MICHAEL ANTHONY BLOG

World Events

Leadership

Relationships

Personal Growth

Resources

We welcome your comments, knowing that your words could very well inspire others.

Advent

Special Topics

The Life of Christ
The Michael Anthony Bible Teaching Podcast

Understand Life

Interviews

Vision of Life

Clean Sweep

The Book of Acts: How Christians Live
The Michael Anthony Bible Teaching Podcast

ignite your life!

subscribe to our mailing list and receive a free download of our featured product

This is How You Do it

It’s the question you’ve been asking, and now I’m going to answer it. You want to know what to do once you’re in your “secret closet.” How in the world do you begin to talk with God, and listen? I’m glad you asked, because...

This is How You Do it

It’s the question you’ve been asking, and now I’m going to answer it. You want to know what to do once you’re in your “secret closet.” How in the world do you begin to talk with God, and listen? I’m glad you asked, because doing so suggests that you are hungry for a mighty move of God in your life. If that’s your hunger, prepare to be satisfied.

“. . . the miracle of God is that He remains unstained – in spite of all our stains. He actually invites us to come to Him – because He knows that when we do everything changes – beginning with us.”

 

Today, and for the next thirty days, you will be on a spiritual journey where you’ll spend intentional, undistracted time with God, each day, in your “secret closet.” (A “secret closet” is a private, dedicated place you find or create, where you meet with God one-on-one, consistently. For more on this, read this entry).

LESS IS MORE. HERE IS WHAT YOU DOStart by humbling yourself. Don’t think that the number of words you use makes the time in your “closet” significant. This is a time when less is more. In fact, our problem is not that we listen to God too much, but that we listen too little.Quiet yourself before God. Humble yourself. Tell him, literally, something like this:

“Lord God, I quiet myself before you. I humble myself and come before your very presence, asking you to speak to me, for I am listening.” 

If you genuinely pray this kind of prayer – if you really mean it with all your heart, something spiritually significant will be underway. You have God’s word on it. Consider what He says, here:

“You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” – Jeremiah 29:13 (ESV)

Don’t belittle the power of beginning your “closet” time with genuine humility:

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” – 1 Peter 5:6-7 (ESV)

The Bible teaches us that true humility is the starting point in coming before God. True humility is the starting point of all true change. Think about this: is it possible to make progress with God without humility? If you’ve already made the humble decision to put God first by spending daily time with Him in your “secret closet”, this decision must be followed up with the next humble choice – to humble yourself once you’re in the closet.

Consider God’s invitation, and His understanding of your condition:

“Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” – James 4:8 (ESV)

thisishowyoudoit

IRRESISTIBLE YOU Eachof us needs to wash our hands. We are all sinners. We are all double-minded at one time or another, pursuing mixed interests rather than the interests of God. But the miracle of God is that He remains unstained – in spite of all our stains. He actually invites us to come to Him – because He knows that when we do everything changes – beginning with us. God has a strong, unfettered history of changing lives. When we draw near to Him, we invite Him to change ours.

If and when you get serious about coming before God and seeking Him with all your heart, God will find this practice irresistible. You will be irresistible. God will hear you. And, if you are really serious about being humble before God, not only will He listen to you, but you will also hear from Him. He will change you – right there in your “closet.”

As time spent with God in your “secret closet” becomes the growing reality of your life, you will find that God will begin to flow through you like never before. You will become very salty and begin to shine the light of Jesus as never before.

Humble yourself by finding or creating a “secret closet.” Follow up this decision to humble yourself within its walls. Do this for the next thirty days –one day at a time. Don’t make the mistake of thinking “this is too hard to maintain.” It’s been said “by yard, anything seems hard. But inch by inch, everything is a cinch.” This is true when it comes to daily, undistracted, intentional time with God in your “secret closet.” Prioritize it one day at a time, and do this for the next thirty days. When thirty days are over, repeat the process. Your spiritual revolution will be underway.

