**This is by ALL means "Ronda's Practical Guide to Enter into your Secret Place"**
I remember the first time I felt the spirit, I was very much so a young girl, definitely in my pre-teens. I was nervous, confused and filled all at the same time. I was singing a lead verse with the choir and I remember getting chills and then I started to cry. I looked out in the congregation and I couldn't even think. I was so overwhelmed. It literally felt like the spirit had come like a rushing wind. I had chills and tears and snot running all down my face. Now, at the time I didn't know what was happening. I was embarrassed because I cried half way through the verse AND that I did it in front of my favorite aunt who (in my opinion) has one of the best voices in the world. Little did I know I had just experienced the holy spirit. From that moment on, anytime that I needed to get closer to God, I started to sing. I felt free and when I sang to the Lord, I felt his presence. It was like he was wrapping his arms around me.
Now fast forward at least 15 years later, I have grown in the faith and I understand how the holy spirit works, I understand what worship is and most importantly I understand that God loves it when we talk to him. He would rather us yell at him and be mad at him than to not talk to him at all. I mean, who wouldn't serve a God like that! It's such an amazing feeling to know that he is always there. We serve a God that doesn't get tired of listening to us. We serve a God that loves to hear about what we think (prayer). We serve a God that loves to talk back to us (prophecy). We serve a God who inhabits the praises of his people (praise). Now, everyone's "Secret Place" will look, be, sound and feel different...imagine but I want to share with you my "Secret Place" how to and experience.
I am typically alone in a quiet and dimly lit or dark place when I enter in with God (sorta like the cocoon of divine grace). But one thing that never varies is that I always start with THANKSGIVING! I begin by thanking him for who he has revealed himself to be to me. Be it my provider, healer, friend, mind regulator, and/or strength I always prepare my heart to and for worship. I typically start off with music but not just any music. I play worship songs, songs that tell God who and what he is. Songs that say "You Are" and the like, because inspiration doesn't get you closer to God, worship does. God wants worship so that we can be connected by communication. If you want to get closer to God, communicate/worship him because in my experience worship bridges the gap and catapults you closer to him.
So here are my suggestions:
"Draw near to God and he will draw near to you."
In your every day life, every time your mind goes idle and you realize that you are not praying, start to pray in your prayer language. This helps you to constantly be in the spirit, putting God right in arms reach for you. This in turn makes the time when you attempt to go into your secret place seamless. If you don't have one, pray this prayer;
Heavenly Father, I am a believer. I am Your child and You are my Father. Jesus is my Lord and I believe with all my heart that Your Word is true. Your Word says if I will ask, I will receive the Holy Spirit. So in the Name of Jesus Christ, my Lord, I am asking You to fill me to overflowing with Your precious Holy Spirit. Jesus, baptize me in the Holy Spirit. Because of Your Word, I believe that I now receive it and I thank You for it. I believe the Holy Spirit is within me and, by faith, I accept it. Now, Holy Spirit, rise up within me as I praise God. I fully expect to speak with other tongues, as You give me the utterance. In Jesus Name, Amen.
Drawing near to God is a matter of intentional awareness and not so much more involvement in activities for God.
Constantly think about what he has done. Go back to the emotions that you felt when you were first saved. Think about all of the times that a way was made out of what we thought was no way and remember that he brought you out. The bill that paid itself, the money that came from out of no where, the food when you didn't know how you were going to eat that day, that job when you thought you bummed the interview, the smile or word of encouragement from a stranger that you passed in the grocery store, that friend that has the love of Jesus shining in them that is a constant reminder that he is always there. I find that being in a "reverence mindset" before attempting to enter your secret place is very beneficial to the authenticity of the communication between yourself and the father.
Use your honest words, whether it be in the form of a song or rap or just straight up heart felt conversation with God, talk to him. The key though, is that you have to allow him a place to respond to you. You have to quiet yourself and allow the spirit to search.
I turn on those worship songs that resonate the most with me and I worship him, I praise him and love on him for all that he is and I immediately feel the power of his hand covering me. I feel him moving at the sound of my voice and I feel all the more grateful that he thought that little ol me was worth saving. I start singing and crying and lifting my hands (even in a bathroom at work) because God is good! I feel just like I did when I was a kid and thought that I had found the most perfect hiding space. I crawled into and let the magically feeling of safety and comfort surround me. So, like any favorite place of yours, you share it so that other people can experience that same magical feeling that you did.
Enjoy either creating or dwelling more in your secret place. Come back later for one of my favorite playlists that help me to draw nigh.