The secret things

I hate secrets. Seriously, they’re one of my pet peeves.

But on a different note (and I promise it will relate), I love the Old Testament. Okay, okay, Leviticus is sometimes hard to get through, but on the whole, I love the stories and legendary characters and accounts of faith we read about in the OT. When I read the New Testament I usually take it in small doses — verse by verse or section by section — because the truths seem to be more compact and focused. But when I read the OT I usually read larger portions at a time, delving into the truth played out through chapters and books and decades of people’s lives. Every so often, though, I find one of those single little blow-you-away verses of truth amid the longer stories.

My most recent find?

The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever. (Deuteronomy 29:29)

My devotional referred me to this verse, saying this: “Your future looks uncertain and flimsy – even precarious. That is how it should be. Secret things belong to the Lord, and future things are secret things. When you try to figure out the future, you are grasping at things that are Mine. This, like all forms of worry, is an act of rebellion: doubting My promises to care for you.” (Jesus Calling)

Secret things belong to the Lord.

And my future is a secret thing.

Ugh.

I like being let in on secrets. Like I said, secrets are one of my pet peeves. So the idea of the Lord having secrets? Annoying. And the fact that my future is one of those secrets? Frustrating. And the suggestion that worrying about it is an act of rebellion and doubt? Convicting.

This verse hit me square in the chest. I really have no idea what the next years – or even the next months – of my life look like. My future is the Lord’s secret and he has yet to reveal parts of it to me. (The same probably goes for you, too). And I might as well stop trying to squeeze the secrets out of him. It’s a worthless struggle, considering he’s God and I’m well, just me. I can’t exactly force him to do anything. (Wouldn’t it be nice if it worked that way?) What I can do is wait and listen and, as Deuteronomy says, be diligent with the things he has revealed to me so far.

And the bigger things? The future things? The secret things? Well, I know God is good so I know whatever secrets he’s waiting to let me in on will also be good. In my experience that’s how he’s always worked. And since we walk by faith and not by sight, I suppose I can’t expect to see everything right now. So as I stand on this side of the doorway, I know he’s paving the path and trimming the hedges along the way so that when he does choose to open the door, I’ll know exactly where to go. That is, until I make it to the next door and wait for the next secret things to be revealed.

My prayer right now is simply that I’m faithful to what has been revealed and that I trust the Lord with all those secret things. Because really, people only keep secrets about important things, so whatever I’m waiting on is probably going to be pretty darn good. It’s gonna have to be, if it’s going to top these lovelies:

:)

Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. (Proverbs 19:21)

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15 thoughts on “The secret things

  1. Good post Dana,

    I also get frustrated by God’s secret things. Wish he’d just tell me all about everything and show me exactly what he wants me to do and what he is saying, plain and simple like.

    But I like Jeremeiah 33:3:
    “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”

    What a doozy eh?

    When we get intimate with God, I think he loves to share some of that secret stuff with us too.

    I reckon we just have to:
    1) Get intimate

    2) Ask for him to share a few more of his secrets with us. (In your prayers, refer him to that verse from Jeremiah 33:3).

    3) Stay intimate, meaning that sometimes these secrets are not meant to be shared with anyone else – they are revealed to us as a part of the intimate relationship God has with us and are intended to be shared only between us and him – usually to encourage us and build more of that intimacy.

    At least that’s my experience.

    • So true. I love that Jeremiah verse. And good advice. We can definitely praying for more secret things to be revealed…draw near to him and he draws near to us. :)

      Thanks!

    • I heard a preacher once put it in a way that stuck with me. He simply said “friends tell friends secrets.”

      I think you hit it dead on, Peter (I always enjoy your comments, you tend to make me reflect on a consistent basis). God is a God desiring intimacy. Like in Genesis 2, where we suddenly switch from the generic word for ‘god’ used in the first chapter, and suddenly God is known by name: Yahweh. He no longer stands at a distance, speaking things into existence. Instead, He feels the dirt between His toes, stoops down, curls and shapes it in His fingertips, and then breathes life INTO it like a sacred life-bestowing kiss.

      Or the still small voice with Elijah. Baal was the god of the storm, and he was generally thought of in terms of ground-shaking thunder, fire from heaven (lightning), and mighty winds. Yet, after fleeing the worshipers of baal, Elijah seeks god and encounters the ground-shaking thunder (earthquake), the fire, and the wind… but God was not in the flash and dazzle. Instead, God came in the still small voice, which emphasized that the God of Israel was more interested in intimacy that in fireworks.

      Pretty intense.

      • Yes, I do suppose I prefer a God of still small voices rather than a Baal-like god of the storm. And that’s so true…there are far fewer unknowns in relationships where we know and are known completely. Like how I want to be with the Lord. More incentive to seek him harder. :)

  2. I’ve always been intrigued by this verse as well. Here’s another to pair it with. God not only keeps secrets, He also hides. Isaiah 45:15, “Surely You are a God who hides Himself…” So now we are playing hide and seek with God. He hasn’t merely withheld some answers this time, He’s flat out gone (or so it seems). But take comfort! One of the epic stories in the OT is of Abraham who “went out, not knowing where he was going (Heb 11:8).” This isn’t reckless faith or testing the Lord, but it is an opportunity to take God as our living road map? God also told Moses, “My presence will guide you (Exo. 33:14).” What do we value more- God’s presence or God’s presents? I’ve noticed that I have this tendency to reduce God to a magic 8 ball. It goes like this: dilemma, shake, answer. A bit trivialized, but not far from the truth. God is not a convenience store we drop by to grab some last minute things we need for a trip. I think He keeps secrets so that we will be lovingly compelled to spend time with Him.

