This episode is part of the Rule of Life podcast series, and in it I talk about the importance of meeting with God in the secret place. This is not about a legalistic rule, but about relationship with the Father. It’s in the secret place that we come to God as we are and He enables us to surrender all to Him.
Listen to the Podcast below and check out the show notes further down:
The Secret Place Of Surrender
In our zeal to steer away from legalism as Christians, we often discard the importance of certain spiritual practices in our lives as Jesus followers.
One such practice, that Jesus Himself modelled, is meeting with God in the secret place. This is often called silence and solitude, or simply “quiet time with God.”
Why we resist it
Often, we resist exploring the practice of silence and solitude for two reasons. We either feel we’ve already checked the “quiet time” box and there’s nothing new to encounter, or we see silence and solitude as something better suited for introverts.
Seeking God in the secret place is not something we can simply check off our list of spiritual practices as “nailed it”. There’s always more to learn. Always more to encounter. Always more joy to be had. We are encountering the Holy of Holies, after all!
In addition, silence and solitude is not an excuse to get away from people. Practising solitude is challenging for everyone, because it’s about going to God for renewal. Not going to self, as introverts often do. Not going to other people, as extroverts often do.
Solitude with God is meeting with our Father in the quiet so that we can be our authentic selves, lay down our burdens, hear His whisper, and receive His intimate love.
To see a beautiful example of seeking solitude, we need only look at Jesus’s life.
When Jesus lived on earth, He would often retire to solitary places (the Eremos – e[rhmoß in Greek) to be with the Father. Indeed, seeking solitude with God was a priority in Jesus’s life. (Luke 5:15-16)
While it may seem like it was easy for Jesus to find moments of silence with God, it actually took great intentionality and planning. Jesus lived in first century Palestine, where people lived in tight-knit communities and life revolved around face-to-face interaction. In addition, as a rabbi, Jesus had people following him everywhere.
Yet that didn’t stop Jesus from seeking the Eremos. To do so, Jesus dismissed crowds, retired to quiet places like mountains and boats, and even slinked away in the dark.
Why? Because it was in the secret place that Jesus could be in deeper intimacy with the Father. It was with the Father that Jesus processed His human pain and anguish. It was with the Father that Jesus found rest. It was with the Father that Jesus made decisions.
Communion with God
It follows that since Jesus actively withdrew from people in order to commune deeply with God, we also need to in order to achieve the same goal.
You see, solitude with God is about communion with the Father. It’s about meeting with God as we are and allowing Him to transform us. It’s about making ourselves available to the Lord and learning to surrender everything at His feet.
Solitude with God is about going to Him and discovering once more that He is everything.