“But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” (Matthew 6:6)
These past seven months I have been led on a journey that has created in me an unquenchable thirst to study and to know all that I can about the place called Heaven. Like I said in my last post, I’ve lived most of my life with one foot in Heaven because of my mother’s departure when I was so young. I’ve always looked forward to going to Heaven someday, being reunited with my loved ones and finally looking into the face of Jesus. I’ve never doubted the existence of Heaven (or Hell). I just believed Heaven was real, and trusted that it would all be good.
But, when Ryan moved there, everything changed. I had to find out all that I could about where Ryan was living, what he was doing there. I had so many questions. I wanted to know what happened when his spirit left his body. I wanted to know about his arrival and who met him there. I wanted to know how he could be there and not be sad about leaving his family. I knew that he would always be my son there, but would our relationship be as natural and wonderful as it was on earth when we reunite? You hear so many opinions, but I wanted to find out for myself all that I could. Just because we only know in part doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t study and gain knowledge about the most important thing that matters: eternity.
Through this time of searching, I have been amazed at actually how detailed the scriptures are concerning the city in Heaven, called the New Jerusalem. In these descriptions, John makes it clear that these are human measurements as well as angelic measurements. Because of the space it would take, I am just going to give you a minimal account of this place to get to the goal of this post, and that is the Throne Room, i.e., the Secret Place.
Heaven is laid out in perfect symmetry covering 2,250,000 square miles. There are three gates each on the east, the south, the north and the west, with two angels standing at each gate. From just inside each of the twelve gates, the land begins an incredible ascent (at a 63-degree angle) for 750 miles until it peaks at the highest point, the mountain of God that extends 1,500 miles into the sky.
Truly this is is the “city of our God, His holy mountain, beautiful in elevation, the joy of the whole earth.” This city and its mountain presently sit in the third heaven, from where the Lord answers our prayers.
The 12 main boulevards running from the pearl gates to the mountaintop in the center of the city are divided roadways. Down the center of each of them cascades a branch of the “river of the water of life” coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb. “Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, and though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains quake at its swelling pride. There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy dwelling places of the Most High. God is in the midst of her, she will not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns.” (Psalm 46:2-5)
The streams of the river bring rejoicing to the hearts of all the inhabitants of Heaven. Imagine it!
Inside the Throne Room… God sits on a throne, “lofty and exalted” and from where He sits, the train of His robe spreads into the room and onto the floor. Jesus sits at the Father’s right hand. Countless numbers of heavenly beings and the seraphim are there constantly declaring the holiness of God.
John describes more of the court: “There was a *rainbow around the throne, like an emerald in appearance. Around the throne were twenty-four elders. From the throne proceed flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder. Seven lamps of fire burn before the throne, which are the seven spirits of God; and before the throne there was, as it were, a sea of glass like crystal.” (Revelation 4) (*The rainbow communicates that we are safe in the presence of our holy and all-powerful God because He is a God of love who made and will remake the worlds in order for us to be with Him forever.)
The throne room is the place where the inhabitants are drawn to go to worship God. Laying prostrate before Him, we can only barely imagine what it must be like to lay there at His feet. With sounds of thunder, flashes of lightning, angelic beings crying out, “Holy, Holy, Holy.” The worship – and the love – penetrate everything and everyone there. In my mind I see Ryan worshiping Him – beholding Jesus – being held with His all-consuming power and love.
It is in this very throne room that God is hearing our prayers and answering them. “Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4)
Referring to the scripture at the beginning, when Jesus said to go into your room and shut the door, and pray to your Father who is in the secret place, He was saying, “Come into this place where I wait for you. It’s a humble place, where you’re not praying to be heard by men, but you’re coming into the place where it’s just you and Me.”
The throne room is the secret place. It’s the same place Ryan goes to in Heaven to worship Him. When I am there with the Father, I think of Ryan being there – the exact same place. The only difference is that while here on earth, we come into the presence of the invisible God, where Ryan comes before the visible God.
Of course, we can go to Him at any time and any place. But He specifically said to go into the secret place, and shut the door. To make it intentional – make it personal. This is our place to grow and develop an intimate friendship with Him. To grow in His Word, to ignite the fire of our love for Him, and to bask in His love for us. A place to renew our tired minds, to heal our broken hearts, to soothe the pain too deep for words.
I still weep a lot in that place. It has become my refuge. Safe harbor. Hiding place. Psalm 71:3 says, “Be my strong refuge, to which I may resort continually.”
But I always leave that place in peace. Why? Because He always reminds me there of His plan.
God loves us. His whole purpose for creating people in the first place can be summed up by the Greek word agape (love) that carries with it the notions of “welcome” and “honor.” God’s agape love for us says, “I want to be with you; I want you to be around Me all the time; come and stay with Me forever.” He thinks so highly of us and He knows us for who we are individually. Agape thinks well of the ones who are loved. God does not cut short our lives in order to get us back. When the number of days ordained for us is done, He welcomes us home like a father greeting a long-lost child.
His plan is to get us all back to be with Him forever. Until then, He has made a way for us to stay close to Him. It’s the secret of the Secret Place … He is always there, waiting.
**Some of the above text is taken from Bob Sorge (Secrets of the Secret Place) and Daniel Brown (What the BIble Reveals About Heaven).