Telling the Lord’s Secrets

Telling the Lord’s Secrets


Book Editor: This is one of the few teaching articles which I chose to include in the book, Pentecostal Newspapers; because it is on such an unusual, unknown subject. The closest thing I have ever heard to this subject, was teaching the opposite (by Kenneth Hagin) from what this article shows. As I was reading it I felt that I had found a chunk of gold.

Daniel Awrey, at the Chicago Pentecostal Convention, Oct. 23, 1909:

In Psalm 24:14 we read. “The secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him.” There are some things that the Lord puts into our hearts that He considers as secret, and just as sure as we give away His secret, that which was shown so clearly to us does not come to pass.

Sometimes the Lord gives us an assurance about some matter, and as we talk about it and tell it out, the assurance weakens and the circumstance does not come to pass; then we are humiliated and God is not glorified.

We might look at the Word along this line. We find in Matt. 8:4, 9:30 and Mark 9:23 almost the same words falling from the lips of Jesus, where He said to different persons, “See thou tell no man.” There is a deep meaning in those words of Jesus.

True they went out and told it contrary to the Master’s instructions, just as many people do today; we are just as human as they were. When the Lord shows us something we feel so good over it we have to tell it, but what has often been the consequence? We find that many things we have told do not come to pass.

The very meaning of the word “secret” is an understanding between two persons, and just as quickly as you tell a third person, it is no longer a secret. People say to you, “I want to tell you a secret,” and just as soon as it is told it ceases to be a secret. The Lord has some things that He regards as secrets. In Romans 14:22 we read. “Hast thou faith. have it to thyself before God.”

We might turn to Judges 16:17, 18, and find where Samson gave away the secret of his power. The Word says, “He told her all his heart,” and later on we read, “And he wist not that the Lord was departed from him.” What caused the Lord to depart? giving away that deep secret that neither his wife nor anyone else should have known.

In Nehemiah 2:12 we read, “Neither told I any man what God hath put in my heart to do at Jerusalem.” He didn’t tell it out, and you know how successful he was. Nehemiah built the walls of Jerusalem, and carried out all the things which God had secretly put into his heart. In Daniel 7:28 we read, “But I kept the matter in my heart.” He kept in his heart that which God revealed to him.

In Luke 2: 19 we read, “But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart;” also in the fifty-first verse, “But His mother kept all these sayings in her heart.” These passages go to show that God has His secrets which He entrusts to His children. [Book Editor: She never said; “An angel told me I will have a son.” Would she have become the mother of Jesus if she had publicly told?]

Many persons have wondered why things which they felt sure the Lord had revealed to them did not come to pass; some things, for example, of the nature of prophecies. This giving away the secrets does not mean that we should not testify to the goodness of God after He has done some good things for us, but, as nearly as I can understand it, it applies more especially to assurances that our prayers are to be answered. When the Holy Spirit helps us to intercede at the throne of grace, and the Lord gives us the assurance that there will be an answer to that prayer, and we tell that we have the assurance, it seldom comes to pass.

Of all the cases brought to my notice, especially in the last three years, I do not know of a single one where the assurance which had been given was verified after it had been told. Oh, how puzzling that has been to us; we have felt in our own hearts that the Lord certainly spoke to us in a way that we could not possibly doubt, and yet it did not come to pass.

I remember the first time I lost out on that line. It was in the matter of trusting the Lord for our temporal needs. We used to get into many tight places. This time in particular as I prayed I got such a sweet promise and very sweet assurance from the Lord that He was going to provide for us. My wife was bothered and worried because of our close condition, and I thought I would encourage her, so I said to her, “I have the assurance the Lord is going to answer prayer and give us the needed money today,” but it didn’t come, and I was almost afraid she would lose confidence in me.

Many times we think we will encourage people by telling them what God tells us, and we have failure on our hands because we give away His secret. I told her I had the assurance from God, but the day passed and we didn’t get anything, and it distressed me. Some of these things we can explain away, but others we cannot. When people are not healed but die instead, some explain the failure of their assurance by trying to spiritualize it, or try with their human wisdom to explain it away, but it is never satisfactorily explained. How this whole matter has puzzled me! Two or three times right along the line of money matters I told of my assurance from the Lord, and I never received anything. This failure caused me to look into the difficulty.

