A few weeks ago, a prophet chased me down in the middle of downtown. He was shouting prophetic words at people. It was annoying. I ignored him. But then he said something to me there was no way he could’ve known. And then he said my name. We had never met. I turned to listen. “Three years ago,” he said to me, “you thought you were done for. But you have a secret weapon. It’s the darkness, it’s hiddenness.”
This was all in a dream, of course. But I listen to my dreams.
God spoke to Abraham about a grand future. And then it took forever and a day for it to happen. I wonder what was formed in Abraham during that in between time? It was an opportunity – for depth, trust, and companionship with Yahweh. I think Abraham took the opportunity. He was, in the end, called “a friend of God.” Now there’s a secret weapon.
God spoke to Joseph about an unfathomable destiny. And then Joseph was promptly betrayed, enslaved, nearly murdered, falsely accused, and imprisoned. So, I wonder what he gained during those dark seasons? They were an opportunity. For depth, trust, and companionship with Yahweh – things he would need desperately during his next season. Those years of darkness and hiddenness ended up becoming his secret weapon.
Mehdi Dibaj was an Iranian pastor who was arrested for apostasy and spent nine years in prison. One month before he was released, he stood before the Islamic court and gave the most beautiful, courageous defense of his faith. You can read it here. When he was finally released from prison (January 1994), he said this:
“God gave me the unique privilege to spend nine years in prison for his Name sake. They turned out to be the best years of my life, because what I had believed while free, is what I experienced while in prison; ‘Lo, I am with you always’…Close to Jesus changes the worst prison into a paradise.”
In the darkness and in the seasons of hiddenness lie opportunity. Secret weapons are forged. Depth, faith, authenticity, companionship with Jesus, authority. What the enemy tries to kill us with, God wields into weapons that haunt the devil in ways he never foresaw. Silly ‘ol devil. Redemption wins.
May all that is opposed to God’s perfection in our lives be diminished. May all that is torn up and broken and chaotic be stitched together and healed and made right. And also, at the same time, may we all be convinced of Yahweh’s heart, when He says to us what He said to King Cyrus… “I will give you the treasures hidden in the darkness – the secret riches.”