    • That’s something I’ve thought a lot about lately – do I love God for who he is, or for the blessings he gives? And you’re right. God is definitely not a convenience store, and it’s good to be reminded of that every once and awhile. I can’t just stop by to get my chocolate bar and soda…he wants me to sit down, grab a coffee and chat for awhile. Yep, I prefer that kind of God :)

    • Kyle, your words and Dana’s have made me think.

      I am meeting with a group of Christian married friends and we are watching a series of DVDs by Mark Gungor called “Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage”. http://www.laughyourway.com/ Mark is very good at pointing out the differences between how men and women think and how we can learn about each other so as to grow closer and to build a stronger marriage.

      He has a section about improving your sex-life within marriage, and it made me think about my relationship with God. (Don’t misunderstand me in this, I’m not implying my relationship with God has anything to do with sex. Read on and you’ll understand.)

      Mark approached the subject from the point of view of the woman. He said that a woman wants five things in her relationship which will make her feel more comfortable about sexual intimacy, but I think the same can be said of men in many respects, and even of our relationship with God.

      Four of the five things I think can be directly related to our intimacy with God:

      1) Romance
      2) Time
      3) Privacy
      4) Exclusivity

      Let me explain. In some respects, I think the way Mark Gungor generally describes a woman is a reflection of God’s character, and yes, Mark is talking generally about women, not necessarily about every woman on the planet, but bear with me.

      As Kyle says above, God is hidden, but the four points I’ve listed above lead me to think about how we can bring God out of hiding, or perhaps put more accurately, how we can enter into his hiding place with him.

      1) Generally, women want to be romanced – to be wooed by men. God also wants us to woo him, or in Biblical terms, to seek him. This is a very, very strong theme throughout all of the Scriptures.
      You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. Jer 29:13

      2) Just as with any strong relationship between a man and a woman, our relationship with God requires that we spend time developing it.

      3) God also wants privacy. God wants to be alone with us, so that we can build intimacy with him, just between the two of us.
      Jesus’ life is an example of this concept. He often withdrew to be alone with God, especially at times when he needed refreshment or encouragement.

      4) Exclusivity. God wants us all to himself, and he wants us to keep him all to ourselves. That’s why the Bible is full of so many verses decrying idolatry of any sort. He can’t stand it when we share or replace intimacy with him with intimacy with anyone or anything else.

      Anyway, these sorts of ponderings are helping me to try to approach my relationship with God in more concrete terms, with more tangible down-to-earth relationship strategies. so to speak.

      • Mmhmm. Those are good points, Peter. As a woman, I can relate to how God desires to be sought in those ways. A good/different way of looking at it.

      • Peter,
        Thanks for the four words! That puts some teeth into it. Our love for the Lord draws Him out of hiding. John 14:21- “…he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will MANIFEST Myself to him.” We may not get all the answers but we get Him.

        I think God is trying to get us to realize something basic about Himself. If you were to ask people to fill in the blank- “Your Maker is your ____”, you would probably get “God, Master, Lord.” But God’s thought is “Husband” (Isa 54:5). God’s basic thought of man in creation is wife, not servant. God created man in view of marriage not just redemption. The Bible is a record of this unfolding romance that ends in a human-divine wedding. If our present life experience has anything to do with this ending surely this is a big part of it. Christianity is not just learning and serving but an profoundly intimate experience of Christ in love.

  3. A dear elderly brother once told me that studying the old testament was like mining for gems. You found one!

    So many good thoughts from you and others that I can’t even begin to comment on it all.

    A verse that came to my mind was Col. 3:3. “…your life is now hidden with Christ in God.” I always imagine that I’m resting in the gentle grip of the hand of Christ which is being enveloped by the enormous hand of God. It is a safe place. I can’t even imagine God’s plans for me but we are secure.

    The waiting is hard but wasn’t Jonah 3 days in the belly of the well, Moses 40 years herding sheep, Joseph as a slave or in jail, even Jesus 40 days in the wilderness before their ministries began?

    Man! I hope you don’t have to wait 40 years! (:

    Keep writing, Dana.

  4. HI Dana,
    Love you post! I, too, have been having to wait recently.. lots of secrets, and the Lord only revealing what I need to know when I need to know it – and often His idea of when I need to know it has not been the same as His!
    Loving all the Bible verses both in the blog and the comments above.. you’ve provoked some great discussion!
    Beccy

    • Thanks Beccy! I think the Lord knows that some of the biggest spiritual growth happens in waiting periods…so here’s to waiting and growing! And the knowledge that his Way and his timing are ALWAYS best. :)

  5. Amen! He has great plans for you…..His plans are kind of like pregnancy. They grow inside and you aren’t sure what they’ll look like, and sometimes it can even be a painful giving birth to a destiny, but the outcome is always worth the wait and any pain that might come in the waiting. He builds character to sustain the call of God in these seasons of life. I can totally relate. I have had many seasons of waiting on God….for my husband, kids, calling, and I still wait on God for my future. He is good though and so faithful. He has great things ahead for you…better than you even can imagine! Blessings!

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