by Wade E Taylor
“Deep calls to deep. At the noise of Your waterspouts, all Your waves and Yours billows are gone over me.” Psalm 42:7
The Psalms of David are filled with the heart-cry of a man seeking for a deep personal relationship with the Lord Himself. Again and again, David expresses a burning desire to intimately know the Lord on two levels of experience.
First, he desires to know the Lord face to face.
“As the hart pants after the water brooks, so pants my soul after You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?” Psalm42:1-2
Second, he desires to know the Lord as one in whom he can place infinite trust.
“In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do to me.” Psalm 56:11
David has come to understand that he cannot find the satisfaction and fulfillment that he deeply desires from other relationships. Nor is he satisfied with knowing the Lord only as his Savior, or as being the King of all kings who can do great things for him.
Rather, he now desires to know the Lord as a person with whom he can share times of intimate fellowship. When he fell short of this experience, David repented before the Lord.
“I acknowledged my sin unto you, and my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, I will confess my transgressions to the Lord, and you forgave the iniquity of my sin.” Psalm 32:5 NKJ
Now, David is free from all guilt and condemnation and he can say from within the depth of his being:
“You are my hiding place; you shall preserve me from trouble; you shall surround me with songs of deliverance.” Psalm 32:7 NKJ
David has come to understand that only the Lord can satisfy the longing of his soul, and he has totally turned to the Lord (You are my hiding place). There is a clarity in the expression of his trust and expectancy in these words as they flow out from a repentant heart of love, appreciation, and worship (You shall surround me with songs of deliverance).
In this new level of intimacy with David, the Lord spoke to him and imparted this very encouraging promise:
“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with my eye. Do not be like the horse or like the mule, which have no understanding, which must be harnessed with bit and bridle, else they will not come near you.” Psalm 32:8-9 NKJ
David’s repentance has brought him into such an intimate closeness to the Lord (I will guide you with my eye), that he is able to sense the desire of the Lord concerning him, apart from words being spoken. Seeking to take David even further, the Lord exhorted him to be both responsive and obedient – “Do not be like the horse or like the mule.”
We also desperately need this same clarity of Spirit-led protection and guidance that David experienced. As world pressures and religious confusion increases, we must heed this exhortation in the Word to unconditionally make the Lord our portion.
Psalm 91 promises deliverance and victory in the time of trouble to “He that dwells in the secret place of The Most High.” This “secret place” is a place “set apart” where we can withdraw from the activities of our everyday life experience. Here, we will be able to clearly hear with our spiritual ears, and then appropriate His Words into our spirit and digest them until they become a personal reality within us.
The Lord desires those who will choose Him for Himself alone, apart from anything that He might do for them in blessing and provision.
“I counsel you to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that you may be rich.” Revelation 3:18a
There are many distracting influences that seek to draw us away from a true, sincere devotion to the Lord. These forces have absolutely no power or control over us, unless we allow them to do so. There must be within each of us an active resistance to anything that will hinder our times of fellowship with the Lord.
The Lord will not over-ride our will. He will guide us, but we are given the freedom to choose our level of response to Him in every area of our life experience. We must abide continually in an attitude of choosing to respond to His wooing our hearts into this place of a “secret abode of intimacy with Him.”
The pulls away from this secret place are many. There continually lurks in the shadows the desire for success, recognition, and earthly security against what might happen. If allowed, these things will step forward to obscure Jesus.
We easily forget His promise in John 16:33. “In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” Here, Jesus is saying, “Do not fear, in Me you will have peace.” He has promised to care for us, for He is our Shepherd. As we have need, we can freely partake of all that He won on the cross in our behalf.
If we are not receiving His care and protection, we have either chosen the wrong dwelling place, or we have set our affection on something other than Him. When this happens, He patiently waits, ready to help us when we finally turn to Him.
His “word” to us is that we enter into “the secret place” where He dwells, and then make this our real home. David erected a tent on Mount Zion for God to dwell in, but David’s heart became the Lord’s abode. The Lord promises to reward those who seek Him. This reward is God Himself. Nothing can compare to this eternal treasure.
In Romans 8, we are presented with exhortations, promises, and the marvelous word that “all things work together for good to them that love God” (to those who make Him their secret abode).
Then comes the encouraging word, “If God be for us, who can be against us?”
We must put our trust completely in Jesus and seek this place of rest in His presence.
As we do this, we will be eternally grateful and satisfied.