Thursday, March 1, 2012

Who sits at your table?

"You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies, You
annoint my head with oil; my cup overflows..."   Ps 23

That verse went round and round in my head last night, so I told the
Lord I'd write it out in the morning, and may I please go to sleep
now? And He was gracious, and so I did.

So often, the vehicles of our weaknessess are a humbling place of God's
blessing, amen? Today, we're talking about food and self control, and
for me, it's a literal application, but I want to cast the net a
little wider, and see how often the Lord prepares tables for us, where
He welcomes us, but we feel the tension of being surrounded by
enemies. My hope is to encourage in you a sight to see his blessing
and welcome, even when it might not be relationally and
circumstantially evident.

A loaded table is challenge to my self control, in a very obvious
sense- I just like to eat a lot.  But that is not when it's hardest.
The following of the Spirit (for that is what self control IS) when I
am surrounded by my enemies before a loaded table is most challenging.
A loaded table is an interesting analogy for blessing-consider your
own application, as I explain (one of) mine.

The Lord has blessed me with certain domestic abilities- I can cook,
bake, keep house, etc. He has blessed me with the ability to prepare a
pretty nice literal table. I'm good at that. And the Lord has placed
me in a place of setting the table in the presence of my enemies- not
the physical people gathered at the table, but surrounded by the unseen
things, equally as real. Perhaps the people sitting down to eat what I
have prepared have hurt me, and never repented- there are spirits of
pride  and shame there that are my enemies, and here we are, sitting
down together. Sometimes I sit to eat, even by my myself, and I dine
in the presence of temptation to gluttony, self pity, destruction,
selfishness, and comfort; All of my enemies and I, sitting at the
table. But the Lord has laid the table for my joy and His glory, not
the triumph of my enemies!

What about you? What tables has the Lord loaded up, in the presence of
your enemies? What gifts and provisions has he laid out in your life,
and what challenging people and enemy spirits rush to sit down at the
table? What words of condemnation do you hear at the table of your
blessings? Do not let them steal your oil and drink from your
overflowing cup! Rather that see their opposition to the good gifts He
has placed before you, can you hear the Spirit's invitation to dine in His presence anyway?
Can you receive his annointing, and not fear the enemies who sit in
such close proximity to you and the Lord, and who talk so loudly and
seek to consume the food that has been lovingly given for your

May we be able to say with Jesus, "My food is to do the will of him
who sent me and to finish his work" in whatever arena has been set
before us. May we have the self control to receive the annointing of
the blessing of the Lord, even in the presence of our enemies, knowing
that he who has annointed us, will bring us to the day of appointing,
and will finish the work he has started in us.

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