“Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.“Colossians 3:2-3 ESV
The New Testament speaks about our hidden life in God many times. Jesus, in Matthew 6:1-8, alluded to this hidden life. It is as if we are living two lives – one an external life and one a secret, hidden, internal life. This is not the same as living a double life – we act one way with one group of people and act another way with another group. Our external life is the physical one and what other people see – our reputation, awards, career, wealth, possessions and talents. Our internal life is the invisible one that only God sees – our prayer life, spiritual motives, intercessions, secret services, and the unrecognised giving of our money, time and talent for God’s Kingdom. The truth is, there is only that will remain – our secret life. We are all very busy and concerned with our external life – but are we taking care well of our internal life, that one that will last forever? We will all leave our external life behind anyway. Which one is of infinite value?
So How Do You Live Your Hidden Life Well?
- The key to having a good internal life is your prayer life. It is your lifeline with God. Everything else in your internal life flows from your prayer life with God. Invest for your eternity with a daily quality time prayer life. Spend and devote your time to reading and studying God’s Word. Prioritise your life well.
- Know that there is nothing in your external life you can bring to where you are “going,” and you need to be unattached to all those things, including good things. Be ready to leave them at a second’s notice.
- As long as you are alive, you will need to put up with your sinful self. That is why you should practice daily repentance. Strive to grow in holiness and avoid temptations – you know well your weaknesses.
- The two main enemies of having a good hidden life with God are selfishness and self-centredness. You need to battle against them for the rest of your life continually. Conquer the old man or woman in you.
- Serve God and His people, with or without any recognition. People’s appreciation is not the one that you want to look for, but God’s approval, as He will reward you in due time. See Ephesians 6:5-8.
- Grow in becoming Christ-like. Learn to be loving, gentle, faithful, kind, meek, and self-controlled, among many other things. Follow in the footsteps of Jesus – even if it is the inconvenient and harder thing to do.
- Aim to do great things for God. Seek to live an ordinary life extraordinarily; live a Spirit-filled life. Do not live a half-hearted, compromised, and lukewarm Christian life – God will spit you out. You have only one life to live – live it to the full for the glory of God – see 1 Corinthians 10:31.
- Share the gospel with people you meet – so that they can have an internal life as well, the one that lasts forever. This is the best thing you can ever share with others – Jesus and a new hidden eternal life in Him.
Other Scripture passages:
- But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. [Matthew 6:3-4 ESV]
- They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life. [1 Timothy 6:18-19 ESV]
- For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. [2 Corinthians 4:17-18 ESV]
- Other references: Matthew 6:6; Luke 8:17; 1 Corinthians 2:9; and James 4:8.
For personal reflection or group sharing
- Do you value your internal life with God more than your external life? Does it show in how much time you spend on your internal life? How do you conquer busy-ness to have a good hidden life in God?
Top image credit: Hands raised in prayer, from Bigstock.com, © doidam10, stock photo ID: 440550482. Used with permission.
Tom Caballes is a National Coordinator of the Lamb of God, a community of the Sword of the Spirit with seven branches located throughout New Zealand. Tom and his wife Mhel and their two daughters [with his son-in-law and grand-daughter] live in Wellington, New Zealand.