The Secret Places
For as long as I can remember, phoniness and pretense have turned me off. On the other hand, trust and being real in relationships is something I value highly.
My wife has long noted the caliber of the long-term relationships I consider myself blessed to having. Hers is one of my greatest treasures. But long-term relationships have a foundation. They begin by not being afraid of understanding ourselves. People who seem unable to trust, more often than not are afraid of that secret place within their own souls, being tentative in truly knowing and trusting themselves.
Long term relationships begin by being real with ourselves as a requisite to being real with others. Only then can we extend trust and the benefit of the doubt. Jesus admonished us to love our neighbors as ourselves. Knowing ourselves takes discipline together with the courage to face reality.
Broken relationships are sad. More so within the context of believers. I’ve got a handful that stand out in my mind. Yet in each of case, there came a point when reality gave way to masks of pretense and the phoniness of “playing games” — and the disconnect because of boundaries crossed due to either deceit and the withholding of or betrayal of trust.
The Bible outlines enduring truths that are foundational to wholesome relationships between people, as well as with God. With these truths are references to secrets, secret councils and secret places. The Psalmist warns of the secret council of evildoers and the dangers that can result from the strife of tongues. The prophets point to injustice and lies that emerge from hidden places. At their core are issues of honor and those whose lack of honor seek to mar the honor of others. On the other hand, Scripture notes the wisdom of Daniel, who had access to secrets that stumped high-level sorcerers, secrets that only God could reveal. The prophet Amos notes that God’s actions will coincide with Him revealing the secrets of His plans to His servants, the prophets. Then there is the profound truth noted by the Psalmist (Ps 15) of speaking truth in our own hearts.
Resetting the Foundations
Being open before the Lord to genuinely speak truth in your own heart might be illustrated by a psychological model known as the “Johari window.” The Johari Window depicts aspects of interpersonal interactions in an easy-to-understand graphic. It offers penetrating insights into the parameters that determine our thought lives. It unveils the boundaries that define and confine relationships, which provide insight into how we relate to the Lord. It encourages resetting the foundations of our inner-most being with truth.
The Johari graphic consists of a window comprised of four panes or quadrants. The OPEN pane of the window are those things an individual and those around him both know about. It is a person’s basic public personality. The HIDDEN pane of the window represents the collection of things that an individual keeps to himself. These are areas typically considered private. The BLIND pane of the window is sometimes called the ‘bad breath’ quadrant. It represents something others may know about an individual, that the individual may not know himself. Genuine friendships result in a trust in which a person’s BLIND quadrant shrinks because those closest to a person will tell him about himself. The UNKNOWN pane of the window is that which is hidden from the individual and from those they interact with, even though it may seriously affect relationships and interactions.
If we are to embrace genuineness in our relationship with the Lord, we must move beyond the hidden and superficial with an openness. Such openness entails the Lord exposing the blind and the unknown. It is an openness that demands trust. It is a trust that must embrace the goodness and love of God. The Lord is the Creator and Healer who makes us whole – but such interactions take time and require courage and truth on our part.
Growth and Wholeness
That means we need to be aware of the operation of each quadrant described by the Johari Window, and open to adjusting issues and attitudes when they are revealed to us in prayer. In essence, our prayers have got to be real – they can’t be sanitized or one-sided. Phoniness is self-destructive. Honesty with ourselves and with the Lord is a prerequisite to our spiritual growth and knowledge of Him. God knows it all anyway. His love is unconditional, but His blessings presume truthful hearts. What is significant in all this, is that the more we trust Him, the more we will benefit from the reciprocity and riches of His trust. The more we realistically share our heart with Him, the more He makes us whole.
Discipline is a gift you give yourself. Self-discipline will pay benefit to your path in life. Spiritual discipline and a disciplined thought life, combined with an openness to and fear of the Lord are the gates into wholeness and the release of your destiny with God’s highest and best. As Proverbs notes: “If you are wise, you are wise for yourself and if you scoff, then you alone will bear it.”
Scripture tells us that God is a consuming fire. The closer we draw to Him, the hotter the fire – His holiness – and with that, the more essential is this requirement of only allowing truth to be what dwells in our hearts. It is what the Bible refers to as having an undivided heart.
