Jon Tyson quoted this book in a sermon a few weeks ago and from just that one quote I knew it was a book I wanted to read. It is well-written, relatable, practical and inspirational. I’m not sure how you are, but it is easy for me to read content, chew the meat and spit out the bones. Meaning, I’m not a person who tends to throw out a resource because I may disagree with the author on X or our preferences are different about Y. I say that because, there is no perfect book besides the Bible, right? There will always be elements to human authors that change, that stir you in positive and negative ways, or that are simply fallible. Though there are theological points I may not entirely believe in, the heart of this book is to inspire readers to spend time with the Lord and it does it beautifully.
Personally, what the Holy Spirit did through Bob Sorge with these chapters is cultivate a confidence and a delight that experiencing the presence of God can be my reality, not only a possibility. And for that I’m grateful.
Below are a few impactful passages:
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.
How are you come to abide in Christ will be different from all others. We all abide differently because we are all unique creations of God. Your relationship with Christ will never be like mine, and mine will never be like yours. That is why you’ll never learn to abide in Christ by reading the stories of others. You won’t learn to abide by reading the right book or listening to a great sermon. No one can mentor you into an abiding relationship with Christ. A mentor might be able to help to a limited degree, but in the final analysis we will 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.
Nothing is more dangerous to the kingdom of darkness than a man or woman who has found the unceasing wellspring of heaven’s life.
To be set on fire, you must get close to God. When you feel cold, distant, and “out of it” spiritually, it’s time to retreat to the closet, place yourself before the fireplace of His word, and allow the intensity of His face to restore your fervency.
Waiting on God may be the most difficult of all the spiritual disciplines, and perhaps that’s the reason so few truly practice it. Just sitting in His presence and gazing… it can be agonizing to us who have become accustomed to being bombarded with data and stimuli. We lack the attention span to wait on God. But He knows that, so in His kindness He designs scenarios that will help us learn how to wait on Him. Once we press through and cross the boredom threshold, we open to the joys and adventures of waiting on God. To wait on God successfully, we must come to derive more fulfillment by being with Him than by working for Him.
Happy holiness is one of the quiet secrets of the kingdom — a purity of heart that opens the pathway to the greatest heights of communion with God. Holiness is not an inherent quality we carry; it is a derived quality that we take on. Holiness has but one source, the Holy One. Holiness has to do with proximity to the throne.
The cross’s shadow is the saint’s home. The cross is the safest place on earth. It is the place where the most violent winds will whip your soul, but also where you will enjoy the greatest immunity from Satan’s devices. By embracing the cross, you are dying to every mechanism in your soul that Satan can use against you.
Those who neglect the secret place always seem to struggle with stress and demands. Their lives tend toward a constant flurry of incessant activity. Jesus designed that there be a portion of our day when we just STOP. Stop the frenetic pace, get off the merry-go-round, and calm our hearts in the love of God.
It’s vitally important that we keep first things first. When our love for God gets our first and best attention, then we will function in the spiritual wholeness necessary to execute the second commandment. When our priorities become inverted and we begin placing more emphasis on loving others than loving God, we are headed for certain burnout. The only way to avoid an eventual collapse is to keep returning to our first love.
You won’t mind so much clinging to Him in public if you’ve already been clinging to Him in private. The secret place is where we establish ourselves as clingers to His side. When we lose our “clinginess” to Him, we become prey to all sorts of deceptions and pitfalls.
The secret place is not the destination; it is only the catalyst. It is designed of God to establish us in an intimate friendship with Him that is walked out through the course of our everyday lives. The goal we’re after is an everyday walk of unbroken communion with our Lord and Friend.