This week, Pastor Chris continued in our Abide series about finding God in the secret place. Life can be difficult and many people ask, “where is God?” God is longing and waiting to meet with us in the secret place. In His presence, we connection with Him and can experience dynamic change in our lives and our hearts.

Matthew 6:6 (ESV)
6 But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

1. We find God in the secret place.

“Everything you will ever need is found in the presence of God, for it is there you find the reason you were created.” Banning Liebscher

• The secret place is where is a place where God answers and speaks to us.

The secret place is where…
• The life of God flows from.
• Love becomes our motivation.
• Compassion overrides contention.
• Cold hearts are softened to God’s will.
• Hunger overrides apathy.
• Rest replaces exhaustion.
• Hurting hearts are healed and given new life.
• God shares his story with us and our part in it.

Luke 11:1 (ESV)
1 Now Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.”

Secret Place Fasting and Prayer

  1. Fasting softens our hearts so that we sense God’s presence more.
  2. Fasting changes our desires and enlarging our desire for righteousness (Heb. 1:9).
  3. Fasting increases our understanding of the Word and receiving prophetic dreams.
  4. Fasting makes our body healthier and changes what we desire to eat and drink.
  5. Fasting strengthens our sense of identity as sons and daughters.

2. We find God’s plan for our lives in the secret place.

John 1:19–23 (ESV)
19 And this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” 20 He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.” 21 And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” And he answered, “No.” 22 So they said to him, “Who are you? We need to give an answer to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” 23 He said, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.”

3. Separation is needed to establish our secret place prayer life.

Mark 1:35 (ESV)
35 And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.

Luke 5:16 (ESV)
16 But he would withdraw to desolate places and pray.

5 Reasons Jesus Chose Solitude

1. To recharge after hard work

Mark 6:30–32 (ESV)
30 The apostles returned to Jesus and told him all that they had done and taught. 31 And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. 32 And they went away in the boat to a desolate place by themselves.

2. To work through grief.

Matthew 14:13 (ESV)
13 Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a desolate place by himself.

3. Before making an important decision.

Luke 6:12–13 (ESV)
12 In these days he went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God. 13 And when day came, he called his disciples and chose from them twelve, whom he named apostles:

4. In a time of distress.

Luke 22:39 (ESV)
39 And he came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him.

5. To focus on prayer.

Luke 5:16 (ESV)
16 But he would withdraw to desolate places and pray.

• The secret place prayer life is where we find intimacy, dependence, faith, and rest.

Luke 6:12–13 (ESV)
12 In these days he went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God. 13 And when day came, he called his disciples and chose from them twelve, whom he named apostles:

Psalm 23:1–3 (ESV)
1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. 3 He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Psalm 91:1 (ESV)
1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.

Psalm 91:2 (ESV)
2 I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”

Psalm 91:3 (ESV)
3 For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence.

Psalm 91:4 (ESV)
4 He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.

Psalm 91:5-6 (ESV)
5 You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, 6 nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor the destruction that wastes at noonday

Psalm 9:7-8 (ESV)
7 A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. 8 You will only look with your eyes and see the recompense of the wicked.

Psalm 91:9-10 (ESV)
9 Because you have made the LORD your dwelling place— the Most High, who is my refuge— 10 no evil shall be allowed to befall you, no plague come near your tent.

Psalm 91:11-12 (ESV)
11 For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. 12 On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.

Psalm 91:13-14 (ESV)
13 You will tread on the lion and the adder; the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot. 14 “Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name.

Psalm 91:15-16 (ESV)
15 When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. 16 With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”

Discussion Questions:

  1. Share with your group how the Fast is going for you. Has God answered prayers? Has He brought clarity? Is there a greater sense of peace? Is He stirring something new in your heart?
  2. Jesus had a secret place he went to regularly. Do you have a regular meeting time and place where you can hear from the Lord?
  3. What are some practical ways you can slow down and separate from distraction to make time to meet with the Lord?
  4. From the “secret place fasting and prayer” section, have you experienced any of these so far during the Abide fast? Are there some you still want God to do?

Application Question:

  1. Pastor Chris mentioned that in the secret place we find God’s plan for our lives. This week, sit with the Lord and ask Him to confirm your identity and calling. The Lord has a role for you play in bringing His Kingdom to Tacoma, so ask Him to show you how you fit into His plan.

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Sundays at 9am + 11am