The secret of the Christian life is the secret place. Jesus taught us, “But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut the door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly” (Matthew 6:6). Any lasting fruit in ministry or Christlikeness has its root in the secret place of prayer and communion. He hears our voice and we begin to hear His. We share our hearts and He begins to share His. We let Him see us as we are, which can be humbling, but then He allows us to begin seeing Him as He is.
In the secret place, there comes a day when we can even thank the Lord for our pain, troubles, burdens, and frustrations in this life. We can praise Him that we spent years with no cure for loneliness, no end to emptiness, to answer to anxiety, no freedom from fear. If we have labored under the hot sun of our own sin or self-righteousness, we are all the more delighted when relief comes. “In his shade I took delight and sat down, and his fruit was sweet to my taste” (Song of Songs 2:3). Just as shade relieves us from the heat, the presence of God heals our loneliness, fills our emptiness, removes our anxiety, frees us from fear. We are delivered from sin. As we see His perfect goodness and mercy, self-righteousness crumbles. The secret place bears sweet fruit.
Have you ever felt resistant to enter His presence? You may believe the lie that says God has no interest in your company. Yet, the voice of the Bridegroom says otherwise today: “O my dove, in the clefts of the rock, in the secret place of the steep pathway, let me see your form, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet, and your form is lovely” (2:14). God wants to hear our voices in prayer. You may be afraid that God will be displeased if you unveil the true content of your heart in His presence. But the Bridegroom is insistent: “let me see your form,” and, “your form is lovely.” The Lord finds us more pleasant when we unveil to Him the depths of who we really are inside, sinfulness and all, as opposed to propping up a false image that we think looks more presentable. He already sees us as we are, so true communion requires transparency.
In the safety of the Bridegroom’s invitation, we can deal with sins and flaws, without any doubt that we are loved. The bride says, “Catch the foxes for us, the little foxes that are ruining the vineyards” (2:15), and the bride of Christ says the same thing, when she sees how harmful sin is to her sweet fellowship with God. Whether it is pride, anger, dishonesty, selfishness, addiction, lust, bitterness, criticism, unforgiveness, we can bring it all into the light of Jesus’ face. In the secret place, He will catch those foxes for our good and make us more like Himself.
The Rock Church