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The Closet II

In our previous blog we noticed that the closet mentioned in Matthew 6 is a “secret place” where we meet with God. We also saw that we are with the community of believers when we are there in the closet whether we realize it or not. We discovered that it is this closet is the place from which the anointing flows. Our challenge is to learn how to live in that place rather than merely going there occasionally.

I am presently on a quest to discover how to minister from that place consistently. In my 40 years of teaching on college campuses I have had that experience several times. I have many memories of students falling to the floor weeping while I was teaching. I am no longer satisfied with experiencing God’s presence occasionally. I am not looking for the weeping aspect as such; I want the presence of God that is manifest in those times. So I ask myself, “What are the elements present when I am in that place that are not with me when I am only teaching the academic content of the truth?”

Recently I was teaching on prayer in a church and used my personal experience as an example. For many years I would catch myself singing or humming “Amazing Grace” every day. That is not something I decide, it just happens. I suggested that these songs are in my heart, in the closet with Father. I went on to say I have have been singing Because He Lives, for several weeks now. It has not replaced Amazing Grace but this is also something I don’t intentionally do. I just catch myself in the act. The songs just bubble up out of my heart.

As I was teaching I felt led to sing the song for the congregation. That is something I have never done before. Since it was not planned I had to sing a cappella. To my surprise many in the audience began to weep as the truth of the song was sinking into their spirit. I was actually singing from the Secret Place and the Holy Spirit was touching people’s hearts. The atmosphere in the building changed.

This is obviously not a magic formula; one cannot “use” this to get a response from people. It is also not something anyone can do. Each of us needs to discover what “happens” in the secret place and learn to do enter that event in the public arena. I believe it worked for me at least that one time because the song was with me in my private time without my conscious choice. When I began to sing it I immediately found myself in the closet with Father. Perhaps he was singing with me, I don’t know, but it was profound. I was not actually singing to the people; I was singing to the Lord.

This is my preliminary conclusion. I will be experimenting with the concept to discover what is actually happening. If any of you have had similar experiences, share your story for others to read. It may be that we will find the “Secret” together. Please respond with a comment.

On Word Ministries is a contribution based ministry. We have no salary from a church. Any offerings you send will help us continue to do what we do. You may donate online at http://www.onword.org by clicking the “Donate” tab, or you can send your offering to On Word Ministries, 106 Ashford Ct. Myrtle Beach, SC 29588.

Thank you for your consideration,
Fount Shults

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