Religion is a fundamental and permanent aspect of humanity. In some parts of the world (including the UK), you will find big auditoriums that are actually places of worship built to accommodate a large number of “followers”. Man has laboured tirelessly for years to put on conferences, functions, and other events to ensure that every seat/space is occupied. The pressure is piled on to meet targets and out of desperation to fill those seats, and those in charge bring out their bags of tricks and use all necessary means to entice potential converts. The growth in membership symbolises years of working in the vineyard and is also perceived as a reward for the diligence and commitment of the “founding fathers” and “mothers”. God help anyone who turns up at the 11th hour trying to “steal” the limelight! They’ll be met with opposition, possibly forced to abandon everything and be shown the door. God might have sent that individual for a purpose but the “this is my property, I built this church, this temple” mentality only serves one thing: the flesh.
We adorn our “place of worship” with beautiful ornaments and décor fit for a King, but in some buildings the King of Kings is not even welcomed. Likewise, in other places of worship, God refuses to grace us with his presence. The outward adornment does not reflect true worship, which flows from our heart.
In the 21st-century, worship has been reduced to an art, a play or a movie. The actors get ready on Sunday, get dressed in their best outfits and accessories, and rush into the “house of worship”. All the other actors are in position, ready for the director to shout “action”. The song is played, the dancing starts, followed by the word for the day delivered like an acceptance speech at the Oscars. This might seem like an exaggeration – but in some circles, it’s true. I attended a church like that once. It didn’t start like that, but it ended up like that. I remember that Sunday service was like an epic movie production: we even had production/stage meetings beforehand, and as time went by it seemed like we had everything planned out perfectly. Stage management experience combined with management experience seemed to be the right mix needed to have a good church service. The Holy Spirit was rarely invited to take control because of the fear of man losing control. In the end, the entire leadership team found themselves in disarray, church members felt empty and the church service became spiritually dry.
God is Spirit, and His glory is beyond our ability to perceive. We must meet with Him in the secret places of the heart in order to commune with Him.
Where is this secret place of worship?
The secret place of worship is a place of habitation, a place of dwelling. Only those who seek it will find it. Only those who yearn for it will locate it. It is not a physical habitation; it’s more than that. It is neither a special location where man and God meet for fellowship one day out of 7; it is not a physical destination only accessible to members belonging to the members’ club; not a place where people gather to have a good time, socialise and then go home. Don’t get me wrong: there is a place for that. But when it’s a regular occurrence, caution should be applied.
It is a place where God can tug on our heart strings. A place where true worship is birthed, and not misunderstood. There is a secret place of worship, where our heart is concealed and hidden in GOD’s heart. A place of communion, a place of intimacy. A place where our soul is marinated in the presence of God.
Our search, our prayer to know the secret place of worship needs to start at the place where we seek to know God more, and yearn for a deeper relationship with him.