Among the most beautiful facets of following God is the profound obscurity unique to His ways. Look at Elijah the prophet, whom God used to glorify His name with an extraordinary roster of miracles.
For example, Elijah’s prayers sealed the heavens so they would not bring rain (1 Kings 17:1; Jas. 5:17). Following that, not only did he raise a child from the dead in 1 Kings 17:22, but he also called down fire from heaven during a showdown with the prophets of Baal in 1 Kings 18:38, to name just a few.
Perhaps the most remarkable thing about Elijah, however, is that there is no backstory describing the life he lived that shaped him into the man of God he became—he simply emerged out of “seemingly nothing” as one who stood before the Lord God of Israel in 1 Kings 17:1.
Luke 1:80 describes John the Baptist the same way, explaining that “he lived in the wilderness until he began his public ministry to Israel” (NLT). John was given to anonymity and content to live in the wilderness until the Lord released him into “public ministry to Israel.”
It was the same for Jesus! He began His ministry at 30 years old. Jesus worked as a simple carpenter running the family business before His launch into the spotlight. In fact, little is even mentioned about Jesus outside of His famous birth and childhood visit to the temple.
When God looks at a man, it quickly becomes clear that He forms godly character in secret. He sees a beauty in obscurity and treasures it. It is a key building block that He often shapes those He intends to use in the secret place.
Daniel 2:22 says, “He reveals deep and mysterious things and knows what lies hidden in darkness, though he is surrounded by light.” God often places us in the hidden place so that He can reveal His marvelous light away from the limelight.
Those who are famous in this place are often the ones who carry His exploits and make His name famous in the earth.
Unfortunately, what we miss so often is that when He tucks us away, He’s offering us the opportunity to be hidden and the grace to pursue the depths of His heart in secret. We tend to shun the secret place and instead default to a desire to be promoted because we long to be seen—perhaps to share what God has given us rather than sharing in God Himself.
If we could embrace that season and treasure it, we would realize it was what God was after in us all along! We often look for something to happen in His presence, forgetting that His presence is Him being present. He’s the prize, and He’s what is happening!
The story of Esther reveals this fruit as God groomed her for greatness in the solitude of her day-to-day life. And in the throes of Esther’s anonymity, Mordecai challenged her with the words, “Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Est. 4:14, NKJV).
In that crucial hour, Esther had become ripe to fulfill her God-appointed destiny. She fell to her knees, fasting and praying for a word from heaven to save her people, and God, who ripened her in secret, set her apart and rewarded her to bear its fruit openly.
In this hour, in this season, at this moment it is important not to neglect your times in the secret place. What God shapes and forms in us is the fruit this world desperately needs. They will taste and see the goodness of God through you and me and the global body of Christ that has prepared itself away from the noise. What is revealed in secret will be made known in season!
Evangelist Caleb Wampler is founder and CEO of Kingdom Encounters International. He has seen hundreds of thousands of people come to Jesus in countries that are hostile to the gospel, witnessed incredible miracles and regularly experiences God’s wonder. For more information on evangelist Caleb Wampler, check out his ministry website at kingdomencounters.us. Stay connected through Caleb’s social media on Facebook and YouTube.