At first I thought that as we told these things the devil heard it and hindered, but soon I saw that we failed God, and it seems the Lord does not hold Himself responsible to answer the prayer after we give away the secret which He committed to us. The assurance the Lord gives you is a kind of contract He enters into with you, and when you break your side of the contract, God is free, and evidently feels under no obligation to fulfill His part. You may try to make yourself believe and try to force matters, but all to no effect. If that prayer is answered at all you will have to pray through to victory again.

Many people have said to me, “The Spirit has whispered in my heart, ‘Keep this to yourself,’ but I didn’t do it and I have lost all by telling it.” I have met these people all around the world; everywhere I have been there have been enough failures to enable them to see the cause when I have explained to them as the Lord has shown me.

The very [morning] I gave this teaching in Los Angeles a request was brought to the evening meeting to pray for a little girl who had broken her arm; they called for prayer and the Spirit of prayer was mightily poured out upon that meeting. I really believe in my heart God wanted to work a miracle, but soon a sister jumped up (she hadn’t been in the morning meeting) and said, “I have the perfect assurance in my heart that that child is healed.” The remark caused me to groan in spirit. Then another said, “I have the witness of the Spirit, too, that she is healed,” and they all rejoiced. In my heart I prayed, “Oh, God, give us some sense and some wisdom.” I hoped this might be an exception, but not so; the child wasn’t healed at all. Her wrist was bent nearly at a right-angle; that is not a healed wrist.

These failures when people say they have the assurance have caused many to wonder and lose confidence, and some try to do like the Christian Scientists, believe they have nothing the matter with them because they had received the assurance in their hearts that they were healed. They say, “God told me I was healed, and I will believe I am healed anyhow;” but in many cases the failure was in telling the secret that God intended them to keep in their hearts.

At another meeting in Los Angeles a brother arose and said, “I have received the assurance in my heart that I am going to be baptized in the Holy Spirit today.” Well, he wasn’t baptized; didn’t receive the baptism for months afterwards. A day or two later he spoke to me personally and asked me to pray for him. I said, “Brother, I believe you made a mistake the other day in telling your assurance,” and he said, “I felt it down deep in my soul the minute I had told it,” but he didn’t know the reason.

This instruction is so necessary for those who are used as intercessors; for those whom God has called to minister in the prayer-life; that they should keep the secrets the Lord has spoken into their hearts. Many times the Holy Spirit intercedes in us and through us and gives us the assurance that He will answer, and we tell it out, thinking we will encourage others, but generally there is lurking within a conscious or unconscious pride in the fact that God has revealed these things to us, and we take the glory that belongs to Him.

We like to say after a thing has come to pass, “I told you so,” and when we speak of the assurance which God has given us, it is a satisfaction to us and feeds our spiritual pride. With many, this may be unconscious, but it is there, nevertheless. Oh, how many people have lost blessing because of this, and how the work has been hindered in many places! Often God has revealed to people whom the Spirit has burdened for a certain work, or a certain convention that He was going to manifest Himself and pour out His Spirit, and then they have told the people, and God didn’t do it at all. They failed God and He wouldn’t keep His promise. This is a very serious matter; one person giving away the real secret of the Lord could stem the whole tide of power at a convention. This undoubtedly is the reason more prayers are not answered. People spend days on their faces before God in prayer, and then through lack of wisdom or knowledge, by a few words, their efforts are lost. Sometimes it requires real self-control to keep still, and a real dying out to self, but we get victory by overcoming this desire to tell, which in a great measure exalts ourselves instead of Jesus.

You know one man in the Bible on another line actually brought defeat to a whole army, and one person by giving away the secrets of the Lord may cause a series of meetings to fail right on our hands. I have seen it more than once. Years ago in the country we were holding some meetings, and one day a person came in from the woods, his face just shining with the very glory of God, and he said, “I have the assurance in my heart that these people are going to get saved tonight.” Not a soul was touched.

Sometimes they were almost discouraged, and didn’t know what to think. They said, “I thought surely God told me that; it was the same feeling of assurance that I had when my sins were forgiven.” It puzzled them when it failed to come true, and shook the faith of others. They feel you are not a safe person to trust in when you tell things that do not come to pass. Just because we have not known these simple things we have many times brought disaster and failure on God’s work. God forgives us, that is true, but His work suffers.

