Deeper: Dwelling in the Secret Place

“For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” 

— ‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭3:14, 16-19‬ 

When we see a flower, we never admire the beauty of its roots. They’re hidden, intricately twisting and extending longer and broader than the plant above. Roots are not for display or admiration—in fact, if a tree’s roots are too exposed, the gardener must add soil and mulch layers to encourage downward growth, because it can’t grow higher until it goes deeper. The Lord encourages us to anchor ourselves with Him in a similar way, to be deeply rooted and grounded in His abounding love.

Deep roots ensure abundant fruit. Jesus explains this beautifully in the Parable of the Sower (Matthew 13). God deposits His Word within our hearts, but as believers we must steward this seed by abiding in His presence, and allowing Him to teach us. If we only turn to Jesus as an on-call therapist or motivator, our hearts are like rocky ground. 

“This is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away. As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty” (Matthew 13:20-21, 23).

The word takes deep root in a heart that hears the word and understands it. Hearing is not enough; the one that Jesus compared to rocky ground still heard and received the word. However, there was something different in the good soil: understanding followed hearing. The Lord tells us to come to Him as humbled children (Matthew 18:4) and to lean not on our own understanding (Proverbs 3:5), but the understanding imparted through divine wisdom from above (James‬ ‭3:13,17).‬ When we quiet our hearts and spend time alone with Him, His word begins to unfold and take root within us. “The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple” (‭‭Psalm‬ ‭119:130‬).

“My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God” (‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭2:1-5‬).

If we ask our Lord for wisdom, understanding, and knowledge, He will deliver. He says, “I will give from the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts.” He is an abundant well that never runs dry; He does not need to ration revelation. However, we must speak to Him. We must yearn and search. What reason is there for Him to increase when we fail to treasure His word that we’ve already received? 

This is why the secret place is so crucial: when we worship the Lord, behold His holiness, and hear His tender voice, we begin to realize the true value of His presence (Matthew 6:6). We start to hang onto every word as if our life depends on it—because it does! “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). The secret place is emotional and honest. It’s where God renews our minds and softens our hearts. Like a root system, it’s deep and messy and tangled. Invite Jesus into the chaos. The more vulnerable you are, the closer your friendship becomes. He’s already seen it all; “he reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with him” (‭‭Daniel‬ ‭2:22‬). 

Jesus is so kind and intimate that He desires to reveal Himself and release your strongholds one on one. He is a personal God, and dwelling with Him in His house, in the secret place of the Most High, is our most natural state of being. In Psalm 27, David expresses this longing to remain with Jesus above all else: “One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple” (Psalm 27:4). He only asked for one thing: presence. And the Lord valued this so much that He called David “a man after His own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14).

As we passionately pursue Him this week, may we receive fresh revelation of how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. Simply turn your affection towards Him, and you will become wonderfully aware of Christ dwelling in your heart. Open the Bible and offer your whole heart to Jesus. Be still and let His word take root in you. Don’t fear your mess; His perfect love can handle it. He can do in a moment what we’ve failed to do in hours of self-reflection and correction. 

Desire Him. Pursue Him. Rest in Him.

Go deeper.

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