Our level of intimacy with Him is contingent on our willingness to be genuine and real in prayer – to extend Him the latitude from the perspective of all four quadrants of the Johari Window. Pressing into the Lord in this way will engender wholeness, but the process can be humbling and sometimes a bit scary. It certainly goes against the grain of our natural, self-protective “human nature.” Yet it’s a cost with incalculable rewards, that requires trust. It begins with “speaking truth in our own hearts.”
I’ve many times written about Wally Hickey, one of the most amazing pastors and closest friends I’ve ever had. Wally’s sensitivity to and walk with the Lord was such that when you were with him, he simply knew what was going on in your spirit. I liked that about him. We seemed to like that about each other. It was a spiritual connection or aura that was never judgmental, but always involved a word or a sense that filled in the gap and brought healing, if you allowed it. It wasn’t a control thing, but it certainly challenged the boundaries and control of those it impacted.
It was the purity of love that penetrates the secret places. It involves a dynamic that doesn’t manifest without trust. The challenge was not because of any pushing, but because of this unique sensitivity in his walk with the Lord — that operated without borders and penetrated the secret places.
Facing the Realities
Isaiah’s initial encounter with the reality of God alarmed him as he recognized the significance of the gap: “Woe is me, for I am a man of unclean lips and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips. For my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of Hosts.” Yet God’s response to Isaiah’s brutal openness and awareness of his own condition, in light of God’s holiness, was to cleanse him and draw him in. From this interaction then came Isaiah’s life calling and destiny.
That’s the way it was with those who encountered Jesus when He walked the earth. Jesus’ penetrating discernment caused those He met to abandon the pretense and phoniness — to recklessly trust Him. It’s no different today for those courageous enough to engage with the Holy Spirit. For it is in His presence that we face that secret place that unveils who we really are and the perfect destiny planned for us before the foundations of the earth. It simultaneously lays out the foundation needed for the Biblical operation of community.
In understanding the times, the season we have entered represents a shift that will unleash agendas from on High that shake nations. It will involve both an authority and holiness required to release these agendas. This authority and holiness supersede the hooks tied to the approval of men and the best efforts of the arm of the flesh. They require a humility and openness to not only being one with the Spirit, but in yielding uncompromisingly to the Spirit’s promptings. It begins with our trust being solely “in the Lord.” As the Psalmist began his impartations: “Blessed is the one who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful. But His delight is in the word of the Lord and in His word does he meditate day and night.”
The Culture of Trust and Unity
The Bible is replete with the amazing things God has done and will do when the path is based on “trust in the Lord.” When that path is based on unity operating within the community of God’s people, it engenders the power of the corporate anointing. The corporate anointing has its foundations in the purity of the hearts — brought together in a culture of trust. When this culture of trust is operating, nothing is impossible with God.
Back to the first psalm. It sets the standard for the path: God’s truth. It provides the guardrails for our walk with the Lord and the relationships that will move us toward that secret place, that place of His presence and purpose, that then releases His power — through unity. Maintaining momentum on this path entails discerning and overcoming the cultural mindfulness of man, that lends acceptability to the counsel of the ungodly, the path of sinners and the seat of the scornful.
Such an overcoming walk requires leadership and represents the path of true spiritual maturity. Peter, who the Lord rebuked on the Mount of Transfiguration as being mindful of the things of man and not God, eventually entered into the thinking the Lord sought for him. In one of his letters he wrote: “I write you to stir up your pure minds that you may be mindful of the words spoken by the holy prophets and of the commandments of us, the apostles of the Lord.”
Leadership in the Lord is not blind conformity. While it does not touch the anointing, it is when you can disagree but be open to be convinced. It is when the wisdom guided by the Spirit is based on being mindful of God and not man, engendering a oneness and unity that comes from the melding of pure, open hearts that flow together — as a culture of God’s people. This is where the foundation deepens. It is the entrance that passes the gateway of knowing Him and His ways with an undivided, undefiled heart into embracing the passion of His priorities — as one. It is a community culture-thing where the power is actuated.
Not to be confused with manipulative religious spirits directed toward building man-made empires and superstars, but rather it is the simplicity and servant leadership that evoke the ripples that come from this aura I noted as so evident when Pastor Wally was around. It is the anointing which bleeds into the everyday activities of those comprising the community.
