When White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove recently disclosed classified information regarding the identity of an undercover CIA agent, he not only put the life of the agent at risk, but he violated the laws of confidentiality. In moments like this, one has to wonder, just how secure are the secrets of our life? It reminds me of a time a couple of years ago when I took my son Christmas shopping. I am not much of a shopper, but with the sounds of the season being so sentimental and nostalgic and my being forced to think of everyone else besides myself, my creative juices flow during that time like no other for me. I have become so good at it, in fact, that Jeanne has only returned about 3% of the gifts I have ever bought for her. It seemed like it would be a good idea to take my son along for the experience so I could teach him the tricks of the trade. We had spent several hours out and had a very successful night. On the drive back home, I told my son that the most important part was his ability to keep what we had bought a secret. He nodded his head that he understood, but as soon as we walked into the door, he told her about a special gift we had purchased. I was both frustrated and aggravated, but when I asked him why he had told, he replied, “Dad, it was just too good to be kept a secret!”
When it comes to secrets, there is only one time when we all would agree we like them: when we KNOW them! Since the beginning of time, man has been obsessed with knowing secrets, but the words Moses wrote in Deuteronomy 29:29 seem to slip our mind, “The secret things belong unto the Lord our God…” Our society has become so educated and brilliant in our discoveries that we’ve forgotten some things were meant to remain a secret. In order to discover a secret, Adam and Eve found sin, pain, and death. Hoping to know the secret of the future, Saul forfeited his future. Delilah coerced Samson into revealing his secret, and it cost him his eyes, his dignity, and his life. Some secrets the Lord kept secret for a reason. He knows our frailty with secrets, and surely Jesus had this in mind when He told the disciples in John 16:12, “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.”
The Lord holds together the seams of our lives with His secrets, but why is it there are some secrets He chooses to tell and other secrets He keeps to Himself? Heavenly secrets are revealed in perfect timing. In Mark 13, a few of the disciples wanted to know about the last days and what signs they should anticipate. Jesus gave a lengthy response, but concluded in verse 32, “but of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.” It doesn’t take long into your journey to figure out the Lord is not in a hurry. He can hold a secret for centuries and never even expose a hint. One reason He holds His silence is we are forced to trust His judgment, but a second reason was discovered by Solomon in Proverbs 25:2, “It is the glory of God to conceal a thing…” The Lord only reveals His secrets when He is assured ALL the glory will be His. There are times when we feel the Lord is “holding out” on us, and perhaps He is. When the glory is all His, delayed secrets become Divine surprises.
Heavenly secrets are restricted to personal trust. Daniel 2:28 declares, “but there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets…” Then Amos 3:7 testifies, “Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but He revealeth His secret unto His servants the prophets.” The Lord takes great delight in sharing heavenly secrets, but why is it so few of us are able to hear them? Who is it that qualifies to hear such whispers? David clarified it in Psalm 25:14, “the secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him.” The word “fear” means “moral reverence”, and the word “secret” means “intimacy of close companions.” Put together, they imply holiness! The Lord’s secrets are only shared with those whose heart is prepared to hold them.
Reckless lives are sure to be careless with secrets. Only holy vessels can be trusted with holy visions. Heavenly secrets are required for powerful tasks. In John 13:7, Jesus was washing the feet of His disciples, and Peter questions why He is doing so. Jesus answers him, “What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter.” In the next few hours after hearing this statement, Peter would humbly learn that strong leadership requires a submissive living. Far too often we fail while aimlessly searching for a major miracle, and miss the cure because His secrets are often filled with simplicity. Daniel 2:22 puts it this way, “He revealeth the deep (profound) and secret (concealed and simple) things…” (italics mine). At the bitter waters of Marah, Moses cried and “the Lord showed him a tree.” When their taxes were due, Jesus sent Peter fishing to “find a piece of money.” If there is a warning we should all heed it is this: beware of stumbling over the simple secrets of the Lord. By finding the simple we are able to do the profound!
When Eliphaz reproved Job during his trial, he asked an interesting question in Job 15:8, “Hast thou heard the secret of God?” Sometimes He whispers them, and other times He simply points. His secrets are heavily guarded but heartily given. If it is something your life really needs, the Lord finds it too good to be kept a secret.
Your Most Proud Pastor,
© Alan Stewart, 2005.
Alan Stewart: Dr. Alan Stewart has served as Senior Pastor of Rechoboth Baptist since December 1999. He attended The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Moody Bible Institute, Covington Theological Seminary, and Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary.
Prior to pastoring the Tennessee church, Alan was an evangelist for 15 years. He has preached revivals/pastor’s conferences in Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and Maryland. He also preached crusades/conferences in India, Hungary, and conducted a crusade in South Africa in August of 2009. Pastor Alan is married to Jeanne, and they are blessed with two children – Sierra and Seth.