and following in His footsteps. Trusting His wisdom and His way over ours. Not accomplishing our goals but His.
He calls out, “Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men.”  (Mark 1:17)  In coming after Him we discover the secret of letting Him change our purpose from the earthly to the heavenly; from the temporary to the eternal. We can be benefactors to people who need this world’s goods, but unless we also give them the message of Jesus, it is only temporary. He wants our giving and our accomplishments to be on a much higher level than anything else this world has to offer.  Will we come?
Psalm 25:14 says, “The secret [of the sweet, satisfying companionship] of the Lord have they who fear (revere and worship) Him, and He will show them His covenant and reveal to them its [deep, inner] meaning.” (Amplified Bible) We have lost our reverence of God and His presence. We need to learn to “be still” in His presence and listen…to reverence Him and esteem His presence in our lives above everything else. We try to make that mystical and sensational, but it is not. It is a deep spiritual thing that comes progressively as we seek after Him. Those in Jesus’ innermost circle have that “sweet, satisfying companionship of the Lord”.
Along with that companionship comes a revealing of the deep meaning of God’s Word. “and He will show them His covenant and reveal to them its [deep, inner] meaning.” While we are lingering in His presence, He opens the treasure chest and begins pulling out the treasures in there. He shows us things that are hidden from the world and explains their purpose and meaning.
Have you ever had someone show you what was in their cedar chest? When they open the lid, it looks like a bunch of old junk. But they start pulling out items from their past and the pasts of their parents and grandparents, and they tell you the story of each one. They are no longer just old articles, but experiences. They come alive and have significant meaning. Have you ever been reading a passage from the Bible that you have read over and over again, but suddenly the words came alive in your spirit? That’s when God is taking those things out of the treasure chest and showing them to you. They take on new life and you begin to see things you’ve never seen before. You are drawing closer and closer to Him…getting to really know Him.
Psalm 9:10 says, “And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.”
The Hebrew word for seek means to “beat a path to, or to frequent a place.” We need to have our own beaten path into the presence of God. Trample down the weeds that have grown up between us and the presence of God and enter frequently. That is where we get to know Him, when we are alone with Him. 
We need church meetings, but there is no way we can get all we need there or from somebody else. Some things we have to get straight from Jesus. We need one-on-one time with Him. The more areas of our lives we allow Him in, the more deeply we become acquainted with Him and the more like Him we become.
In speaking to Cyrus, the king who God used to bring back Israel to their land, He said: “And I will give you hidden treasures, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, Who summons you by name.” (Isaiah 45:3)
He will do the same for us.
We can really know Him, and we will never be the same.
If we search for God’s hidden treasures, we will find them.