Sunday, July 14, 2024

Come into the shelter of the almighty

by JUSTIN GARDNER / Contributing Writer
| July 5, 2024 1:00 AM

I cannot stress enough the importance of the secret place, it is where we go, to fully immerse ourselves in the intimacy of Christ. Where all the struggles we are facing, all of the distractions, fade out of existence, and there is only him. It pains my heart knowing that there are some people, believers and not, who have not yet found that place.

It is when we remove ourselves, from the things of this world, when we allow ourselves to let go, and simply be in his presence. And I understand. It can be so easy to allow the business of life to guide our walk, our direction, to lead us to a place of decisions made in our own accord rather than in His. 

To lack the secret place, to lack intimacy with the Father, is to lack wisdom, and very quickly leads into leaning upon our own understanding. We see this very clearly in 1 Kings 19, in which Elijah runs for his life, fearing that he is the only prophet left, certain that it would be better if he died right there in the wilderness, and yet God leads him to a cave in the mountain. There he faces a great windstorm, an earthquake, and a raging fire before him, none were the presence of God, yet then came a gentle whisper, “you are not alone.” And he knew he was in the presence of the Lord.

See we sometimes search, in the great, in the powerful, in the loud and boisterous, and we find nothing, we are lost, and confused; yet when we enter into the secret place, we listen, we allow for the gentle whisper to come, there we find intimacy, truth, comfort. It takes putting aside what makes sense, what we’ve been taught, and having the humility for Him to shift our perspective. 

So I ask, please, come with me, into the shelter of the almighty. To the place in which the voices fade, and we meditate on Him. To the place where lies are revealed, where chains are broken, where your life is never the same because you chose to spend your time with Him and Him alone. He will speak to you, He will encourage you, He will take what you always knew, and bring you into a fresh revelation of His living word. And all that is required, is to sit, to listen, to be in the presence. 

So I leave you with this simple question, are you ready to be raw, to be real, to be open? Are you ready to lay all your hopes, your dream, your frustrations, your preconceptions and hurts on the altar, and know that He will trade it all for joy? For these are the things that occur in that place, a newness of life, through intimacy with Him. 

Justin Gardner pastors at River of Life Fellowship, 702 Church St., Sandpoint. The church can be reached at 208-255-7111.