You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You have anointed and refreshed my head with oil;
My cup overflows.
Last week I read a word from Lana Vawser, "Dig Deep in December". (I HEARD THE LORD SAY “DIG DEEP IN DECEMBER” - Lana Vawser Ministries) One of the points she made was to allow the Lord to set your table. She told of a dream she had of a person trying to fix a table setting in the way they wanted, but they were not listening to the voice of the Lord.
This phrase struck a chord within me. I had to ask myself the question, Am I allowing the Lord to set the table, or am I trying to fix it my way?
Let's meditate on this a bit.
Imagine you invited a beloved friend for a meal. You carefully planned a feast of culinary delights. Your menu is composed of some foods you know she loves. You include others she would enjoy, and that would expand her pallet. You spend hours planning and cooking so the timing of the meal will be perfect. You set a beautiful table using your best china and silverware, with tablecloths and napkins made of the finest linen. You spend time choosing an exquisite centerpiece that includes her favorite flowers.
As you look over everything for anything you missed, you think about how pleased she will be and how much you will enjoy your time together.
Then it is time for her to arrive. With a knock, she breezes in the door. As you give her a big hug, she announces she stopped for burgers and fries because she knows how busy you are. She replaces the china with paper plates, then removes the table linens. She admires the centerpiece as she shoves it aside for the golden arches on a paper bag. As we sit down to our fast food dinner on paper plates, she wishes she could have steak and lobster on china plates someday.
She was so wrapped up in what she wanted that she missed everything you had planned. She set her own table instead of sitting down and enjoying the table you had prepared for her.
This example is quite an exaggeration, I know. But the Holy Spirit used this story to make a point to me. The table I set will always be inferior to the one He sets for me. The experiences and tastes He has planned are out of the reach of my imagination. To feast at this table requires me to trust Him and not myself.
Jesus had a similar story He told in Luke. This sparked a second question in me. What excuses am I making to not partake of the banquet He prepared for me? This story warns of what happens when we set our own table.
When one of those at the table with him heard this, he said to Jesus, "Blessed is the one who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God." Jesus replied: "A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, 'Come, for everything is now ready.' "But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, 'I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.' "Another said, 'I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I'm on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.' "Still another said, 'I just got married, so I can't come.' "The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, 'Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.' "'Sir,' the servant said, 'what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.' "Then the master told his servant, 'Go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in, so that my house will be full. I tell you, not one of those who were invited will get a taste of my banquet.'"
The Table He Sets
The first table He wants you to partake of is salvation. It was set at the cross, where your salvation was paid for. The Greek word for salvation is Sozo, and it is so much more than just going to heaven.
In short, Sozo is everything needed to restore us to God before Adam sinned. When Jesus paid the price for your personal sins, He also planned a table for you personally to enjoy. That table is the delightful life He has prepared and made ready for you. (Ephesians 2:10)
“Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy…” (Psalm 103:2-4)
The Lord has prepared a banquet for you. It is created especially for you by someone who knows you better than you know yourself. He is inviting you to come and dine with Him at the table He has prepared.
Will you allow Him to set the table? Will you feast on what He has chosen for you? Can you accept that He wants you to dine in style on the finest He has to offer you?
This holiday season, as we celebrate Jesus' birth, don't just welcome Him to your table. Spend some time with Him and discover what is on your table for the upcoming year.
Allow Him to set the table for you.
You serve me a six-course dinner right in front of my enemies.
You revive my drooping head; my cup brims with blessing.
Your beauty and love chase after me every day of my life.
I’m back home in the house of God for the rest of my life.
Psalms 23:5-6 MSG
Meditating on setting a beautiful table for someone was not hard for me to do. Steve and I love feeding friends and family good food at a fun table. We hope to do more of this in the upcoming year.
Join me on Facebook and Instagram this week for some beautiful, fun, and unique Holiday tables settings!