How to Enter the Secret Place {Matthew 6 Bible Study}

What’s getting between you and growing a closer relationship with God? You might say all the distractions you’re tempted with in this world, not feeling disciplined enough, or let me guess, you want to get yourself together and clean up your life before you go all in with God. What if I told you none of those things stop you from a flourishing, fruitful, and vibrant relationship with God? Stay tuned because, in today’s video, I’m sharing 3 holy habits to enter the secret place and grow closer to God like never before. Enjoy!


Growing in your relationship with God is important for 3 reasons outlined in what I call the 3 “C”s. Capacity, Courage, and Calling. The closer we grow to God, we enlarge our capacity to receive more of what He has for us. As we grow in Christ, we learn not only about God, but also our identity in Him, which gives us the courage to make bold moves and take greater steps of faith. Finally, as we grow in God, we gain a greater understanding of our purpose and what it is God has called us to do. All these are very important when it comes to navigating this life, making growing closer to God a virtuous and fruitful endeavor. 

Growing closer to God occurs in what the Bible calls the secret place. This is where we connect to God to know and experience Him in life-changing ways. So you might be wondering, where and what is this secret place?

In today’s video, we’ll study Matthew 6:1-18 to learn:

  • 🕊️ 3 Holy Habits that usher you into the secret place to grow you closer to God.
  • ❌ What common mistake stops Christians from entering the secret place.
  • 🙏🏾 What is the blessing and reward of dwelling in the secret place.


But first, let’s get an understanding of what the secret place is. In our Bible study of Psalm 91, we learned that the secret place is simply the representation of our closeness and intimacy with God. Today, we’ll learn that the secret place isn’t only where God is, but the intimate relationship we have with God when no one sees and we go unrecognized by others. We’ll get into why this is important a bit later, but in Matthew 6, Jesus shares how to enter this secret place. 


He gives three practices of righteousness that should not be done to be seen by others, but in what Jesus says should be done secretly or only in the presence of God. Those practices are outlined in Matthew 6, where Jesus says:

“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 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. And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others.  Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others.  Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. (Matthew 6:1-6; 16-18 ESV)



Jesus gives detailed instructions on how to give, pray, and fast. Three righteous practices that will be rewarded by God when done in secret, not openly with the intention for others to see. 

Giving helps us to live unattached from the things and cares of this world that can easily corrupt our hearts. In the parable of the sower in Matthew 13, Jesus tells us that the seed that fell among thorns was someone who heard God’s truth, but allowed the “worries of life and the deceitfulness of wealth” (Matthew 13:22) to crowd out God’s truth and they became unfruitful. 

When we are so focused on trying to get and keep money to the point of worry, we lose sight of God and His truth. We’ll most likely chase money and not God, causing us to grow further away from God. Now you may be wondering, what does money have to do with my relationship with God? It has a lot to do which is why Jesus says we can only serve God or money because we will be tempted to lose sight and not trust God in this area. You can’t grow towards God if you’re chasing after money. The solution: Give.  Matthew 6:21 says:

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21 ESV)

If we want to grow closer to God, we give and give generously because doing so grants us the reward of seeing God as provider and helps us to grow closer to Him. This doesn’t mean that we don’t care about or need money. It means that we first trust God for all our needs. 


Praying helps us to communicate with God, which is the most important part of any relationship. If communication is broken, the relationship is broken. There are hundreds of prayers in the Bible and prayer is mentioned hundreds of times as well. Jesus even gives us a template for prayer in what we call the Lord’s Prayer to ensure we know how to do it. There’s no getting around it; prayer is key to growing closer to God. There is a reason why the Bible calls us to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17), to not worry, but to instead pray (Philippians 4:6), to pray for wisdom (James 1:5), to pray when we’re suffering (James 5:13), or even to pray with all kinds of prayers (Ephesians 6:18). When we are in prayer, we enter God’s presence so prayer rewards us with an intimacy and closeness with God that we won’t find anywhere else. 


Fasting helps us to avoid the things that distract us from growing closer to God. It’s not just about abstaining from food, but to take our attention off the things of this world so we can focus on God. Lisa Brevere says; “A diet changes how you look, fasting changes how you see.” Fasting rewards you with a revelation of God and gives you spiritual vision to see yourself, others, and life and a light that is more aligned with God’s truth. 

  • When you give, you realize God is a provider.
  • When you pray, you realize God is present.
  • When you fast, you realize God is powerful.

These 3 righteous practices or holy habits usher us into God’s presence because when we do them as Jesus instructs, they are to be done in secret.


It's not enough to just give, pray and fast. Even the hypocrites do these things as Jesus tells us and they are not close to God. So what’s the difference?

Jesus tells us not to make known our practices of righteousness to be seen by others so we can be rewarded with the admiration of man. Instead, we practice our righteousness with the intention of not to being seen. We do so in secret. 

