The Hidden Places

In this year of our Lord, 2019, we find ourselves over two thousand years from His blessed sacrifice upon the tree; His outstretched arms, pinned to the beam gave us the sign of the cross, the symbol of Christianity – a derogatory term used to describe the group considered to be followers of Christ. Though Christ did not intend it so, the religion that materialised from those early struggles in the faith really did go on to change the world. Filled with good deeds and saintly honour, our history has tried to reflect the divine light of our Master in to a very dark world. To me, that resembles the first spark of light that also shot across the dark void bringing cosmic particles, yet unknown to man, together to make the things that inhabit all its expanse.

The light that emanated across this new universe, came from a much richer source of light that holds no compound, or dust from our physical world. It became something different, something new. As the moon reflects the glory of the sun, so the cosmos reflects the glory of God. But wait a moment! This gives us a clue into who we are now and who we will be; now because we are but a reflection of Christ and what we will be — like Him. Our physical state will become altered to such a degree that having once left it we can never enter back into it again. Our flesh becomes like an ill-fitting suit—a garment no longer fit for purpose.

Why did the Lord see fit to manifest in flesh? Why did He not just appear as He did to the Israelites as a cloud of smoke by day and column of fire at night, or why did he not just show Himself as He did to Moses in His Shekinah Glory? He manifest as a fleshly man so that He could live among us in a sentient state. The purity of His spiritual form was unable to coexist among such darkness and wickedness.

The flesh of man cannot exist in the presence of a being of such a pure light being. Something must occur to make the situation possible. The cosmic physical spark exists in all of us. It begins when the sperm and the egg meet to fertilise and reproduce. We all began in this way. The two met, became one and grew together in the darkness of the womb. Messages passed to and fro, signals flashed across microcosmic ravines creating form, reflex and heartbeat. These are the hidden times. As the pearl forms from a single grain of sand in the sea, as a diamond forms from ancient remains of living creatures, our value upon each jewel is representative of the time each has spent being formed in the hidden darkness of the ancient years.

When Moses went up Sinai Mountain to meet with God for forty days, he did not enter into God’s presence in the form of sinful man. How could he have done? To enter into the presence of the Most High one has to be changed. Would God have been satisfied speaking with His friend from behind a rock?

We are told that Moses neither ate nor drank for the whole duration. This is impossible for the human physiology to endure without dying. It would have been possible for God to have retarded Moses’ human functions, but what if he had been transfigured as Christ was upon the mountain with Peter, James, and John as His witnesses.

No one knows any detail about the time Moses spent in the presence of God apart from the fact that he was taught the word of God and given the commandants in writing to give to Israel. Moses does not write at all within the Torah about the two forty-day events that took place during this period.

Leaving the presence of the Shekinah, Moses’ face shone. The residue of the glory emanated from his skin, though by now growing a little less bright as each second passed, as his human state finally resumed its original form. His transformation was done in a hidden place high above any other human. Though the top of the mountain glowed, the lightning split the sky and thunderous cracks shook the very substance beneath this holy communion, the meeting was away from any human gaze.

Later in the Torah narrative we see Moses enter again into the presence, the Shekinah, of the Lord in the tent of meeting. To enter into the presence of the Lord we must be presented with the time and place. It is pure presumption that a believer can enter into His presence at anytime. Moses met with God on many occasions, but could not enter into the holy of holies. It was established that only once a year the high priest could enter and that with blood and sacrifice to atone for sin.

It is clear that there is a process a man must go through. This period of training remains in the hidden places until he obtains rank, the symbol of time spent in preparation, the sign he is ready to receive his commission. Only then does he become ‘one of the called,’ – a member of the true Church.

The temptation of Christ preceded the commission given to Him. It must have been a dark place to be hounded by HaSatan for forty days. Very little information is given to us again regarding this event. It remains hidden but the result was that the Word overcame the darkness. The message of repentance, the gateway to the light at the end of the tunnel was opening up. The corridor from which all creation emerged is available to those who desire to be changed significantly to walk its narrow passageway.

Thirty years of Christ’s life also remain hidden from us. Indeed, who would have chronicled it? We are told only that Jesus as a child went into the synagogues and confounded everyone with His wisdom and knowledge. Surely someone must have thought something significant about the boy was worth recording. But no, these years remain hidden from us.

Like Moses, hidden away among the hills and the sheep, the life of Jesus, until the beginning of His known ministry remains a mystery. As babies, the two were exiled, Moses in His ark of reeds and Jesus born within a stable, surrounded by a small worshipping ensemble of humans and animals, resembling the ark of Noah, perhaps sharing with us an image that represents the beginning of struggles.

