Can you keep a secret? Don’t tell anyone.
Whenever anyone makes this request, I cringe a little. Usually when someone asks me to join them in secrecy, there is a behavior they wish to continue or a consequence they wish to avoid.
Now, I am a firm believer in having trusted friends in whom we can confide. Confessing our sins to each other is a process that is encouraged in Scripture. But confessing is very different than secret-keeping. When we ask others to keep our secrets, we make them co-conspirators in our behavior. This kind of hiding has a devastating impact on our relationships (i.e. distrust, resentment, bitterness, anger, etc.).
Confessing secrets leads to truth, while secret-keeping hides the truth.
What Kind of Secrets Do We Hide?
From a very young age, we learn how to hide. The kind of secrets we tend to keep include:
- Secrets of things we have done.
- Secrets of things done to us.
- Secrets of what others have done.
As children, we learn to conceal abuse and family dysfunction. In our teen years, we hide drinking and drugs. In the workplace, we cover up our mistakes and bury the illegal activity of co-workers.
By the time we reach adulthood, we learn to cope with the heavy burden of secrets. And while we may learn how to live with them, the weight of these secrets leaves us with wounds that affect our physical, emotional, and spiritual health.
Hiding is not a new concept. Since the Garden of Eden, people have been trying to cover up their actions:
And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, ‘Where are you?’ And he said, ‘I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.’ Genesis 3:8-11 (ESV)
In attempt to protect ourselves, our secrets actually separate us from God and from others.
What is the Secret Place?
So what did God have in mind when He refers to the Secret Place?
He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. Psalm 91:1 (KJV)
The Secret Place appears to be a spiritual openness to the Voice of God. It is a willingness to pursue spiritual intimacy with the Creator. When we enter the Secret Place, we abide with Him. Whether in a crowded room or alone in the woods, we can enter into the Secret Place because of the work that Christ did on the cross.
How is Hiding different than the Secret Place?
While they might appear to have similarities, I see a stark difference between Hiding and Intimacy with God.
When we Hide, we run from the truth. In the Secret Place of God, we run to the truth.
The Enemy has made secrets a dark and dirty thing. The good news, however, is that God is in the process of redeeming the Secret Place. In Revelation 2: 17, He promises this to the overcomers:
He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it. (ESV)
When we run to the Secret Place of God, we experience healing from the ghosts of the past. We learn about the kingdom in an intimate way that breathes hope into our future.
What secrets have you been hiding? What would happen if you revealed those secrets to God? To a trusted individual? How might God want to redeem the Secret Place in your life?