Focus merely on having a great harvest and you will have it–but only once. Focus on a lifetime of the vine and you will have a richer harvest every year after this one.
–Notebook of a viticulturist
In pondering all my many questions about this abiding in the Vine, and what it looks like, I found myself being drawn back, over and over, to Psalm 91.
Psalm 91 declares, “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.” ( vs. 1 & 2 )
I have long believed that abiding in Christ, and dwelling in the secret place of the Most High, are the same thing.
But, what does it mean to, “dwell in the secret place of the Most High?”
What does this “place” look like?
Brian Simmons gave me a peek,
The King’s garden is covered and watered by a private spring that is not polluted by any outside source. When you refuse to be polluted by the darkness of this world, you are this pure spring, who refreshes the heart of God. You are sealed and covered by His presence–reserved only for Him. Out of your inner being flow rivers of living water. It is the outpouring of your worship, devotion, and dedicated life. –Brian Simmons, The Divine Romance
Then I asked myself, “Is this everything, or is there more?”
Many in the Church live devoted lives of worship and dedication, but if that is so, then why does it seem as if we are still missing the power that the early church enjoyed?
Those inner longings
Do you have them, too?
I absolutely do want to fulfill my purpose–the reason God put me here on this planet.
And, yes, I long for Christ’s living water to flow freely from my life, watering other lives.
But, I also want my life to manifest the power that Jesus said we could have,
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.” John 14:12
Greater works than those Christ did?
Surely, this statement, “…because I go unto my Father.” is referring to the Holy Spirit coming into this world; and in turn, indwelling us as the children of God.
So, what are we missing?
Where are these greater works we are to be doing?
Searching again for Eden…
When I think of “the secret place” I find myself longing for Eden again.
What would it be like to daily walk and talk with God in such an intimate way, like it was in the beginning, with Adam and Eve.
Isn’t this also the longing of God’s heart for His Church–His vineyard?
Well, I went looking for anyone who might speak to the subject of “the secret place,” and I found this interesting quote:
“Everything in the kingdom depends upon whether or not we hear the word of God. I will endure months of silence if He will but speak one creative word from His mouth to my spirit.
Our devotional life with God is more like the planting of a garden. When we arise from sowing into the secret place, we will not usually be able to point to immediate results or benefits. What we sow today will require an entire season of growth before the results are manifest.
The wisest thing you’ll ever do in this life is to draw close to God and to seek Him with all your heart.
I never consider time invested in the secret place to be wasteful; and even if it is, I gladly waste it upon my Lord!
When you neglect the secret place, He’s not disappointed in you, He’s disappointed for you.
One day of exhilaration in the Holy Spirit is worth a thousand days of struggle! The greatest things in life—those things that carry eternal value—always come at the steepest price.
The closer you get to God, the more you realize He’s in no hurry.
No one can mentor you into an abiding relationship with Christ. We all have to find our own way to abiding in Christ. When all is said and done, we must shut the door, get into the secret place with God, and discover what an abiding relationship with Christ will look like for ourselves.”
― Bob Sorge, Secrets of the Secret Place: Keys to Igniting Your Personal Time with God
Can it really be just that simple?
Have we mistaken what devotion to Christ truly looks like?
When is the last time you went, sat, and waited for God alone to speak to you, longing for no other voice than His?
These are the questions I am asking, and pondering, for myself.