SECRET PLACE  by Marsha Burns:

 

I want to bring us back to the importance of internal work again.  I believe the Lord is highlighting our own thought process as we endeavor to live according to God’s will and purposes. 

 

How often do we find fault or have a mean thought about another person?  Or, figure out a way to still tell the truth without taking responsibility for our motives or actions? 

 

We might never express those thoughts and intentions outwardly, but God knows everything!  And we get away with nothing!

 

Small Straws:  You have an opportunity to be great.  But, greatness doesn't happen TO you, it happens IN you.  You can make great choices to put Me first, to live a life of faith, to be honorable, to have integrity, and to treat others with respect and dignity.  Who you are externally reflects who you are internally.  Come to Me in the secret place, in a private chamber, and let Me transform you, says the Lord. 

 

I believe our instinct is to be “good” so that we can gain approval.  So, it seems to me that we pay more attention to what we project rather than dealing with our inner being. 

 

When we look at a beautiful garden, we seldom think of the work that has gone into that garden to make it beautiful.  When I see a rose, I only see its beauty and enjoy its fragrance.  But that rose wouldn’t be beautiful if the gardener hadn’t prepared the soil, planted the seed, fed and watered the plant, pruned and protected it. 

 

For us to come forth in the beauty that God designed, we must allow the Heavenly Gardener to have His way with us.

 

Internal work is germane, or relevant to our spiritual condition.  Without living in vital relationship with God, our external lives are virtually a sham and meaningless.

 

Matthew 6:6 "But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly."

 

“Who you are externally reflects who you are internally.”

 

Matthew 23:

26  "Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also.

27  "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness.

28  "Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.”

 

We have to look at how we are when nobody sees, so that we can see what we are really like on the inside.

 

Are we pretending to be someone we are not?  That is what the Pharisees did.

 

Matthew 5:20  "For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.”

 

The kingdom of heaven is defined as the seat or order of things eternal and ultimately perfect--where God dwells as well as other heavenly beings.

 

We must live in spiritual reality in true righteousness or we will not enter the kingdom of heaven.

 

Therefore, it isn’t what we do in life or how accomplished we become at the tasks we are given.  Greatness happens IN us.  It is an internal work; an inside job!

 

These are the steps that the Lord put forth in His word to us:

 

Put God first.

 

Matthew 6:33  "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

 

Live a life of faith.

 

Matthew 17:20  So Jesus said to them, "Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.

 

Be honorable.

 

1 Peter 2:11-12  Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.

 

Have integrity.

 

Titus 2:7-8  in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility, sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you.

 

Treat others with respect.

 

Philippians 2:

1  Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy,

2  fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.

3  Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.

4  Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.

 

Visit the Secret Place!

 

Psalms 91:1  He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

 

Be transformed.

 

Romans 12:2  And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

 

2 Corinthians 3:18  But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.

 

Oswald Chambers MUH:  Your mind is the greatest gift God has given you and it ought to be devoted entirely to Him. You should seek to be “bringing every thought into captivity" to the obedience of Christ. This will be one of the greatest assets of your faith when a time of trial comes, because then your faith and the Spirit of God will work together. When you have thoughts and ideas that are worthy of credit to God, learn to compare and associate them with all that happens in nature— the rising and the setting of the sun, the shining of the moon and the stars, and the changing of the seasons.

2 Corinthians 10:4-6  For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.

 

When you practice “bringing every thought into captivity” you will begin to see that your thoughts are from God, and your mind will no longer be at the mercy of your impulsive thinking, but will become part of your divine nature.

 

When Jesus was on the earth, He vehemently disapproved of the Pharisees and Sadducees who were the social, religious and political groups of His time.

 

Matthew 5:20  "For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.”

 

The nature of the Pharisee is one of hypocrisy when almost nothing is done in the secret place of the Most-High God and nearly everything is done for the approval of the people around us.

 

The depth of any relationship depends on the level of honesty, intimacy, and openness.  Many people feign or pretend in public with regard to their relationships when in actuality they have no real, true relationship in private.  It’s all a show.

 

This is the same for us in relationship with God.  Many people can be religious and worship in church, but they have no strength of relationship in being alone with Him.

 

We have an opportunity to choose to develop to a stronger, more vital relationship to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit  by spending the time and making the effort to know Him intimately.

 

You have to want Him more than your necessary food!

 

Job 23:12  I have not departed from the commandment of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food.

 

The Word of God, His truth, His reality has to be more important to us than anything on earth or in this world.  Our eternal life depends on what we do here and now.

 

Deliberately spend time with the Lord where nobody sees and nobody knows except you and God.  That is the order of the day! 

 

Recap and Conclusion:

Put God first

Live a life of faith

Be honorable

Have integrity

Treat others with respect

Often go to the Secret Place of the Most High

Be transformed

 

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