Do you have a murky spot in your spirit? An issue or obstacle that hampers your progress and success in life? A secret or a painful wound you carry all by yourself?
It may be hard to admit. But the truth is, each of us—you and I included—may have an impediment deep in our spirit that plagues us and restricts us to some degree. No one else may even know about it—not even our closest confidants.
That’s the bad news. The good news—and the hope-filled message of this letter—is that the Lord knows all about it. He is the One who can heal our deep, dark secrets.
Unmasking A Pretender
An early encounter with this truth actually led to my salvation. When I was fifteen, I attended a weekend camp sponsored by Young Life, an evangelistic group working with high school kids. Honestly, I wasn’t their target audience. I regularly attended church and wasn’t a “bad kid.” On the outside, I already appeared to be a Christian.
At this camp, I was befriended (quite unexpectedly) by Bobby Davenport, an all-state football star from Penn Hills High School. Why he took an interest in a skinny little kid from nowhere, I have no idea. But he did. During one of our conversations, he said, “Dick, I think you’re a great guy. But there’s just one problem. You’re a phony.” Shocked by his candor, I said, “What do you mean by that?” Bobby replied, “You look all religious on the outside. But you haven’t really given your heart to Jesus, have you?”
Somehow, by the Spirit of God, Bobby had peered inside my heart, calling me out on the secret I hid there. He knew I was play-acting—just pretending to be a Christian. Later that same day, in my unmasked condition, I gave my heart totally to Jesus Christ.
Keeping Up Appearances
My “deep, dark secret” exposed on the day I got saved was mild compared to what so many people carry. For some, it is a hidden torment from a devilish source; for others, an unhealed wound from a comment or curse spoken over them by a friend or family member; for many, a nagging regret about some secret sin they committed. No matter what the deep, dark secret may be, most of us are able to keep it hidden from view.
The Scripture that comes to mind in this regard is 2 Kings 2:19-22—a brief but powerful event from the life of Elisha, the prophet of God. The city leaders of Jericho came to him for help for their city. Here is what they said: “Please notice, the situation of this city is pleasant, as my lord sees; but the water is bad, and the ground barren” (v. 19).
Doesn’t this perfectly describe our deep, dark secret? Everything may look great on the outside. But inside, we know something is not right; and the result is a barren life.
Going to the Source
Here begins the message of hope for you and me regarding the deep, dark secret we carry. Elisha’s response to Jericho looking good on the outside but experiencing death and fruitlessness was to call for a new jar (symbolic of a new start) filled with salt (a healing agent). Elisha took it right to the source—the spring that fed the city of Jericho.
When he threw the salt into that spring, it wasn’t the jar or the salt that produced the miracle. It was Elisha’s proclamation of the word of the Lord: “Thus says the LORD: ‘I have healed this water; from it there shall be no more death or barrenness’” (v. 21).
In a few moments, you and I are going to make that same declaration: the word of the Lord that will go to the source of our deep, dark secret and bring us healing. First, let’s consider a helpful perspective on that process from the teaching of Derek Prince.
The Root of the Problem
Many years ago, Derek delivered a dynamic message, “Laying the Ax to the Root,” at Christ for the Nations in Dallas. His premise was similar to this letter: that although everything can look good on the outside, each of us has hidden issues that must be addressed and healed. He highlights our need to resolve our deep, dark secrets.
We could easily substitute “Throwing Salt into the Source,” for Derek’s title of “Laying the Ax to the Root.” Essentially, it is the same life-changing principle.
Just recently we had a very heavy wind in Fort Lauderdale where I live, and one of the trees in our yard was blown over. Because I wasn’t very much interested in this tree, I decided one Saturday to get rid of it. There was no one around to help me, so I got rid of the tree by myself.
It wasn’t a very big tree, but I had to cut off the branches, then saw off the trunk, leaving me with the stump and the roots. I tried to pull the stump out and couldn’t do it, so I realized I’d have to remove each root. As I went around digging under the stump with a saw and sawing off each root, I discovered the root structure was very complicated. Some of the roots went under and back again in a circle, and some were intertwined with others.
All the while I was doing this, I was thinking, “That’s just like the problems of the people I deal with.” Down below the surface—and most people like to keep it right out of sight—are the real deep roots of human problems. They’re complicated; they’re involved; and you have to get to them one by one and cut them off….
I have come to realize that the deepest roots go back into people’s past; they go back into preceding generations. Some people don’t like to face this fact. But in many cases, our lives are the product of what our ancestors were, and what they thought, said, and did.
Throw In the Salt
At this point, you may be saying, “I’ve heard this teaching before, and I dealt with that deep, dark secret long ago. I have checked inside my heart, and everything is totally clear and healed up. I’m good.” If that is the case, we rejoice with you that the Lord has touched your life and brought you out of barrenness into a place of fruitfulness.
However, if this letter has put its finger on a murky area you were not aware of, it’s time for us to pray together. Please know that the Lord stands ready to bring healing and restoration to that deep, dark secret you and I have been carrying for far too long.
Dear Lord Jesus, I know that You came to bind up the brokenhearted, and there is a part of my heart that needs repair. I come to You now, confessing that I have an unsettled problem in my heart that needs Your touch. I believe You alone can provide the healing and restoration I so desperately need to get rid of the effects of my deep, dark secret.
By faith, I proclaim the very words from You which Elisha declared: “Thus says the LORD: ‘I have healed this water [the deep, dark secret area in my heart]; from it there shall be no more death or barrenness.’”
Now, by the power of Your blood, shed for me on the cross, I apply the remedy that comes from this declaration. No more will I be hampered by this deep, dark secret. From now on, I will experience life instead of death; fruitfulness instead of barrenness. Thank You, Lord Jesus. Amen.
A Penetrating Power
There is simply no substitute for the healing Jesus Christ can bring to us. His powerful Word, as Scripture describes, is living and active, able to penetrate the thickest walls and the deepest, darkest recesses of our heart and spirit. Hallelujah!!
With the prayer we have offered, you and I have invoked that penetrating process, asking the Lord to repair our hearts. What we have begun today will be best sustained by digging deeper into God’s Word. All of us at DPM want to help in that regard.
Please feel free to access the amazing Bible-based resources of Derek Prince. Many of his messages will help with related areas of our lives. But for the issue addressed in this letter, we would highly recommend “Laying the Ax to the Root,” the full message from which we drew the quote used earlier. You can download it free of charge, using the link below—just one small way for us to express our deepest thanks for your prayers and gifts to us.
An Eternal Impact
The healing and restoration the Lord brings to our hearts is a liberating miracle. It is a remarkable, dynamic experience for each of us. But will it last?
To answer that question, let’s look at one more verse—the closing comment regarding the “Elisha intervention” we cited earlier. Verse 22 of 2 Kings 2 says: “So the water remains healed to this day, according to the word of Elisha which he spoke.”
To this day! Almost three millennia after the cleansing of the spring that fed the city of Jericho, those waters remain pure. What is the reason? The eternal word of the Living God—the same proclamation you and I just spoke over ourselves earlier in this letter.
What does this mean? It is a done deal! By the word of the Lord which we have declared together, we have dealt once and for all—forever—with our deep, dark secret.
All the best,
“Laying the Ax to the Root”
Do you have a secret or a painful wound you carry? The Lord can heal—our deep, dark secrets.
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