The Secret Place

The Secret Garden
(Photo credit: @Doug88888)

“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty” (Psalm 91:1).

            Throughout the years, I have often pondered the thought of the secret place and what that exactly means. We often think of that secret place with God as being that time when we can be alone with Him, where no one can find us. In the natural, we may call that a prayer closet or a weekend retreat—something that represents getting alone with Him. On a spiritual level, we often refer to the secret place as somehow going to a greater depth of intimacy with God than we have before. Still, with these ideas about a secret place, I have never been quite sure what it actually means. Is it literal, metaphorical, or both?

During my devotion time this morning, I came across this verse again, and I noticed a word that I hadn’t paid much attention to before: abide. This stood out to me, for one thing, because “Abide” is the campus theme at my college this year. What a beautiful picture this is: When we dwell in the secret place, we abide under the shadow of Almighty God. This idea of abiding not only implies where we live, but it leaves a connotation about how we live. Abiding in His shadow is not just about what we do but about who we are. But the blessings of abiding can only be found when we dwell in the secret place.

When I thought about this, I wondered if the secret place is not so much a tangible location or a deeper level of intimacy as it is a mindset and an experience. It’s a secret, not because other people don’t know about it or can’t find it, but because they have no point of reference by which they can understand it until they have experienced it for themselves. As I learn to abide in Him, He takes me further into the secret place by renewing my mind. There are certain things I cannot understand with an unrenewed mind. There are certain things I cannot understand unless I have first been pruned. These same things that I couldn’t understand with an unrenewed mind are also the things that, once I have experienced them, I cannot fully articulate to someone who has not yet reached that point in the journey. It’s like describing a foreign country to someone who has never traveled there before. They can gain glimpses of it through pictures, stories, and videos, but much of that country still remains a secret to them until they actually go there. It is for this reason that the Holy Spirit must do His work whenever we share the gospel. Without the work of the Holy Spirit, it’s like describing a trip without actually taking the person there. The Holy Spirit actually takes that person to where they need to go.

But this doesn’t just apply to unbelievers receiving the gospel message. It applies to believers in all walks of life. I believe the secret place is not a set location. Rather, it is a journey. As we walk with God, abiding under His shadow, He begins to reveal His secrets, and with every secret, He renews our minds a bit more. We are all at different places on this journey, and with each step we take, we understand another secret place. With this in mind, keep abiding in Christ. Keep dwelling in every secret place that He leads you to. Allow Him to renew your mind every day. Allow Him to unveil His mysteries and reveal His promises. Living this way is a life-changing, transforming process, and it is one which you will never regret.


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