April 2024 – The Secret Place

April 2024


Dear Friend in Christ:

Our family and ministry team send love and gratitude to you. We deeply appreciate your love, prayer, and support for us in these days as we grieve the passing of my father, Pastor Charles Simpson. Your very kind calls, texts, messages, emails, gifts, cards, and prayers have encouraged us so much. We’ve heard from friends all over the world, and our resolve in the Lord is to continue onward in our mission, “Restoring the Generational Bridge.”

In January and February of this year, we discussed “The One Thing” and “The Next Thing,” with Psalm 27 as one of our key passages of Scripture. I’d like us to return to Psalm 27 again this month to look at “The Secret Place.” In this time of our lives, we need to be there.

Our top priorities are not just what we say they are, but they are those things to which we give ourselves; where we invest our time, money, energy, and thoughts. Jesus told us in His Sermon on the Mount, “Wherever your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (see Matthew 6:21).

It’s good to regularly re-examine our schedules, our budgets, and our hearts to see where our priorities are; to see if our lifestyles line up with our stated values and goals. The reality may not be pretty, but the only way we can ever improve is by seeing the way things really are and making necessary adjustments. Right priorities bring peace and clarity to the rest of our lives.

So often, many things in our lives are out of sorts or not working the way we hoped. It may well be that we need to go back and put first things first. Some spiritual “Spring Cleaning” may be in order. If we can get rightly related to the Lord Jesus and to His Kingdom, He will show us His direction and His order. In the process, He will give us a peace that passes all understanding and transcends all circumstance.

King David addressed these issues in Psalm 27 … “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked came against me to eat up my flesh, my enemies and foes, they stumbled and fell. Though an army may encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war may rise against me, in this I will be confident. One thing I have desired of the LORD, that will I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in His temple. For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; in the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock” (Psalm 27:1-5).

David understands from personal experience that there will be times of trouble. Daily dwelling in God’s presence prepares us for times of trouble; right relationship with Jesus sets us on the rock. It puts us in a spiritual place of safety, stability, and perspective. David set his face toward the Lord, sought the Lord with all his heart, and the Lord met him and delivered him.

Above all else, David desired to be in right relationship with the Lord. In Psalm 27, David describes the Lord as light, salvation, and strength. Because of this, we need not be afraid. David understood that rightly relating to God is a matter of life and death, both naturally and spiritually. David didn’t want to do anything that would remove him from God’s presence or from fellowship with the Holy Spirit (see Psalm 51).

David describes a “secret place” where we are hidden or protected from the troubles to come. Where is this place, and how do we get there? Scripture tells us it is not in anything built by human hands. In fact, David says that it is only found in the presence of the Lord. And how do we enter into His presence?

I believe the Bible offers us some keys. Here are just three of them:

The Blood of Jesus“Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, and having a High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water” (Hebrews 10:19-22).

Thanksgiving and Praise“Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him and bless His name. For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations” (Psalm 100:4-5).

The Fear of the Lord (reverence, awe, obedience)“The secret of the LORD is with those who fear Him, and He will show them His covenant” (Psalm 25:14). “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding” (Proverbs 9:10).

Under the Old Covenant, blood sacrifices of animals were offered to God as a sign of repentance and deep sorrow, a reminder of the seriousness and deadly consequences of sin. In the New Covenant, those animal sacrifices became obsolete because of Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins on the Cross … once and for all. Because of Jesus, when we come to the Father in His Name, we are declared righteous.

One way we acknowledge the Cross of Christ is through thanksgiving. When we “survey the wondrous Cross, on which the Prince of glory died,” our only possible response is to give thanks, to sing praise, and overflow with a spirit of worship. We move from obsession with our problems, weaknesses, and fears into a new perspective of love, joy, and peace in the Holy Spirit. We enter into “the secret place.”

Worship proceeds out of humility and thanks. We “lift high the Cross of Christ” in our hearts and minds. We exalt His name and His Lordship. Pride and rebellion cannot exist in the presence of the Lord. He is a consuming fire! As we behold Him “in the beauty of holiness,” we are awestruck. We rightly reverence Him and our place in His grace.

Everyone wants miracles or excitement, but too often, people try to create or force something to happen without walking in the fundamentals of faith. What they end up with is a counterfeit that will not stand in the day of trouble; a collection of false prophets who pander to itching ears. We are not seeking a sham!

Jeremiah 29:13 says that we will find Him when we seek Him with our whole hearts. To seek is not to merely passively or carelessly lay around and wish on a star or clap for Tinkerbell. It means to discard or ignore those things which are obscuring our vision; to lay aside the sin that so easily entangles; to tear down idols we have constructed; to passionately and relentlessly pursue His presence, His will, and His Kingdom until we receive all that He has provided for us as His people.

By faith, we have access to the presence and peace of God. But too often, we allow circumstances or our own impatience to blind us to our inheritance. We forget Who God is and Who we are as His sons and daughters. We forget what He has done for us and become ungrateful, or we even rebel against His Word, His way, or His authority when we don’t like it or understand it. But the Apostle Paul says this to us:

“If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:1-3).

Those who are raised with Christ are now dead to self. Our new lives are swept up into His life, seated with Him in heavenly places. Here is an encouraging promise for those who will seek the Lord and dwell in that secret place with Him …. “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in Him I will trust.’ Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler. You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day, nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday” (Psalm 91:1-6).

This promise is for the seeker who desires to dwell in the secret place. It’s not a place gained cheaply or casually. It requires intention and intensity. It cost Jesus His life, and for us to enter into it, we must rightly value the life He gave for us. To dwell implies a long-term-commitment, not simply a short-term experience. The secret place is not visible to the natural eye, nor understood by the natural mind. But the good fruit it produces in our lives will be visible to all. “The mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace” (see Romans 8:6).

Seasons change. Winter turns to Spring, and new life comes. We are in such a time of transition now, even as we continue to mourn the passing of my father. We praise God that he lived for Jesus, in every season, and modeled what it means to trust the Lord regardless of circumstances. We grieve, but not as those who have no hope.

In these weeks and months, as we seek the Lord for His wisdom, grace, presence, and provision, would you please pray for us, and remember us in your giving? Dad left some instructions before He passed, but the main thing he said was to seek the Lord, be true to His Word, and follow the Holy Spirit. We are also consulting with trusted friends and leaders concerning the path forward. A major burden is to effectively reach and disciple the emerging generation.

On April 25, we will hold a public Celebration of Life service for my Dad at Covenant Church of Mobile. Please see here and our social media for more details. In lieu of flowers, we request financial gifts to support the ministry of CSM. Also, please let us know how we can stand with you. I am available for ministry in your church or community. Call our office for booking.

Thank you again for your friendship!
In Jesus,

Stephen Simpson

About the Author:

Stephen Simpson

STEPHEN SIMPSON is the Editor of One-to-One Magazine and the Director of CSM Publishing. In addition to publishing ministry, Stephen has served in leadership for churches and ministries in Costa Rica, Florida, Mississippi, Texas, and Michigan, as well as being the Senior Pastor of Covenant Church of Mobile (2004-2013). He continues to travel in ministry across North America and in other nations.