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Abide with God in the Secret Place

by Carl H. Stevens

Introduction

Certainly, there have been times when you have just wanted to get away from everything. The world seemed too busy, the challenges too great, the details of life too many. You wanted to hide.

Christians are not beyond such feelings. I know this Christian is not. I can remember times during my first wife’s battle with cancer when we would just take a ride along a country road. We wanted to lose ourselves somewhere.

We can find instances of hiding away in the Bible. Elijah spent time away at the brook Chereth just before he went to Mount Carmel to confront the false prophets of Baal.

As believers, we have a secret place – a place where God will meet us at any time. It is the throne of grace. We can come boldly before this throne because of the perfect love of God, which demonstrated itself tremendously in Christ’s death at the Cross. There, on Calvary’s hill, Jesus died for all of our sins and opened the way for us to be hid with Christ in God.

As this booklet will reveal, Satan flees from the believer who abides in the secret place and who chooses to be quickened constantly through the Word of God.

Love Perfected

“No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.

“Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.

“And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.

“Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.

“And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.

“Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world” (1 John 4:12-17).

Revival is in discovering a spiritual law of life that overcomes and overtakes every other law. Moral law is important, but it is not spiritual law. Through moral law, privacy rights are maintained, families are honored, and national entities are established and preserved. Morality is precious because it sustains a society’s rights and privileges. These things set up the functions of God’s divine institutions. Moral law is a tremendous preserver of human dignity and national entity.

There is just one problem. Moral law can save no one.

God, therefore, brought forth something that excelled the precious moral law. This is spiritual law. Spiritual law can only be experienced and understood in a personal and corporate Word of God revival. This spiritual law comes into our hearts through the Holy Spirit. It is given to us because the righteousness of God has been fulfilled in the life of Jesus Christ.

He Sets His Love Upon Us

“Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.

“He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him” (Psalm 91:14).

“As a piece of a pomegranate are thy temples within thy locks” (Song of Solomon 6:7).

The believer who understands revival has had the law of righteousness fulfilled in him and has the love of Jesus Christ perfected in him. In his experience, this believer allows the Holy Spirit to fill him and allows the grace of God to be his provision. Then, perfect love casts out all fear.

Revival is simply a process where a believer has fellowship with God in the Holy of Holies beyond the veil. Song of Solomon 6:7 speaks of something very beautiful pertaining to the people of God. Pomegranates hide their beautiful interior and their insides are only seen when they are cut open. God’s people are truly His own, and they are seated above in heavenly places. They are hid with Christ in God. Only when God’s people suffer, only when they are laid open, can the beauty of their interior be seen.

The host of darkness cannot accept the ministry of people who understand revival. They run from those who make a special effort to let God revive them through the pure grace of God. When a person really understands revival he recognizes the presence of God. He recognizes the spoken Word of God, senses the power of the Spirit of God, enjoys the people of God, and receives the constant provision of God.

God’s Resting Place

“The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing” (Zephaniah 3:17).

“Whither is thy beloved gone, O thou fairest among women? whither is thy beloved turned aside? that we may seek him with thee.

“My beloved is gone down into his garden, to the beds of spices, to feed in the gardens, and to gather lilies.

“I am my beloved’s, and my beloved is mine: he feedeth among the lilies.

“Thou art beautiful, O my love, as Tirzah, comely as Jerusalem, terrible as an army with banners.

“Turn away thine eyes from me, for they have overcome me: thy hair is as a flock of goats that appear from Gilead.

“Thy teeth are as a flock of sheep which go up from the washing, whereof every one beareth twins, and there is not one barren among them.

“As a piece of a pomegranate are thy temples within thy locks” (Song of Solomon 6:1-7).

The goats of Mount Gilead could go into places where no other animal could climb to eat their food and to hide. They could go places because of their sure footing. God’s people who are revived and who live in the spirit of revival get fed by the Word of God in risky places, in places where few can go. These are secret places.

God desires that we enter into His resting place. In the midst of difficulties, all that I do is flee to His place of refuge – His hiding place, His fortress. God gives me a secret place away from the host of darkness, away from Satan’s government, away from accusations, away from slander, and away from suspicion. He gives me a secret place away from human love, natural love, relative love, and conditional love. We have a Finished Work hiding place where we can be conformed to Christ’s image. When a Christian lives in the secret place, God sets His love upon him. Enemies flee from a Christian who is abiding in the secret place.

In Song of Solomon 6, the bride became an awesome spectacle of grace. She reflected the glory of the bridegroom so much! She sought him so diligently that he was overwhelmed with her reflected glory and her response.

God just loves it when people come together at the secret place. It is the secret place of the Most High. It is under the shadow of the Almighty, and there God is our refuge. That means He is the provision for our details of life. Then, He becomes our fortress. When all the forces of hell come against us, our refuge is enlarged into a fortress. A fortress protects us from the worst kinds of attacks. We need refuge for those little details that come every morning, noon, and night. When those tremendous satanic attacks come, we need God to bring us into His fortress.

Your Servant Heareth

“And the child Samuel ministered unto the LORD before Eli. And the word of the LORD was precious in those days; there was no open vision.

“And it came to pass at that time, when Eli was laid down in his place, and his eyes began to wax dim, that he could not see;

“And ere the lamp of God went out in the temple of the LORD, where the ark of God was, and Samuel was laid down to sleep;

“That the LORD called Samuel: and he answered, Here am I.

“And he ran unto Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou calledst me. And he said, I called not; lie down again. And he went and lay down.

“And the LORD called yet again, Samuel. And Samuel arose and went to Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou didst call me. And he answered, I called not, my son; lie down again.

“Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, neither was the word of the LORD yet revealed unto him.