I remember one time God showed me there was to be a certain number of people saved at a certain meeting and I just believed it with all my soul, and I thought I had better tell it, because if I told it afterwards they wouldn’t believe I had the assurance. So I told it, but it didn’t come to pass. I tried to fix it up and say that maybe the results would follow afterwards; that was before I understood this truth. I believed it with all my heart, but it failed.

When I was coming through India there were two baptized missionaries, praying for the sick child of one of them, and as they prayed God gave the one a wonderful assurance that the child was going to be healed and raised up, but it died the same day. It shocked them so much they didn’t know what to do; they almost felt like separating one from another because of that misunderstanding. “Why,” one said, “how can I believe in what God says if I cannot believe He gave me that assurance?” But the trouble was, she had failed to keep God’s secret.

When I came through Edinburg, Scotland, they were praying for a sick sister; they sent out word to all the missions and much prayer was offered up for the sick one; the missions sent word back. “We have the assurance that the sister will be healed and raised up,” but she died, and they were so shocked, and wondered what could be the solution of it all. When I came there giving this little teaching they were delighted out of measure. When one fails God like that, we have to pray and sometimes fast in order to get sweet communion again.

I know it makes us very happy to get assurances of victory from God, and we just feel we must tell it, but just as sure as we do, it will fail right on our hands. There are ways and times we may express ourselves without giving away what God really speaks into our hearts, but, friends, by the help of God keep sacred that with which He entrusts you.

Sometimes we think if we do not tell it beforehand people will not believe God gave us the assurance, but that doesn’t matter; we don’t even need to tell them that we have had the assurance at all. If our lives are hid with Christ in God and He gets the glory, it doesn’t matter whether anybody ever knows we even prayed. It is almost impossible to speak of our prayers and of the assurance that God gives us that He will answer prayer without taking some of the glory to ourselves. Can’t we afford to wait until the day of rewards to get recompensed? “The Father which seeth in secret Himself shall recompense thee.”

People don’t need to know that God uses me to pray anyone through into victory, either for spiritual or physical blessing. I believe the less we tell the more God will use us. Give Him all the glory, the blessing is from Him. The less we make remarks about the Lord using us the more answers we will get. Sometimes it is almost necessary to say some things, but the secret we need to learn is to tell it in such a way that people will see that Jesus did it all, and not speak of ourselves. These instances are enough to show you the principle that underlies this subject. May the Lord write it on our hearts in such a way that we will not lose blessing by giving away that which-He entrusts to us.

This teaching is so necessary along the line of God supplying our needs financially, on the line of salvation of souls, and in the matter of revivals and in regard to healings; on every line it seems we would get more answers to prayer if we didn’t so often fail in our part of the contract.

When I went through St. Louis last year I was in an All-Day Meeting, and in the morning I gave this teaching; in the afternoon a great many more came and I felt impressed to talk on the same line again. I didn’t want to do it, and had quite a struggle about it, but finally decided I would, and the very person who I thought would not receive it was the first person to stand up and relate some experience along this line. She said: “This is the first time in my life I have understood some things.” She told us that she, with others, prayed for her husband right through to victory, and all three of them felt God had under-taken and given them the assurance that her husband was going to be saved.

Time went on, a year or two went by and he wasn’t saved, and she felt burdened again and called several more of her friends together; they prayed and laid before God the promise, and they said, “We are going to believe,” and they were almost lifted out of themselves, they had such assurance of victory, and she went home and took the candle and went in to look at her husband to see if he wasn’t really saved, but he wasn’t. After awhile circumstances were such that she prayed through herself and got the assurance; she had no occasion to tell anyone, and he became saved, and has been saved ever since; and she said this was the first time in her life that she understood the matter. She said, “We just felt that God gave us such assurance that we could not possibly doubt it, because it was the same Spirit that told us everything else we ever got from God, but it failed, and we wondered about it.

When you tell the secrets God has put into your heart you may force matters all you can, but God doesn’t answer. He doesn’t seemingly undertake the case at all; and you can pray and try to believe all you want but there is no answer. On the other hand there are some things the devil may do his utmost to hinder, but with God’s secret hid in our hearts, we can go right on to victory.

It is a great hindrance to God’s work when we fail in this way, for people will soon call us false prophets. May the precious Spirit of God teach us. You will have to watch carefully because sometimes you will feel so happy you will think you just have to tell it, but you must not tell anybody. Little things that I have told only to my wife have failed, but I have learned how to cherish the Lord’s secret. Sometimes when the children were sick she almost thought didn’t care; I had the assurance that God had undertaken the case, and yet I could not say anything about it. Don’t give away your assurance, don’t talk about it. Keep it in your heart, under the blood, and then just sit back and see the Lord work.

