Many years ago, before I surrendered myself to the Lord, I felt alone in my quest for inner peace and strength. I had never been taught that it was even available within Christianity. I became aware of the possibility of peace when I got into an Eastern philosophy for a few years. I was very attracted to the idea. During that time, I attended a lecture by a guru who said that all religions are basically the same. I was surprised at his statement because there was no mention of peace in the Catholicism that I grew up with; but he got me curious. I didn't know where to go to find answers, but I began to interact with a Christian cult group who emphasized the study of the Bible. They promoted Biblical tools for helping to find information in the Bible. The Young's Concordance was recommended; and I found it helpful in finding what I was interested in.
The first word that I looked up was "peace", and found the verses in the Bible where that word was used. I began to notice that inner peace was very much a part of Biblical spirituality. A passage that stood out at the very beginning was Philippians 4: 6-7 which says to "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus". After this I found 1Peter 5:6-7 which tells us to "Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time, Casting all of your care upon him; for he careth for you". There were others after this. What they all had in common was the idea of releasing our cares over to God. This was absent in the Eastern philosophy which taught that there is no Biblical God; therefore, we had to arrive at peace through self-knowledge and awareness. This was helpful for me at the time, but there was no Divine peace and strength in it; but at least it taught me that inner peace was even possible.
After about a year of studying with the Christian group, I decided to act on my personal understanding of what I had been learning from the Bible. Just reading about it was not enough. When I surrendered myself to the Lord, the results shocked me. I immediately had all this peace and strength that I never had before. One of the first things that I thought was that this must be the secret place of the Most High. It was so secret that I had never heard of it before.
It has sustained me for decades. Because I had never heard of it, I thought that I had stumbled on something ancient that had laid dormant for millennia, but that was still available. It also surprised me that it could happen so quickly, while I was walking down a street, by myself, outside of any church setting.
Psalm 91 speaks of the blessings associated with being in the secret place. It says that those who live in the secret place "shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty". They will say of the Lord, "He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust". This is probably why I associated the secret place with unconditional trust in God. The secret place is where He puts us when we trust in Him. God is the secret place and our habitation. In the New Testament, it becomes the presence of Christ within us when we trust in Him. This is how His graces flow into us. He contains all the fullness of the Godhead bodily, and we are complete in Him. In both Old and New Testaments, trust and dependence are the main things that God requires of us. Adam and Eve abandoned these things in the Garden, which brought humanity to its present state.
Verse 14 says: "Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name". The word "love" in this verse can also be translated "clinging". God wants us to cling to Him in order to receive His blessings. Love, in this verse, is not a feeling that comes and goes, or a feeling that we may or may not ever have. It is a deliberate act, on our part, of clinging to God in trust.
Psalm 91 covers a lifespan of blessings. It ends "With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation". I've felt that I have been working my way through this psalm from beginning to end. Under God's wings I trust; and His truth has been my shield and my buckler. We continue trusting in God while we are under His protection in that secret place. As we have received the Lord, we also walk in Him. We walk in the Spirit and have no confidence in the flesh.
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