In a coming entry, we’ll explore more ways you can talk to God when you enter your “secret closet.” Stay tuned.

Your thoughts? I’d love to hear them. 

What to read next:Your 30 Day Revolution or Warning: Now You See It, Later You Won’t

If you like solid Bible teaching and want to enjoy God fully, you’ll appreciate the Courage Matters App, available on iTunes and Google Play. If you’re near York, Pa, come visit us on a Sunday at GenesisYork.com— and be sure to introduce yourself. This is all made possible by generous listeners, readers, and supporters like you. Please consider giving towards Courage Matters to ensure our nation has the opportunity to hear the message of TRUTH and LOVE. You can donate by clicking the “Give” tab on CourageMatters.com or on the Courage Matters app.

The Most Important Decision You’ll Make Today

It is the most important decision you will make today. It’s the decision to enter, or not enter, your “secret closet.” While this closet may be hidden, kept “secret” from nearly every mere mortal, what cannot be concealed is the impact of time spent – or missed – within. The years of your life will eventually display the cumulative effects of your choice. Do not allow yourself to be deceived, thinking there is another decision more important than this. There isn’t. You must be unequivocally unshakable in your determination to make it to your secret closet – because the release of God’s power in your life, today, hinges on this single, simple, supreme decision.

“The release of God’s power is directly related to the reality of a secret closet in your own life.”

mostimportantdecision

A “secret closet” is a private, set-aside place where you meet with God one-on-one, each and every day. It’s called “secret” because it’s not a place you boast about or invite others into. It’s a special place where you go to spend time with God, distraction-free. When we spend focused time with God, we grow. When we don’t, we decline It’s as simple as that.

“At all costs, you must ensure you do not – in any way – allow this to happen.”

Do you want a weak life? Neglect the “closet.” Do you want God’s power to abound in your life? Do you want Him to use you with increasingly less resistance and more impact? Do you want to enjoy God and make the most of the one life you’ve been given? Then you must prioritize – today – time spent alone with God, in your “secret closet.”

LIFE OUTSIDE IS SHAPED BY LIFE INSIDE The release of God’s power is directly related to the reality of a secret closet in your own life. This is why daily time in your secret closet is not just important. It’s imperative. Jesus says:

“Abide in me, and I in you. As a branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me . . . I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” – John 15:4-5 (ESV)

Why do we think we can do anything apart from Jesus when He says apart from Him we can do nothing? Nothing doesn’t mean “something.” Nothing means nothing. 

While God’s power can’t be diminished, what can be is the release of His power in our lives. At all costs, you must ensure you do not – in any way – allow this to happen to you. If you are neglecting time in your “secret closet” you are living a diminished life. It’s time you stop.

TODAY REALLY IS IMPORTANT. YOU WON’T GET IT AGAIN.If today’s endeavors are not important enough for you to be filled with the power of God, then you are wasting time. Your time, the time of other people and God’s time. If today’s endeavors are not important enough for to be filled with God’s power, you are wasting the most precious, irreplaceable gift God has given you. Life. Have you allowed yourself to be deceived, to think you have an unlimited amount of time? Sober up, your days are numbered – and you need God’s power. Today.

Continue your journey. Learn how to talk to God in your secret closet, by reading my next entry, here.

I’d love to hear your thoughts . . .

What to read next:Your 30 Day Spiritual Revolution or This is How You Do It

If you like solid Bible teaching and want to enjoy God fully, you’ll appreciate the Courage Matters App, available on iTunes and Google Play. If you’re near York, Pa, come visit us on a Sunday at GenesisYork.com— and be sure to introduce yourself. This is all made possible by generous listeners, readers, and supporters like you. Please consider giving towards Courage Matters to ensure our nation has the opportunity to hear the message of TRUTH and LOVE. You can donate by clicking the “Give” tab on CourageMatters.com or on the Courage Matters app.

Do Yourself (and Everyone Else) a Favor. Trust God. REALLY Trust Him.