Many people fail in their healings right along this line. They think when they get the assurance the healing is settled, and they talk about it, and it fails on their hands, even after they have had a wonderful touch from the Lord.

May the Lord by His Holy Spirit open up the Scriptures along these lines, and make them real to us. Are you going to do your best and not fail God? Are you going to be willing to pray without telling people about it? And when you have faith to the answer, have it to yourself?

Last fall when God told me to take a trip around the world without any money it almost staggered me. It looked like a big thing, but in my heart I said, “He is able,” and then He dropped this Scripture into my heart, “My God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Just think of it, “His riches.” No wonder I went all around the world and didn’t have to flounder anywhere for money or take up collections, or ask anybody for anything. But I kept God’s secret hid in my heart.

The Lord did not send me on this trip as a test to my faith, but I believe to give this and other practical teaching [as he went], and it was quite new in many places. They saw there was something that was causing failure among God’s children, and as God led me to point out these failures they were glad to give even without my saying anything about money.

Beloved, keep God’s secrets and, like Mary, ponder them in your heart, and verily, they shall come to pass. (The Later Rain Evangel, Nov., 1909)

Book Editor: Daniel Awrey was born in Canada (Feb. 10, 1869- Dec. 3, 1913), his family moved to Minnesota as a teen. He became a Holiness preacher, then a missionary to India, Hong Kong, South America, and traveled around the world 3 times. He died in Africa. Full biographies of him are available online, the best is found in the Assembly of God Heritage, Vol. 20, #4. 2000. When Daniel left on his trip around the world to teach about not telling the Lord’s secrets, he had 28 cents in his pocket, but because the people were so thankful to have the teaching that they gave generously without him having to ask for a cent. Later, while in Africa he wrote to report on his work there before he died:

Dearly beloved in the Lord,

Peace be to thee in Jesus’ name.

I left New York September 16th, arriving at Cape Palmas October 10th, stopping over in Monrovia over night, and spoke to a large congregation in the Apostolic Faith Church there.

After one nights’ stay at Cape Palmas I came in a sailboat, about 25 miles, to Garraway. Here I remained over two Sundays at the M. E. Mission. I gave some teaching, the leader stating that she received enough good-from it to pay for my entire trip to Africa.

I started for the bush, first in a canoe up a river, and then afoot with a hammock carried on the heads of two natives, wading through the waters and crossing on the back of a stalwart native, then perched on his shoulders. Thus we crossed the streams. One river we crossed on a log under water. One misstep would land us all in the foaming river. This was all new experience for me in mission fields.

The second day I arrived at Newaka in Barobo and met my brother, J. M. L. Harrow, and received a royal welcome.

I was quite surprised to see the great work that has been done in the last five years in the Pentecostal work in the bush country. They have five stations, and have built about thirty houses and a nice church 24 by 36 feet in size. After stopping here a week I went to another station where Sisters Hisey and Boddy have charge. It is at this station that Sisters Harrow and Scutt are buried.

I started for another meeting in another tribe and reached Dorobo, where Sister Mendenhall has charge. It is-here Sister Lee is buried. I was attacked with fever and remained here. Was sick for several days.

On November 15th about one hundred gathered for a convention at this station, and God was with us in power. Some were saved and some were filled with the Spirit and spoke in other tongues. We ordained five natives to preach the Gospel, and three of them to baptize, and truly these brethren are worthy of support. Any draft sent to J. M. L. Harrow, Cape Palmas, Liberia, W. Africa, will be faithfully used for the glory of God.

Two of the missionaries who have been here five years will leave for a rest in the homeland, and these native brethren will carry the Gospel to those who never heard the name of Jesus.

At the convention a goodly number were baptized in water. The king of the tribe gave us a bullock for a present.

The last night of the meeting the Lord baptized an old woman in the Spirit, and she spake in tongues. She had recently come from heathenism, and was yet unclothed. This astonished the congregation, for she knew no book, and had been only a quarrelsome old heathen woman. Some got up and confessed they thought she had no business to be baptized in water that day, but now they saw their mistake and praised God He was no respecter of persons, and we all left the convention encouraged to win old and young alike. — Daniel Awrey. (Confidence, Feb. 1914, page 36)