I’m sure most of us can say that the last few weeks have been unlike any other period in our lives. That doesn’t just go for us as individuals – the entire world has been thrown off course by the unexpected outbreak of COVID-19. Countless people have suffered and many have been left grieving loved ones. We’ve seen the economy shaken, businesses closing, large numbers made unemployed, not to mention panic buying scenes worthy of a Hollywood movie. 2020 is turning into a year unlike any other!
But, even in the midst of such uncertainty surrounding the future, as believers in Jesus we have a hope for what is to come that surpasses it all.
‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’ Jeremiah 29:11
This isn’t a time to allow the circumstances we are facing to instil fear and anxiety in our lives. The scriptures tell us that God’s word is eternal and has been settled in the heavens. We are also reminded in Hebrews 13:8 that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. What does this mean? It means that Jesus is still sat on the highest throne, He’s still the King of kings and Lord of lords, He’s still sovereign and His position of victory has not been changed.
In this season, I really feel in my heart that Jesus is giving His Church, His Bride, an opportunity to draw closer to Him. In fact, I believe the highest calling for us all is to walk in intimacy and nearness to Him. To know Jesus and to love Him is this greatest ‘achievement’ we could ever accomplish in this life.
In Psalm 91:1, we read: ‘He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.’ As you continue to read Psalm 91, you will find that it is filled with so much hope and encouragement, with many promises given to us in which God offers His protection. This is amazing, but it is essential for us to recognise that the key to living in these promises is dwelling in what the Psalmist calls the ‘secret place’. Some of you may ask what is this? The best answer comes from Jesus Himself. In Matthew 6:6, He says: ‘when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly’ (my italics).
In this season when many of us are not able to leave the house as much as we would like and often find that we have more time to spare, let us not miss the calling of Christ to come away and be with Him. The secret place is where Jesus invites each and every one of us to get alone with Him. It’s only here in His presence where we will find true peace, joy and fulfilment, things which this world can never give to us. The secret place is the very foundation of where prayer begins. It’s in the secret place that we learn to hear His voice. It’s a place of loving exchange between man and God, where His love is poured into our hearts and our worship is poured out before Him. It is here we can simply enjoy Him and get to know Him intimately.
Wherever we are in life, no matter where we are today and no matter what our circumstances, the invitation to the secret place is always open. It is God’s desire for us to all accept this wonderful invitation. Let me encourage you in this season of lockdown to intentionally ‘lock away’ and spend time with Jesus, allowing this practice to become fuel for daily living. His Kingdom is one that cannot be shaken – now more than ever we must place our trust in Jesus, the good news that never changes. Lock away with Him and more than just lockdown will be transformed!
David Harris, together with his wife Noreen, is founder and director of Kingdom Encounter. Their mission is to see people encounter Jesus and be transformed through the proclamation of the gospel and power of the Holy Spirit.