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The Closet

The closet Jesus mentioned in Matthew 6 has fascinated me for many years. It is a word used only four times in the New Testament. There are two basic pictures presented by this word. One is a room in a private dwelling where one can go to be alone and meditate. Sometimes the householder would store his valuables in that secret place. The other usage refers to a storage room. In both cases the issue is privacy, treasure and security.

In Matthew 6 it is a place where one meets with the Father who IS in secret and who SEES in secret. And Father has promised to be present there when we come. Recently I realized that when anyone goes into this secret place to meet with Father, he or she is there with the community of God’s people. We may not be aware of their presence, and they may not be aware of their presence there, but since they are also “in Christ” they are also with our Father in his secret place. So my secret place and your secret place is actually the same place.

I suddenly saw that t this is the place of the unity of the Spirit Paul spoke of in Ephesians 4. It is actually the only place we can experience Father’s presence and the unity of the Spirit. It is the place where Jesus dwells in the Father and the Father dwells in him. It is the place where we abide in him and he abides in us. It is the place of the ultimate reconciliation of all things Paul speaks of in Colossians 1:20.

It is also the place through which the anointing of the Holy Spirit flows through us into the community. When the speaker or singer in actually in the Spirit (in the secret place) the gathered community will respond to the call of the Spirit and receive the message. Receiving the message and understanding the teaching are two different things. If you only understand, you only receive the academic side of the truth. If you receive the message by the Spirit, your life will change to reflect the truth. What we really desire is a changed life, not just more understanding.

What a privilege to be invited into that place to commune with him and to make our requests known and to listen for his response. The problem is that our culture does not train us to go there. Most of us don’t even know where that place is or how to get there. Some don’t even know it exists. Our culture is totally focused on the external world of business and pleasure, of weather and sports, of politics and religion. Christianity in this culture is divided because few ever go to the secret place.

Those who know about the secret place often think it is only a place to go occasionally to pray or relax. One can certainly relax and pray in that place, but there is so much more to it. It is also the place from which we speak and act in response to what Father is saying to us while we are there. This is where we are seated with him in heavenly places, the place from which we reign with him in victory over principalities and powers. When we speak from this place we call it anointing or charisma.

Jesus lived his life in this secret place. It was the place where he saw what Father was doing and heard what Father wanted to say. He often went to a private area to be alone, and sometimes took his disciples with him. But his time in this secret place was not limited to these times apart from the crowd. Even in his busy activity with people he was in that place with his Father and was able to receive from him in behalf of others. Our goal is to learn to live consciously in the secret place, not just occasionally visit. We are in Christ at all times. We only need to become more aware of our presence with him as we go about our day. Our lie will change radically if we spend more time there.

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Fount Shults
President, On Word Ministries, http://www.onword.org

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