Moses, trained in the protocols of Pharaoh’s court, learned and educated in the politics and the art of war, taught to worship the idols of an adopted race, hid his identity, nurtured by his nursemaid mother. Grounded by her influence and teaching, this Hebrew and Levite in hiding, learned about his people Israel and the words of the Torah handed down for centuries by his ancestors. The suffering of his people under the hands of their Egyptian masters, would reveal what was hidden and thrust him into forty years of exile.

His own transformation would happen in a foreign land. Few would know who he was and not many would remember him when he returned, having received his commission to broker the release of God’s people. His life would go under many transformations, as do those of all men of God.

From Israel’s priestly tribe, to Prince of Egypt, to shepherd of sheep, to chieftain king of all of Israel – how can one man be prepared for such phenomenal change? It can only be done in the hidden places where man and God dwell.

There are few words that account for the lives of Jesus and Moses among the scriptures. Much is revealed in the overview, but still much remains hidden. When we stand again in the glorified state, the whole council of heaven will tell of the things God has done. The whole of creation, the expulsion of the thought and will of God will bear witness to a wondrous story.

God is not tempted by the glamour, celebrity or the status of a man. Such a man of altitude is not God’s choice. He chooses the lowly, contrite heart, the humble unrecognisable soul of no reputation to do His will. He chooses those who prefer to remain hidden. But God does use the obvious. Though hidden from us, His works are in plain sight. We are all His work but none of us knows the work of God in us. Our inability to recognise what He is doing in the man or woman of His choice remains hidden until each of them descends the mountain of His presence having once received their new rank and commission. The preparation of the heart and the transformation of the soul and mind must come first. “Who will go for Me,? Whom will I send,?” are the questions of the Lord to every man. For those who say, “Yes, I will go.” “Send me,” they are hidden away, behind the rock, in the cauldron, in the tent. Who can ascend such heights, dear reader?

If we find ourselves in some capacity, a successful businessman or manager, a humble worker, leader or Pastor, none of these in any specific order, we should not think to ourselves that that is all we can be. Humility and honouring the Lord must pervade every capacity and ability and enhance every status and rank. Contentment must prevail but nonetheless it is fitting for us to ask the Master about our progression. It is also good for us to remember that if we should find ourselves in a leading capacity, humility reminds us that we are only servants. Though some may be called to lead and think ahead, others, sometimes hidden from their leaders’ gaze, must follow. These are not, however, unknown or forgotten. Jesus, the great shepherd, knows all His flock. This is the teaching of our Master. Jesus opened up the hidden mysteries to his disciples and through them we know what will come.

Our lives, in the scope of cosmic time and in the scape of human span, may be limited, and thus we rush to find the hidden, bringing forth the child before its birth, so to speak. Perseverance, patience and preparation are the tools that help us reach out of the hidden place. Though our lives are time-limited, the work of God and all that He has purposed is not limited by time. Time has no place in the unseen realm. The fruit from the tree of life still bears fruit and ceases not its eternal purpose. From within the fruit lies the hidden seed. Jesus taught us that if we want life, then we must die and go each to his own grave. In this hidden place we are reduced again to a point where the light of life ignites us. The seed having died is born again.

The remnant is called the seed of Abraham and this seed is about to reach out again to the light above the surface. The Lord speaks in Isaiah 10:20, that only a remnant shall from those dark hidden places of exile be chosen. They will no longer be trodden down by the feet of oppression or the weight of history. Deliverance and freedom shall come. They will be energised by God’s Spirit, the very power that brought the whole of creation into existence.

There are no limitations for people of faith. If we become disposed to looking at our age and physical disposition we will become aware that our physical capacity restrains our once thriving ability. The demise in our natural strength leaves us somewhat at a loss in understanding how God can ever use these aching bones for anything.

Hidden within each soul is potential unfilled. Moses at the age of eighty and Jesus at the age of thirty, were chosen before they were ever manifest upon the earth. To stand upon the earth and make a God-given impression within its soil, a man must come from beneath it and receive the breath of the Spirit. To place your earthen vessel in the hand of God is to live.

The Lord knows every seed that He has planted, as every good gardener should. You might feel right now that the believers’ life for you at this moment is difficult, and lonely, maybe even a little dull or less full of light than it once was. Well, think of the seed that must rest in the soil, growing millimetre by millimetre, unseen by any human eye, its shoot, so fragile it can penetrate the equivalent of tons of soil above it. The surface breaks and its curling shoot comes forth, but only when the conditions are right. The plant kingdom is an amazing one. There are plants that must live above ground, in and out of season, bearing up against wind, heat and storm and there are those who die and come to life when everything is right. That is the pattern of life for every believer I would say.

If at present you feel that you are in the ground and struggling, remember that God has planted you and at this moment you are feeding on rich nutrients. If you are in the air above feeling the fresh cooling movement of His spirit between your leaves, then God has chosen you to feel His presence.

It must become a sobering thought that God knows every hidden place and finds joy in being in them with us.

Grant Marshall

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