…the news about Him (Jesus) was spreading farther, and large crowds kept gathering to hear Him and to be healed of their illnesses. But Jesus Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray [in seclusion],~Luke 5:15-16 (Amplified).
He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty,~Psalm 91:1 (King James Version).
I love Jesus. I love who He is. He modeled for us how to live in flourishing relationship with the Father. Jesus demonstrated for all of humanity what one person in constant communion and fellowship with the Father could accomplish.
Jesus modeled the life of a Son. He modeled a life of authority and victory. He modeled a life of unwavering submission to the Father. He also demonstrated the fruitfulness that flows from abiding.
One of my favorite disciplines of Jesus is stealing away to the secret place with the Father. We do not have insight into their conversations. We do not know what happened when they were alone together.
We do know that the connection between the Father and the Son was so strong that during His crucifixion part of Jesus’s agony was the momentary separation from the Father. He became sin for us.
If we see Jesus doing something, it’s important. He retreated, away from people and the crowds, to be with the Father. He cultivated intimacy with the Father.
The Scripture says Jesus retreated often to pray. Prayer is more than asking of God. We know, from the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus taught the disciples to begin in worship.
“Pray, then, in this way:
Our Father who is in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come,
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we have forgiven our debtors [letting go of both the wrong and the resentment].
And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. [For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.]“~Jesus (Matthew 6:9-13)-(Amplified).
God invites us into the secret place with Him. There are no distractions in the secret place. It is a time to meet with God, to love God. It’s also a time to be raw with God. It is a time to listen to what He has to say.
The secret place with God is where we grow to know Him on an even deeper level. There’s no band playing or preacher preaching. There’s us and God.
Jesus retreated often. We don’t read of Him running on empty, or being stressed beyond reason. He lived out of a place of rest and peace. He knew His Source and lived out of His Source. Since He lived out of a place of intimacy, rest, peace, and His identity as God’s Son we see Him doing what He saw the Father doing and saying what He heard the Father speaking.
We must know someone intimately to represent them well. Jesus perfectly represented the Father.
Jesus continued to meet with the Father over and over in the secret place. He knew intimacy (connection with the Father) was His source.
Jesus remained full and was always able to release what He carried. Peace was in Him, so He spoke peace to the storms. Love was in Him, so He could love the unloveable. Healing was in Him, so He could heal the sick. Jesus lived in constant communion with Father God.
If we are to thrive, instead of simply survive our Christian life, we need the secret place with God. If we are to represent the Father well, we need the secret place. If we are to remain full, we need the secret place. We need time to shut out the world and tune into God. We need to be with Him.
God also longs to spend quality time with us more than we could ever want to be with Him. He loves us more than we can imagine.
I’m all for gathering with other believers and ministry. It does not replace my time alone with God. He gets more of my free time than anyone. I need my time with Him. It’s not so I can feel good, get a word, or drop my requests on Him. Our time is about knowing Him, loving Him, and often learning from Him. There are times we laugh or the focus is worship or intercession. My primary focus is deepening our connection. I’m not there to take. I’m there to love Him.
My prayer is you and I go deeper than we’ve been before with God. I pray we carve out space in our lives for just God. I pray our time is spent loving Him and allowing Him to love us.
Papa God thank You that salvation is an invitation into relationship. Thank You for sending Your Son to pay for full access to You. Help us to steal away with You and retreat to the secret place. Deepen our intimacy and love for You. Remove any hinderances from growing to know and love You more. In Jesus powerful name, amen.
Love in Christ,