PEOPLE WHO TRUST GOD ARE A PLEASURE TO BE AROUND. Their faith inspires, causing us to believe God where we would otherwise doubt. They exude a peace and confidence that’s so attractive in today’s turbulent times. Their lives convince us that trusting God is simply the best thing to do. So, what about you?Why not learn from their example? Isn’t it time you trust God – I mean really trust Him?
When we don’t trust God we are powerless. And, we’ll suck the energy out of those around us – even when it’s not obvious or intentional. A life without faith is a life without God’s power – and if we live without His power, we can’t bless the people around us. We become a genuine drag. Consider these powerful words from the Bible:

“For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.” – Romans 14:23b (ESV)

If you want a really simple definition of sin, there you have it. Doing anything apart from faith in God is sin. That pretty much nails everything to the wall, and provides each of us with a very clear compass with which to navigate through the maze of life. Whatever you might want to do or may now be doing that is not dependent upon God for success is not worth doing for one more moment. Stop it. Leave it behind. You are losing time, energy and the blessing of God. Simply put, that’s outright foolish.

You have two options in life.One will lead to your success – the other to your demise. You can either live by faith and truly trust God, or you can “live” by your own power, reasoning and abilities. You can either trust God – really trust God – or trust in something, someone – anything else. The road you choose makes all the difference in this world. It makes a difference not only for your own life, though important. It also makes a difference for the lives of other people whom you will affect – for better or worse. Everywhere you go, you are influencing people with your faith – or lack thereof.

You need to do yourself a favor – and everyone around you – and trust God – really trust Him. By doing so, you’ll be one of those people who inspires others and exudes peace. Your greatest potential in life – and your greatest influence upon the lives of others – is only realized when you really trust God.

trustinhim3

Yes, you may think it’s an option to kind of trust God, to live by faith sometimes and to live at other times by our own power and wisdom. But the truth of the matter is that you and I are either truly trusting God or we are not trusting Him at all.

“Your greatest potential in life – and your greatest influence upon the lives of others – is only realized when you really trust God.”

Trust and obedience are one in the same. To trust God is to obey Him. To obey God is to trust Him. Do yourself a favor – and everyone around you – and trust God. Really trust Him. Right now, wherever you are, whatever you are facing. Really trust God. Obey Him 100%. You’ll be glad you did. And so will the people around you. You’ll become a magnet and a beacon of inspiration, hope and peace. The world could use a few more of these, don’t you think?

What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear from you . . .

What to read next:Your 30 Day Revolution or The Most Important Decision You’ll Make Today.

God’s Hand is in Your Closet

YOU NEED A “SECRET CLOSET”– a place where you can spend uninterrupted, daily time with God. I call it “secret” because it’s a place others may not necessarily know about. If they do, it’s no big deal, but the big deal is that you don’t want to advertise what you do there, or invite others to go there with you. Your secret closet is a special place where you take nothing but yourself, your Bible and something upon which to write. In your secret closet you will undergo a metamorphosis as you reach out and touch the hand of God.
What goes on in your secret closet is vital to your well-being. You will only begin to reach your greatest potential for God when the secret closet becomes an integral part of your life. You cannot handle stress, hardship, success or failure as well as you otherwise will if you establish and frequent your secret closet. A successful, surrendered life is found within this closet.  Find, create and frequently visit your secret closet as if true life depends upon it. It does. 

CHANGE . . . ACCELERATED
If your secret closet teaches you anything, it will teach you that time spent with God accelerates and strengthens your peace, power, focus, and transformation. It helps you hit God’s bullseyefor you lifepersonal surrender to Him – like nothing else does. When you begin to enter your secret closet regularly, and do what can only be done within, you will wonder how you got by without it – or, rather, without God. The truth is, you were merely surviving, not thriving. 

