Wednesday, October 11, 2006

A Table in the Presence of My Enemies

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. (Psalm 23:5)
This morning I took of the Table of the Lord with this verse fully in mind. I took of it, very deliberately, in the presence of my enemies.

The particular enemy we are dealing with at this time is debt — mortgage, car note and unsecured debts. These are enemies because they represent lack, and Psalm 23 opens famously with line, “The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want.” To want, or be in want, is to be in lack. When the Lord is our shepherd, we do not have to be in lack. It is not God’s will for us.

Now, I confess that we have made some poor choices and foolishly gotten ourselves into some financial dfficulties. But it would be even more foolish for us to think that, since we got ourselves into trouble, we must therefore get ourselves out of trouble. It is foolish for a couple of reasons: First, though we have a great ability to get ourselves into trouble, we have little skill or capacity for getting ourselves out. But more importantly, we are in covenant with the Lord Jesus Christ, who is our Savior and our Shepherd. He as already provided for what we cannot do ourselves. So we look to Him.

That is where the Table of the Lord comes in — it is a revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ and the covenant we have in Him. The bread reveals His body given for us, and the cup is the cup of the New Covenant made in His blood. In Him we have all we need, for as the apostle Paul said, “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:32).

So I took of the Table of the Lord in the presence of my enemies. But first, I took all our bills, our mortgage and car note coupons, and everything that represents debt and lack in our finances, and I set them on the coffee table. Then in between them and me, I set the bread and the cup of the Lord’s Table, and I declared, “You have prepared a table before me in the presence of my enemies.”

Then I looked at all those bills and notes, and I spoke to them: “I’m serving you notice, we are going to overcome you.” I thought of Caleb’s words, when the twelve spies reported back to Moses after spying out the promised land. Ten spies gave a sorrowful report about how, though the land was indeed a good land overflowing with milk and honey, it was also filled with giants. But Caleb said, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it” (Numbers 13:30). He agreed with Joshua, who said, “Do not fear the people of the land, for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them, and the LORD is with us. Do not fear them” (Numbers 14:9). (See When Its All About God)

Then I thought of Revelation 12:11, “And they overcame him [satan, the accuser of the brethren] by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.” (See The Word of Your Testimony)

The blood of the Lamb is what is revealed to us in the cup of communion. It is a cup that runs over with the blessing of the Lord. It is how we overcome all our enemies. It is a cup of salvation. The psalm writer said, “What shall I render to the LORD for all his benefits toward me? I will take up the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD” (Psalm 116:12-13).

And that’s exactly what I did. I ate the bread and drank the cup from the Table of the Lord and claimed my victory in Jesus Christ. I ate of the table He prepared for me in the presence of my enemies. For the Lord is my shepherd, my savior, my healer, my provider, and there is no enemy in the world that can stand up to Him.

If you know the Lord Jesus Christ, God has a table prepared for you in the presence of you enemies. Are you partaking of it?

(See also Warring with the Bread and the Cup and A Table of Victory Prepared for You)