This is so counter-cultural because we share everything to be seen in this online social generation. What we ate for lunch, where we went for vacation, what we just bought at the store. We’d be lying if we said we didn’t want the views, and likes and follows. Now, if your heart is right, there is nothing wrong with sharing online. But Jesus says specifically, 3 times, don’t be like the hypocrites. They intentionally want to be seen for their religious superiority, or what they would consider superior. They say they are doing something for God, but really they are doing it to be seen and recognized by people. However, Jesus makes it clear. If you receive your reward from people, you won’t receive it from God. Their attention, their recognition, their admonishment is your reward. But be careful, because, in our cancel culture, we know that rewards from people will be short-lived. That’s why I love the quote by Lecrae that says “If you live for people's acceptance, you'll die from their rejection.”

So how do we receive God’s reward, and not man’s? Jesus tells us:

  • Don’t tell others what you’re giving, just give.
  • Don’t pray to be seen by people, but to connect with God. 
  • Don’t look gloomy so others can clearly see that you’re fasting. Instead, be intentional to put yourself together so that no one even knows the sacrifice that you’re making, because that sacrifice is for God, not people. 

In short, don’t practice righteousness to be seen by people, but to be devoted to God. 


The secret place is where you trust God to move when no one else sees. 

I was out running with my kids yesterday for track conditioning. They call me “coach mommy” because I want to prepare them both physically and mentally for this upcoming track season.  They are both sprinters or short distance but I had them running a mile to condition them and get them in shape, so when game day comes that 100 or 200 meters will feel really easy. As we’re running, I’m trying to get in their heads and I told them them that this work, the unseen training is what prepares you for glory on game day. I told them that we love to watch games and athlete play at their best, (many of us will enjoy this watching the Olympics this year) but the news never shows the boring conditioning, the stretching, the 4 am mornings, the late nights, the Epson salt baths. I wanted to encourage my children, and I’m encouraging you too, not to despise the unseen work because without it there is no glory, there is no reward. It’s what happens when no one is looking that prepares you for when they are. The unseen work can’t be avoided. If you only run when it’s game day, when people are looking, you will not perform well. 

In the same way, it's the unseen work in the secret place that sincerely grows us closer to God. This is why we can have so many famous pastors and Christians that fall from grace. Their public ministry is poppin’ off, but their private ministry before God is dry. 

The secret place is a complete surrender and trust because it says that if no one sees this, I trust that God does, and will act on my behalf. It’s the place where no one sees you, but you do what’s right anyway because you believe that not only will God see, but that He will move. 

Many of us are afraid that God doesn't see us, and get caught in the trap of people pleasing, pride, and fear because we desperately want to be seen, validated, and feel significant. But when we trust that God sees, we receive the peace of dwelling in the secret place because our value and worth are not rooted in anything but who God says we are. 

The secret place is where we know God who created us, and in turn, we discover our true identities. When we know who we are apart from outward applause, we have an inner peace no one can take away. This reward is priceless. Think of all the famous people who are unhappy and unsatisfied. Public places will never give you the same peace as the secret place. 

We don’t have to show off or prove ourselves because we know who God is and who we are in Him. Pressure to perform is eliminated when you only have to please the One who made you but if we’re so busy trying to impress people, we’ll miss God’s reward that comes from operating in private.

The other day I received a text from a friend who was reminiscing on a time I gave her some money. She shared that what I gave her was the exact amount of money she needed in that season and it encouraged her faith to know that God provided. Now when I gave to her, I did so at the leading of the Holy Spirit. I didn’t know how much she needed; I just gave what the Lord placed on my heart and as a college student, it was a stretch. What she didn’t know was that a few days later, the same exact amount of money was in my bank account that someone else had given to me, not knowing that I had given to my friend. When I saw that, I knew God was moving on my behalf, and working in the secret place. I witnessed Him working in the unseen to do what only He could do. 

Now, had I broadcasted to everyone that I gave this much money and I was just such a good friend, and I did all these things right, and people were moved, and they applauded me, and they even gave me money, the reward would have come from people. I would not have seen God in that obedience because when no one knew or no one saw, I knew that God saw and it had to be Him moving when I received that same amount of money back. That's the reward of operating in the secret place. No one can get credit for what God is doing and you will get a clear vision of how God is moving in your life. When we work for the approval of people and to be seen by them, that is your reward, but when we operate in the secret place and we don't do things to be seen by man, but because we trust that God sees us, we will experience Him in ways that most people won't. We won't be blinded by what can be seen and touched and heard, but instead will enter a supernatural experience of God that can’t be denied. 

Your reward for operating and moving in the secret place is knowing that God is moving on your behalf. It grows your faith like nothing else and it brings you closer to God because He's so real to you in that place and there's no question about His existence, His provision, or His capacity. You don’t just know God in the secret place, you experience Him. In such an uncertain world, that is one of the greatest rewards you will ever receive.

Now I get it; being in the secret place is not always easy as we may be tempted to believe if God really sees and hears us, so I encourage you to watch this video, where I share 5 signs God hears your prayers

For more encouragement, download my free Bible Study called “Worry-Free” to learn the 3 lies feeding your worry and the truth to set you free at Thanks for watching and until next time, be beautiful, be blessed, and beloved.