The secret closet is God’s workshop, where you are the project being reshaped, renewed and reconstructed. Every single time you enter your secret closet you will sit at God’s feet and meet with Him face to face. This is no small thing. As you do, God Himself will work on you.

Be encouraged. God finishes what He starts, and has a strong track record of doing magnificent work.

“God does some of His best work within the confines of a secret closet. Let Him shape you within the confines of yours . . .”

You must have a secret closet, and you must go there often, if not daily, to spend private time, alone, with God.  Remember, you are the clay, and He is the Potter (Isaiah 64:8). God does some of His best work within the confines of a secret closet. Let Him shape you within the confines of yours.

THE KOOL-AID HAS BEEN TAINTED. DON’T DRINK IT. 
Assuming you’ve created or found a secret closet, you must get to the hard – yet easy – work of simply sitting at the feet of Jesus. The purpose of going there is have face-to-face meetings with God. Once you are within its walls, Bible in hand, the meeting can begin.

“Far too many of us have confused doing great things for God with the pursuing of God Himself. . . do not make your number one ambition in life to be used by God. And don’t confuse being used by God with recognition. In today’s twitterpated, selfie-inflicted world, many are drinking the Kool-Aid peddled by celebrity pastors and Christian leaders who are subtly, if not blatantly, equating usefulness for God with popularity. It is not.”

God is always at work, and if you walk with Him, He’ll put you to work. It’s inevitable. He’ll use you because you’ll see what He sees, have His heart, and will jump in. But don’t make your number one ambition in life to be used by God. And don’t confuse being used by God with recognition.In today’s twitterpated, selfie-inflicted world, many are drinking the Kool-Aid peddled by celebrity pastors and Christian leaders who are subtly, if not blatantly, equating usefulness for God with popularity. It is not. 

If your ambition in life is to be popular with people, that’s the first thing that needs to die. The thirst for human approval will always put you at odds with God.Don’t confuse the applause of people with surrender to God. 

secretplacefull

DON’T WORRY, GOD WILL USE YOU
Be careful you don’t misunderstand the purpose of the closet. It’s not so that God can “use” you, but so that God can love you, wrap His arms around you, and speak directly to you without interruption or distraction. It’s also a key time and place where you will deliberately reciprocate. In today’s busy world, the value of a secret closet can’t be over-emphasized. 

Remember: God is not interested in “using” you as much as He is in enjoying you. Sadly, many pastors and Christian leaders have it backwards. Is it any wonder that our people have followed?  

Relax, God will use you as a result of sitting at His feet and seeking His face, but you must understand that being used by God – really being used – is always a byproduct of walking closely with Him.

“The thirst for human approval will always put you at odds with God . . .”

Don’t put your cart before the horse. Be ever vigilant against anything that could derail you from your greatest quest in life: personal, growing closeness with God that manifests itself through genuine, humble surrender.

FIND IT. MAKE IT. GO THERE, DAILY, FOR THE NEXT 30 DAYS. Find a secret closet. Make one if you have to.By all means, do whatever you can to frequent it for 30 days straight. Don’t beat yourself up if you miss a day or two. But by all means do all you can to go to a secluded place, your secret closet, and go after God with all you have. God will meet you there.

The secret closet must be your first priority – because it is God’s priority. Nothing else in your walk with God will matter if life’s greatest priority, loving and knowing God, is corrupted, derailed or neglected. You must pay attention to your love and devotion to God, because everything else in life depends upon this.

In my next entry, we’ll explore how to reach for God’s hand and meet Him face to face while in your secret closet by reading and meditating on God’s Word, the Bible.

What do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

What to read next: Your 30 Day Spiritual Revolution or Do Yourself a Favor.

Don’t Limit Yourself – You Can Catch God

WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR SPIRITUAL GROWTH? Your pastor or church? Your parents or guardians? The circumstances of your life? The truth is, you are, and no one else. Until you come to terms with your personal responsibility to strengthen your walk with God, you are missing out on the adventure of a lifetime.