“And the LORD called Samuel again the third time. And he arose and went to Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou didst call me. And Eli perceived that the LORD had called the child.

“Therefore Eli said unto Samuel, Go, lie down: and it shall be, if he call thee, that thou shalt say, Speak, LORD; for thy servant heareth. So Samuel went and lay down in his place.

“And the LORD came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth” (1 Samuel 3:1-10).

“And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die” (Exodus 20:19).

Many Christians never experience revival because they don’t recognize when God is speaking to them. In 1 Samuel 3, God was talking to Samuel, who was a young lad sleeping in the temple. At first, the boy thought it was the voice of Eli, the high priest. Eventually, Samuel responded to the Lord and said, “Speak, for your servant heareth.”

Too many people never get to that point. They want to hear from people, but not from God. So many believers will listen to their consciences because they tell them things that they prefer to hear, but they do not want to hear the Bible speak to them.

The Bible talks of the geographic will of God; some just do not want to hear that. The Bible reveals a particular ministry. The Bible speaks under the amazing power and grace of God’s plan. Sadly, many would rather live in the abstract world of moral goodness, even though they are spiritually saved. These people don’t want to hear God speak in the secret places where He will meet them.

We need to hear the Word of God come forth through the power of the Holy Spirit in the full canon of the Scriptures. The Spirit will lead us into all truth. The righteousness of the Law has been fulfilled in us through Christ; we don’t have to fulfill that righteousness with our religious experience. God teaches us how to walk in wisdom and understanding.

Love That Passes Knowledge

“Hear, O my people, and I will speak; O Israel, and I will testify against thee: I am God, even thy God” (Psalm 50:7).

Oh, that God would teach us and guide us to really recognize the truth about our hearts in this very serious hour. All of us need to understand our capacity for wickedness, deceitfulness, passivity, lethargy, indifference, and corruption. The Lord can teach us the true meaning of what it means to walk in the Spirit, to be filled by the Spirit, and to evidence the fruit of the Spirit. Let’s pick up this truth and clear out the obstacles and obstructions of religion so that we can walk in the amazing receptivity of the grace of God.

The manifestation of God’s life, power, and truth goes way beyond sentimentality. It goes beyond getting your feelings hurt. It goes beyond the magnification of details. It goes way beyond all the frustration and evidence of the old sin nature. There are no limitations to God’s grace. Nothing can obstruct God’s mercy. Nothing hinders God’s love. God’s truth is mobilized when we have contrite hearts and humble spirits that are quickened by Him. Let’s walk in fervency and humility.

Yes, we respect the precious moral code. Civil law and the royal law of love do much for us, but the spiritual law is what has made us to be saints. God preserves His saints. He delivers the righteous (2 Peter 2:7-9). God intervenes with His provision of mercy, love, and truth. He so desires that we be revived in our fellowship with Him.

In the secret places, in our times of prayer and study, God teaches important things. We learn how to respond to Him there. We don’t get dragged down by personality relationships. Trite sayings don’t dominate our conversations.

We must constantly develop our ability to hear from God Himself. In humility and brokenness, we will have no problem discerning the Lord’s voice. He addresses our responses of faith and enlarges our capacity for faith. He teaches us that life is going from faith to faith. Then, with His Spirit, He takes us from glory to glory. His quickening power severs that yoke that ties us to the dust.

Only God, in the secret place, can teach us how to be truthful and faithful. Only there can He teach us how to be consistent and steadfast and immovable.

Christ Dwells in Our Hearts

“That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,

“May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;

“And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.

“Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us” (Ephesians 3:16-20).

God gives us a love that passes knowledge. It is not natural. It hardly seems practical. We receive the love of the truth and it refreshes our faith in God. The windows of our soul become illuminated through our perception of divine revelation. Truth becomes very sacred to us when we have learned to abide in the secret place with Him.

I am so thankful for all of the dear friends who have labored with me in my walk with God. In these days when God is speaking to us and moving, I pray that we would love the truth more than ever. Fall in love with the Bible. On Sunday mornings, be so in love with the truth that you cannot wait to get to church. The presence of God is so very special to us.

Revival comes as we live in that secret place with God – the place where our self-life is so crucified and so buried and so detached that we refuse to live in the substitutes of abstract thinking. In the secret place, we don’t live in shadows of truth, we live in the substance of the Word of God.

Let’s become people who are constantly constrained by the love of God. Let’s let love motivate us to present Jesus Christ to the lost world in all of His glory and beauty.

Conclusion

My prayer today is that God would quicken me according to the truth that He speaks to me in the secret place. I want the Spirit of the Lord to take His Word and bring life into my heart. I don’t want God’s truth to fall into the street. I don’t want my life to prostitute grace.

I am alive in Christ tonight because two thousand years ago the Savior took the nails in His hands and His feet. He bled and died. He took my sins upon Himself and was separated from His Father. There was such darkness and loneliness on Calvary. But at that very dark point, He committed His spirit to the Father’s hand and the veil that hung before the Holy Place was rent in two, from top to bottom. The secret place, the Holy of Holies with the Mercy Seat, was now open to whosoever would come unto Him.

We know the rest of the story. He went into the grave and conquered death. Now we have the victory of resurrection life for ourselves. That death – the moment of great loneliness on the Cross – made a way for us to come boldly to the Throne of Grace.

There in the secret place we hear from God. In the secret place, we are established in our vision with Him. In His secret place, He calls us, equips us, and comforts us for everything that we will face in this world.

Carl H. Stevens

Carl H. Stevens

(1929-2008) pastored and established thriving churches and Bible colleges in Maine, Massachusetts, and Maryland. He also helped pioneer Christian talk radio through Telephone Time and the Grace Hour and authored nearly 500 books and booklets. See also the Carl H Stevens Memorial Site
Carl H. Stevens

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