It releases us into being carriers of God’s presence and corporately bringing His impact into the realities of the world around us. It’s not playing church or building buildings. It is what happens, when in encountering overwhelming opposition, we face the fire and change the spiritual atmosphere. It is embracing the mantle of being a living sacrifice, as a community. It is when the Body becomes a culture of trust. Working with the persecuted in remote areas unfrequented by Western observers, where simply being a believer puts you at risk, I’ve witnessed the difference.
The Creativity Beyond Self
There’s a soberness to facing reality. It is the irritation in the oyster that combines with the essence of the oyster and over time ultimately creates the pearl. It is that place beyond self that goes beyond the irritation and pain to become a place of creativity and power. When it manifests through God in a culture of trust it represents a force the world cannot stand against. It is the oneness, the unity that Jesus asked the Father to give His followers when He prayed the high-priestly prayer outlined in John 17.
When our trust in the Lord reaches that openness in which there no longer exists any pretense or hidden places, it triggers access to the inner sanctums of His presence, in which are the riches of untapped creativity and power.
Discovery and the Mysteries
This access into these sacred places represents a dimension and place of discovery that transcends the worldly realm we typically tend to find comfortable. It is where faith moves mountains. It is where the handful of loaves and fish are multiplied to feed thousands. It is the tempo of the times and the interaction of the Body with the world that John saw in his Revelation.
It is “out-of-the-box” in precedent in terms of the seasons we have seen in this past generation. Within the triggers actuated by this discovery will be the roles to be played between the generations, as we enter a realm to where mysteries for the times are unveiled, not unlike the spiritual mix seen when Jesus walked the face of the earth.
During a recent mission in Vietnam it was harvest-time. The remote locale had rice drying along the edges of segments of the road. It struck me, that I have always interpreted the words of Jesus: of “the fields being ripe unto harvest” from a Western churchy perspective. Having been in this area among brethren willing to risk all for their faith, my view has shifted — radically. “The field being ripe unto harvest” smacks of the time described in Isaiah 60 when spiritual darkness would cover the earth, while the Light of the Lord arises and draws people to the glorious freedom that can only come from Him in the face of such adversity. What a glimpse into the times before us when God’s people face their own secret places and emerge with undefiled hearts that trigger access into the secret places of His presence, as a culture of trust. That is the seedbed and realm of love.
Not only will this realm be a place of discovery and wonder, but one in which the mysteries of God for the time-of-the-end spoken of in Daniel are released. Their release will have their impetus in the spiritual maturity that comes from the openness that closes the gap to pretense. It is where growing bands of believers, flowing with undefiled hearts of trust and truth, become the lights dispersing the darkness.
Morris Ruddick has been a forerunner and spokesman for the higher dimensions of business leadership since the mid-90s. As founder of Global Initiatives Foundation and designer of the God’s Economy Entrepreneurial Equippers Program, Mr. Ruddick imparts hope and equips economic community builders to be blessed to be a blessing where God’s light is dim in diverse regions around the globe.
He is author of “The Joseph-Daniel Calling;” “Gods Economy, Israel and the Nations;” “The Heart of a King;” “Something More;” “Righteous Power in a Corrupt World;” “Leadership by Anointing;” and “Mantle of Fire,” which address the mobilization of business and governmental leaders with destinies to impact their communities. They are available in print and e-versions from www.Amazon.com, www.apple.com/ibooks and www.BarnesandNoble.com.
Global Initiatives Foundation (www.strategic-initiatives.org) is a tax-exempt 501 (c) 3 non-profit whose efforts are enabled by the generosity of a remnant of faithful friends and contributors whose vision aligns with God’s heart to mobilize economic community builders imparting influence and the blessings of God. Checks on US banks should be made out to Global Initiatives and mailed to PO Box 370291, Denver CO 80237 or by credit card at http://strategicintercession.org/support/
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2019 Copyright Morris Ruddick — firstname.lastname@example.org
Reproduction is prohibited unless permission is given by a SIGN advisor. Since early 1996, the Strategic Intercession Global Network (SIGN) has mobilized prophetic intercessors and leaders committed to targeting strategic-level issues impacting the Body on a global basis. For previous posts or more information on SIGN, check: http://www.strategicintercession.org