“Before you know it, you’ll be catching God day after day after day.”

It’s time you stop limiting yourself. It’s time you take the lid off how much you enjoy God and walk with Him – deeply. You absolutely do have a say in how high you soar with God. If you focus on setting aside undistracted daily time in prayer and Bible reading over the next thirty days – and daily applywhat God is saying to you – your genuine spiritual revolution will be underway. Everything in your world will begin to change – for the best.Forget the years of your life. All you need to do is focus on the next thirty days. And when thirty days have passed, simply repeat the process for another thirty days. Before you know it, you’ll be catching God day after day after day. 

Trust me on this. The next thirty days of your life are crucial in your spiritual development. They can set the foundation for the rest of your years. Take responsibility for your own spiritual growth by setting aside daily, prioritized time where you meet with God over the next thirty days and apply what He is saying to you.

“God is not difficult to find. He’s actually made Himself very easy to find. What’s more, He actually wants to be found – by YOU . . . ”

When you take personal responsibility for your walk with God, everything about you will change for the best. You need a “prayer closet” – a set-aside place where you go and bring your Bible and writing journal and meet with God face to face. The decision to enter your prayer closet on a daily basis over the next thirty days is the most transformational decision you will ever make this side of eternity.

dontlimityourself

GOD REWARDS PEOPLE WHO SEEK HIM
Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you” (James 4:8, ESV). This is God’s promise for everyone who wants to be close to Him. It’s God’s promise for you. And if you ever feel like you are unworthy of His time, congratulate yourself for understanding that fundamental truth – and press in.

The truth is, God is not difficult to find. What’s more, God actually wants to be found – by you. He’s actually made Himself very easy to find – especially by people who know they are unworthy. That’s the whole point.

If we had our acts together, we’d have no need for God. No need to seek Him. No need to find Him. The more needy you are, the more appropriate it is that you draw near to God and find Him. God has given you His word that He will be found by anyone who really seeks Him: “You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” – Jeremiah 29:13 (ESV)

” . . . if you ever feel like you are unworthy of His time, congratulate yourself for understanding that fundamental truth – and press in . . . draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.”

CLOSE THE DOOR . . . CATCH GOD
Seeking God is not something that happens by accident. The odds of finding Him increase dramatically when you increase your search. This is because God isn’t hiding from you. He is actually waiting for you.
Go into your “prayer closet” and close the door so you’re not distracted by your smart phone (it will dumb down your prayer time) or anything else. To do what the Prophet Jeremiah says, to seek God with “all your heart” is to be intentional. You can’t “draw near to God,” as James 4:8 says, if you are not deliberately going after Him. This is the whole purpose of having a “prayer closet,” a set-aside place where you pursue God through the reading of His word, paying attention to what you read, and putting it into action.

“. . . God isn’t hiding from you. He is actually waiting for you.”

Until you become intentional about your spiritual growth, you will not be able to enjoy the promise spoken so many years ago, and yet is timeless in its application: “You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13). Don’t be overwhelmed by the thought of pursuing God for the rest of your life.

“Before you know it, you’ll be catching God day after day after day. Your spiritual revolution will be underway. God will reward you. Try it and see for yourself . . .”

Set aside daily time to read the Bible, pray and write down what you are learning. Immediately put into action what you learn each day. Just do it for the next thirty days. And when thirty days have passed, repeat the process for another thirty days. Before you know it, you’ll be catching God day after day after day. Your spiritual revolution will be underway. God will reward you. Try it and see for yourself. 

Live your life on purpose. Don’t be a wandering generality. Be a meaningful specific. Go after God with all you have for the next thirty days and the rest of your life will begin to fall into place.

What do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts . . .

What to read next: Your 30 Day Spiritual Revolution or God’s Hand is in Your Closet.

© Copyright, 2018 Courage Matters, LLC. All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Contact | Sitemap

Shopping cart

Subtotal
Shipping and discount codes are added at checkout.
Checkout