Unless you’ve gone out of your way, you’re reading these words on a digital screen. Your eyes are scanning across these letters that are presented upon a plain backdrop. What you don’t see, and what you’re not currently thinking about is this: behind this simple-looking display of words is a complex combination of technology that works to achieve the visual. This display shows up on your computer or device screen, and you don’t have to understand it to benefit from it.
That’s the nature of ministry. People come and receive without knowing what it took for you to become God’s display. The public’s benefit was cultivated in your private struggle
God does His most effective work in you in the secret place.
“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” – Psalm 91:1
What is the secret place? It is privacy. It is seclusion.
The secret to anointed ministry is how you treat the secret place, your private time. There must be a place and a time that you set aside for worship, prayer, and devotion to God’s Word. There is no substitute for what you do in the secret place.
I often marvel when someone asks me, “So how do you prepare for a service? Do you pray an extra hour or two before the service?” I answer by telling them, “Before each service, I rest, because I live in preparation. You can’t live an unhealthy lifestyle, exercise for a few minutes and expect to get a good report from a medical checkup. I’d be in trouble if I depended upon an hour or two if I wasn’t living in this daily.”
Last-minute study spurts can’t replace a lifestyle of devotion to God’s Word in the secret place. A quick prayer before you preach cannot do what a lifestyle of private prayer can do.
All true ministry is an overflow of the secret place. We must fill as many private moments as we can with prayer and the reading of God’s Word. If instead the secret place is filled secret sin and secret laziness, how can one expect to walk in public power?
There is no shortcut. There is no formula. There is no practice of skill that can bring about the anointing. Either you carry the power upon you or you don’t. And whether or not you carry the power is entirely dependent upon whether or not you walk in the presence. And the presence of God is known in its greatest depths in the secret place. Therefore, the anointing on your life comes from the secret place.
Sound too simple? Sound too easy? Good! Like salvation, being anointed is not dependent upon our effort but upon our surrender to the Lord. That’s really it. That’s really the key.
The secret to anointed ministry is the secret place of prayer and devotion. It’s that simple. All else flows from there.