Some of you have been going to the same church and have been doing the same Christian routine, week after week, year after year. Some of us are very loyal people, taking our commitments seriously, and we keep the Sabbath holy. Our primary spiritual truth meal comes from this weekly sermon. We may have a good book going on the side, on our bedside table, nibbling a bit here and there on teaching and revelation from a new or favorite Christian author. That’s our Christian growth, the little bit that comes from outside of The Bible. Actually, that’s pretty good, by some standards.
I found out there is more, after knowing for year and years that there was more, and believing I had found it. I hadn’t. Decades and decades in, I had missed it. Searching high and low, books lining my shelves, many actually read, sermons on youtube, guest speakers, all on top of those weekly sermons by my faithful pastors. I was 100% sure I was there, but I wasn’t. I was humbled by one book.
There’s a woman of God who I love. She sits in the front row at church, actually working there. Guest speakers come and figure out in an instant that she’s something special, walking in tangible authority and grace. Moving in for my Sunday morning hug a few weeks ago, there was no greeting in response, just a few words with her lingering southern accent: “I’m reading a new book and it’s changed my life.”
The adage of not telling a book by it’s cover quickly applied here.
That got my attention. That was no small endorsement from a woman who weighed her words. I was home from church for less than an hour before purchasing and downloading the audio onto my phone. I was curious. The book cover was remarkably non-alluring. Could someone tell Christian publishers that a dark cover with the picture of a mysterious door handle and antique key does not appeal to many as relevant to modern life? It’s been done. A lot. But the adage of not telling a book by it’s cover quickly applied here. 52 topical chapters, wisdom and testimony, promise and no small orders, all in its pages.
Some of us may have missed the verses that give this book, Secrets of The Secret Place, it’s title. Psalm 91:1 is read by many in the NIV translation, which reads;
“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.’”
“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.”
This book isn’t about technique. It’s about relationship.
I won’t leak any of Bob’s secrets of the secret place to you. But they are there, lining the pages, one after another. Believe me, you may think that you've heard it all, but you'll find you haven't! I will say that I have been challenged again and again by his wise and out-of-the-box take on so many ideas and practices, and by his call to live out what we all agree we ought to do. If I gave the book a new title, it would be The Rewards and Secrets of The Secret Place.
I now go to church and come home differently. I see the whole Christianity thing from the lens of a friend of God. My time with God is not an obligation, it’s delightful, like a cup of coffee with someone I love. I’m challenged by what I read in Scripture, not condemned. I come away with new promises, new things to do, in awe of God and certain that I’m here for a reason and am valuable to Him. Thank you to my friend for sharing this book. I want to share it with so many people who may struggle on the outside of the door to that secret place where God abides. This book has changed my life, too. I pray God will use it to change yours.